Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Thursday Thirteen 332: Norwegian Scrapbook

This week's T13 was inspired by Shelley's post from last week on trolls. This Saturday being Syttende Mai, it seems an appropriate topic for the week.

When I was in high school, I spent a summer in Norway as an AFS exchange student. If I had it to do over again, I would take more photos — a lot more photos! — and not be afraid of doing so. Here are a few pages from my paltry Norwegian scrapbook. Please forgive the quality of the photographs. At that time I had a cheap 110 camera, as many of us did back then (because — hello! — they were cheap), and did not get my first 35mm until I was in college. Plus, these are photos of the actual pages, not scans.

Prior to leaving, I received a packet from my host family, with photos of the family
and a map showing where the village of Hellvik is. There were four of us staying
with families in Hellvik (including a boy staying with my mother's parents), and
another girl in nearby Egersund.

Our first couple days in Norway were spent at a school in Bygd√ły, just outside Oslo,
where we learned some basic Norwegian such as the alphabet, how to tell time, how
to count money, and some helpful phrases. We also visited the Norsk Folkemuseum,
where we saw this stavkirke. There used to be hundreds of these across Norway
(and thousands across Europe), but now there are only about two dozen.
Three days in Oslo were followed by an all-day train trip to the western coast.

The first week with my family was spent on vacation. We made a
daytrip to the Lista Lighthouse in Farsund, dating to 1836.

We also visited Loshavn. English vessels were lured into this harbor, where
they then broke up on the rocks. Boards from the ships were used to
build some of the original houses. Now there are a lot of summer homes here.

On another day, we visited Dyreparken, a zoo and amusement park in Kristiansand.
It is one of the most-visited attractions in Norway. This is one of the places I wish
I had taken more photos. There were amusement rides, a circus, a place to pan for gold
(my little brother didn't want this medal and gave it to me), trolls, gardens, and animals.
And yes, as you can see from the photo, people could feed the giraffes.

My host parents, Kari and Jostein, dressed for a christening.

One blustery, cold summer day, we visited a beach at
Ogna — just up the road from Hellvik — with our neighbors.

Yes, that is a picture of me, right after I killed my right knee on a boulder —
you can see the tear in my jeans. My host father had called me over to show
me what he called a "troll kettle" — a depression in the top of the rock
filled with water. It was a tall boulder, so I took a running leap at it —
except there was a low spot in front of it, vaulting me up into
instead of onto the rock. Yeah...ouch! The result was a large, ugly bruise.

Postcard of Egersund, the nearest town to us, where we did our weekly shopping.
My maternal host-grandmother had a bookstore here, sold some years ago.

One of the best-known buildings in Egersund is the historic Egersund Kirke,
a wooden church dating back to 1623. The detailing on the inside is amazing.

A family friend is a pilot, and one day my host father, the youngest two children and I
had the chance to go up in a little four-seater with him. I was allowed to take photos
of the surrounding country, but not of the airport (and this was long before 9/11). You
can see the old Hellvik Skole, our house and grandparents family farm in these photos.
After, I had the chance to experience a helicopter simulator, which was pretty cool.

Later in the summer, we spent a day in Stavanger, a lovely old harbor city. This
is one of those places I'd like to revisit, and take hoards of photos. Unfortunately,
I had forgotten my camera in the car, for which I was kicking myself all day as
we walked the narrow, cobblestone streets in Old Stavanger and visited the
Old Cathedral. The hand-carved pulpit is an example of exquisite craftsmanship.

As much as I loved seeing historic Stavanger, my favorite part of the day was
our visit to the Iron Age Farm (Jernaldergården), just outside Stavanger.
Timeless story — farmer goes out to plow his fields, and unearths an ancient
artifact. There are three reconstructed buildings on site, as well as burial mounds
from the Bronze and Viking Ages. Many of the excavated artifacts are on exhibit
at the Stavanger Museum. From the hilltop here, you can see all the way down to
the North Sea and the Sverd i fjell (Swords in Mountain) monument, commemorated
by King Olav V of Norway in 1983. The monument is a tribute to King Harald Fairhair,
who brought Norway under one king in 872. The swords being planted in solid rock
symbolizes peace.

Our last few days in Norway were spent with families in Oslo. We had one
afternoon to wander around the city. My friends and I ran into a couple
other girls from our group on the steps outside Slottet, the royal palace,
where we learned we had missed seeing King Olav V by mere minutes.

LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen


Mia Celeste said...

Wow, I love old scrapbooks especially when they're about faraway places. Thanks for sharing.

CountryDew said...

That looks like a wonderful trip. I wonder if I can do A TT like that with my trip to Spain, if I can find the album. I enjoyed this a lot.

Alice Audrey said...

It must have been quite the bruise to remember it after all this time.

What a trip! Makes me wish I'd done something along those lines.

Heather said...

Thanks, Mia - I'm glad you enjoyed my trip down memory lane. ☺

Heather said...

Anita: It was a good trip, and I'd love to return some day. You should think about doing something like this with your trip to Spain. ☺

Heather said...

Thanks, Alice, it was a good trip, and I am still in touch with my family. And yes, it was quite the knee injury. It was so swollen when we got home it was all I could do to climb the steep stairs to my bedroom for clean, dry clothes. It hurt for days, and was the first of too many knee injuries in my life.

Colleen@Looseleafnotes said...

What a great opportunity that was, fun to read and I learned about troll kettles. We just didn't take as many pictures back then. We may not have good records via letters in the future but we surely will have a record number of pictures and videos via youtube.

Heather said...

Thanks, Colleen! It's not that I didn't take any pictures, but film - as well as everything else - was more expensive in Norway.

Rebecca said...

We used to have a lot of Foreign students stay with us when we were younger, but none of my siblings went elsewhere. Other than when we all went to live in Tonga. Guess that cured us.

Heather said...

Rebecca: That must have been a great experience for you and your family -- both the hosting and the move to Tonga.

Novroz said...

Oh it looks like an amazing trip. Thank you for sharing it with us :)

Shelley Munro said...

Thanks for sharing, Heather. Hubby came over to visit your blog too, and now we're looking forward to our visit even more. Unfortunately, we won't see much apart from Oslo, but we intend to make the best of our time.

Heather said...

Navroz: Thanks, it was pretty amazing. ☺

Heather said...

Shelley: Thank you both for visiting. I'm glad you enjoyed my scrapbook, and sorry you won't get to see much more than Oslo. It truly is a beautiful country. =)

Alice Audrey said...

One of the women on the trip to Mongolia injured her knee in the slot canyons while jumping from rock to rock much the same way as you. She spent the rest of the trip fighting the swelling and limping around.

Heather said...

Ouch! You do have to be careful in rock-strewn areas. I'm much more careful now than I was as a teenager, that's for darn sure.

Jennifer Leeland said...

So awesome! I went for three weeks on a trip to Germany, Austria and France with my High School Choir. I wish I'd taken more pictures of people instead of odd things I don't remember the name of. LOL! I remember those 110s. Sorry I missed you last Thursday and I'm glad I went looking for this.

Heather said...

Jennifer: The summer after I went to Norway, my sister went to Germany. I'm glad I'm not the only one who wishes she took more pictures -- and remembers the 110s. Glad you decided to pay a belated visit! :)

Susan (rainy) said...

How wonderful to have such a treasure. The photos are great. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Heather said...

Thanks, Susan! ☺