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Finding treasure

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Did you know…?

Northern Norway lies above the Arctic Circle and is a wonderland of treasure…

The Northern lights illuminate the dark skies of winter, and the midnight sun provides endless days of summer.

The midnight sun also gives extra energy making it very easy to forget to go to bed at night.

A landscape of skerries, boat-houses, lapping waves and the cries of gulls ease away tension.

Would you like to see the treasures I found on my recent trip north…

boat-houses

boat-houses

sea-cabins

sea-cabins

crabs

crabs

sea urchins

sea urchins

starfish

starfish

shells

shells

coral

coral

cloudberries (moltebær)

cloudberries (multebær)

wildflowers

wildflowers

reindeer moss

reindeer moss

Nobel prize winner Knut Hamsun's childhood home

The childhood home of 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Knut Hamsun

relaxation

relaxation

and the midnight sun

and the midnight sun

A little visitor

Maren

Maren

I’m taking a summer, blogging break.

My eight-year-old granddaughter, Maren is flying, by herself (with assistance) from America to Norway. I was eleven the first time I flew to Norway without my parents, and her mother was twelve the first time she did it. That makes Maren the third generation of adventurous little girls. She is staying for three weeks and I can’t wait!

Pop Pop Harry and I are taking her on a trip to Hamarøy, which is an island up in the north of Norway. Friends of ours own land there and we will be staying with them, in a two hundred-year-old farm house. They have a daughter the same age as Maren, so it should be fun… the only problem is Maren doesn’t speak Norwegian and my friend’s daughter, Hannah doesn’t speak English! I guess I’ll be doing a lot of translating :)

Hamarøy is a place where where the sun shines twenty-four hours a day in the summer. Maren can play all night and sleep during the day, because it really doesn’t matter. She can go fishing, crabbing and has a good chance at spotting a whale. She’ll climb mountains, run through fields, pick berries and wild flowers. She’ll sleep in a lavvu, eat dinner in a lighthouse and cook hotdogs on the end of a stick, over an open campfire. She will also be able to explore the ocean floor when the tide goes out. It doesn’t matter how wet or dirty she gets, for this week, she will be one with Norwegian nature.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer too!

A Sunday trip

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Magma Geopark is an area of unique geology. The geopark is located in southwest Norway and is a member of the European and Global Geopark Networks. These networks are under auspices of UNESCO. I live in this area.

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Yesterday my husband and I met up with friends in the next town over, called Sokndal. Our goal was to find the abandoned titanic, iron/ore mines at Blåfjell (Blue Mountain), which were mined between 1863 to 1876 and where a total of 90,000 tons of ore was exported. We followed an old railway trail, which was once used to move the ore from 106 m above sea level to the coast about 8 km away.

 The nature was breathtakingly beautiful, too beautiful not to share…

Me and my friend Benthe

Before reaching the mines we passed Ruggesteinen, which is a large “rocking stone”. It is a huge block of anorthosite that fell from a steep slope. When it came to a halt it was balanced on small rocks, which makes it possible to move slightly -if you push on the right place.

I was able to rock it, but I needed a little help to get started.

I was able to rock it, but I needed a little help to get it started.

We found some other interesting things along the way as well…

The work of a beaver

The work of a beaver

The remains of an elg

The remains of an elk

We saw many different types of moss on the mountains.

And all different types of moss on the mountains

We also came across an abandoned movie-set used in the filming of a Norwegian historical murder mystery called, Skumringslandet. The English title is The Veil of Twilight and is set in 1349. The production ran into problems when two of its men were swept out to sea and drowned while filming scenes along the coast, during a storm. The film has yet to be released.

The abandoned movie set of Skumringslandet

The abandoned movie set of Skumringslandet

Finally we came to the mines, which had chains across the entrances and signs saying, Enter at your own risk. We of course entered but didn’t stay long. It was dark, damp and I was suddenly afraid there may be bats lurking…

The mines at Blåfjell

The mines 

On my way out

The cave entrance at Blåfjell 

it was a nice Sunday!

