Sunday 8/19/01 Real nice day today. Saw a lot of interesting places. I really am enjoying the tour. We're having fun & can't wait to get to Bergen. I just feel it's closer to my father's home. We might not get to see what we wanted to re/my father, but that's ok. I feel good just being here. I'd like to come back with John someday. Judy
Monday about Sunday Yesterday was great. We went to the open-air museum, which is basically (from what I gathered) the brain child of some crazy dentist who exchanged services for period houses. There are 187 houses stretching back to the 1700's. Maybe before. It was interesting to see where Papa's ancestors lived. We also saw some exhibits in the building about different trades-- and took a scenario-based walk through Norwegian history (we went backwards- very H.G. Wellsian). Then we went up a ski lift where the ski jumps were held in the 94 Olympics. There was this old wizened jumper who was strutting his stuff for the tourists. They have this green stretch down in place of snow. Never saw a jump like that. We went into the bobsled simulator-- cool. Then we headed back to our hotel in Lillehammer and had to go listen to our legend-in-her-own-mind Vegas entertainer tour guide drone on about various ways they sugar-coat the leeching of the tourists with 'optional' excursions. We're going to the Viking museum. Carolyn will proably go insane with delight and try to commandeer the ships, horned helmet in place. Anyway, today to the fjords. It's rainy but it lends a sort of gothic appeal, I think. Jen
Monday 8/20 We are on the bus traveling away from Lillehammer through hills and valleys! Unfortunately it's raining. Rather than clearing up it's raining more now. I'm disappointed, as we are going to see fjords. Hopefully we'll see fjords on other days too.
Yesterday we spent the day in Lillehammer. The highlight of the day was a museum called Maihaugen. There were original farm buildings and furniture from Norway of years ago. This was especially exciting, because I could match a setting to all the names of ancestors I've been researching. I can now picture what their farms looked like. What shall we see today?
(cont) Well today turned out to be quite a thrill. The weather improved as we made our way through mountainous areas, dotted with small towns. We stopped in Lom for lunch, a town which we all liked. It had a stave church and many dark wooden buildings that reminded me of ski resorts. Most modern buildings in Norway are quite ugly to us (concrete, steel, glass) though the Norwegians seem to like them.
The smaller farming communities we traveled through today had the old sod roofs. We saw some farms which were 400 to 600 years old! (con't) Soon enough we arrived at Geiranger fjord. We saw glaciers along the peaks of the mountains. I say peaks because this part of Norway is amazing. Mountains from every view with water and small, quaint towns. We took a thrilling bus ride (1,500m/ 5000ft) up to the top of the peak, which offered us an amazing view of the fjord. The ride up there on the bus left you on the edge of your seat (literally). It seemed we just made the corners, and were hanging over the cliffs. The fjord was breathtaking. Luckily it was clear enough so we could see. What I also am pleased about on this trip is the immersion into Norwegian culture. I really enjoy learning about the history and customs. It's like it's filling a gap for me which has long been empty. I bought a gorgeous Norwegian sweater today! Carolyn