 

 

 

Painting pictures

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Nature is painting for us…

DSC03066Day after day…

DSC00143Pictures of infinite beauty.

DSC04284by John Ruskin

Day two, stranded

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Yesterday morning I woke up to snow and since we live at the bottom of a private road, no one would be coming anytime soon to dig me out. I made the best of it with a good book and plenty of hot tea.

Last night a friend called to tell me there was another storm on the way. Afterwards my husband called from an oil platform in the North Sea to tell me his helicopter had already been cancelled and he wouldn’t be coming home before Monday!

Feeling cooped up and worried about my empty refrigerator, I decided to take a walk up the road to get some air and check the mailbox. (my mailbox is about a quarter of a mile up the road). All my neighbors live at the top, there are only empty summer cottages and boat houses down by the water, where I live. Trekking up, the snow felt crisp and frosty beneath my feet, not too slippery and this gave me an idea…

I decided to try to get my car up the hill. I have good winter tires and four-wheel drive (but that didn’t stop me from spinning off the road last winter). I gave it gas, went zooming upwards and then made the mistake of trying to shift gears, half way up. The car lost momentum while shifting and the tires began to spin on the ice under the snow. I backed up (or down in this case) and tried again. This time I stayed in first and floored it all the way!

I parked the car at the top and walked home. This morning I bundled up, walked back up the hill to my car and drove to the store. I ended up buying five bags of heavy groceries and therefore, had no choice but to drive down again. Throughout the night strong winds had blown even more snow onto the road…

I held my breath and kept a light foot on the brake as I drove down through the snow drifts.

I don’t think I’ll be brave enough or that it’s even possible to get the car up again. But I have tea and plenty of chocolate in the house now, so who cares… I’ll be alright.

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Walking down to my house in the winter

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Walking up from my house in the summer

 

 

The Giving Tree

A good friend of mine who was recently visiting told me this unbelievable story about her crazy neighbor. He slipped into her yard in the middle of the night, when no one was home and cut down a tree on her property. He had been complaining about the tree, saying the leaves blew over onto his property. Although this may be true, my friend loved her Norwegian Spruce and didn’t want to cut it down.

For some reason her story made me think of a favorite book I used to read to my children when they were little. I quickly began rummaging through old books until I found it…

The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.

Before I went to bed that night I decided to ‘pin’ The Giving Tree to my ‘I love a good story’ board on Pinterest. I love Pinterest, its like shopping without spending any money. If I had more time, I’d spend the whole day pinning beautiful and interesting pictures to my collection of boards. (FYI… there is a Pinterest button on my blog, right above my Versatile Blogger Award) I have nine boards and about 87 pins and a few of my pictures have been repined. Wait a minute, I’m getting off the subject here…

As I sat at my computer the following morning waiting for my tea to steep, I checked my e-mail and noticed my inbox was overflowing with notices from Pinterest. It seemed throughout the night seventy people had repined The Giving Tree from my board and ten people liked it! This had to be some kind of record?

Even if it wasn’t a record, it still shows that everyone likes this story and why not? Its a great story. When my children were small I loved reading them stories with a moral, that way we could discuss it afterwards and hopefully they’d learn something. But what is the moral to this story?

The story is about a boy and his relationship to a tree. The tree always provides the boy with the things he needs. Branches to swing on, shade in which to sit and apples to eat. As the boy grows, so do his needs and the tree continues to provide. Until one day when there is nothing left of the tree but a stump.

Many years later the boy returns an old man and the tree sadly says, “I’m sorry boy, but I have nothing left to give.”

The boy replies, “I am old and do not need much, just a quiet place to sit and rest.”

The tree invites the boy to sit on its stump, the boy obliges and the tree is very happy.

So what is the message in this story?

  • Its better to give than to receive?
  • As humans we take from nature until there is nothing left?
  • That childhood is a happy time compared to the sacrifices and responsibilities of adulthood?
  • Is the relationship between the tree and the boy similar to a relationship between a parent and child?

This book will definitely give both you and your children something to think about. (Pin it!)

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