Thursday, July 26, 2012

Maple syrup

It was impossible to find maple syrup when we came here 4 years ago (has it been that long?) but now we see it even at the Bunn Pris. In fact, Bunn Pris has three different kinds, including Aunt Jemima! It costs $10 for a small bottle, these are 350 mL bottle (11 fl. oz.)


Another sign of the Americanization of Norway!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

To Frøya!

Frøya is an island falling off the edge of the Norway... but it feels like it's falling off the edge of the world. Such a strange place. The edge of Norway looks like it was made by a giant monster who was slipping into the sea and dug his claws into the stone, tearing gashes and shredding the rock.

Indy and I headed off to my friend's hytte on this island, a three-hour drive from Trondheim. Here's some pics from our adventure.


Long shadows and brilliant colors of light at a rest area half-way to Frøya.


Fruit filled crepes for breakfast.
The bay outside of a hytte we visited

Wandering out to the edge of the world... an alien landscape. The ground is rock covered with peat moss covered with heather, making it feel very much like walking on sponges. Occasionally your foot will sink unexpectedly through the ground cover, making walking very slow and hazardous.




In the evening, we went on another hike to the north shore. Amazing sky and flowers.


Out on a boat tour in the morning.

We visited with some neighbors who had this clever birdhouse.

It was a lovely trip... Indy and I enjoyed the walks. The dip into nature always feels like a nice cleansing for my mind.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Can it be dark?

Here's a pic from around 1 a.m. It's actually dark-ish outside! It's so nice to see darkness, we haven't had any for a long time!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ha det bra, familen!

Pam and the kids are off to the States. Daddy and the animals staying home. Daddy to follow soon, animals to have their own vacation at friends'.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Maggie's confirmation pic

It's well past confirmation, but we just got the picture of Maggie and her class, from the photo studio. She's the only girl without a bunad, but she sure looks great!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ha det bra, Trollmobile!

Every two years in the EU you need to get your car inspected and anything wrong needs to be fixed. It is the dreaded "EU control", cursed and praised by Norwegians. Cursed because it costs and you always need something fixed, praised because your car stays in good condition and you know that every other car on the road is also in good condition.

Well, the minibus failed. The frame was rusted through, amongst other things and the price tag to fix it stood at 20.000 kr., the same that we paid for the bus two years ago. The engine is also very tired – the bus has almost 700.000 km on it. As I was debating what to do with it suddenly wouldn't start anymore. Finally I cut a deal with a guy I know out in Størdal, and he came and took it away.

It was fun while it lasted! We'll be in the market for another large human transport vehicle later on in the year.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fosen

We took a trip this weekend to our friends who have an old family home on Fosen, the peninsula on the other side of Trondheimsfjord. Here's some pics from our over-nighting:

The ferry arriving at Rissa
Anna on the zip-line behind our friends' house

Out for a walk on rainy evening

We walked past dozens of viking burial mounds...

...and a memorial to those from the region who died in the war...


...down to the fjord...


...where we found these cute cabins.




The land outside our friends' place

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Midtsand Beach

On the recommendation of a colleague, we headed out to the beach today. It's a newly developed area in Midtsand, just past Vikhammer, about a 20 minute drive. The parking are is newly planted with hundreds of plum trees between the rows that will be wonderful eating in a few years. Just outside the parking area is a hilly skateboard area. We take the path past hundreds of apple trees, also newly planted, and walk past a sandy beach filled with bathers and a covered picnic table/meeting space. We're with Indy, so we're looking for beach area that he can run free. The path leads out onto a small peninsula. The kids are excited to discover old overgrown railroad tracks that head right into the water and a secret grotto with several climbing ropes tied up in the trees.

Eventually we find our own personal stretch of beach. Anna and I hunt for shells, Pam stretches out on the stones, Peter leaps from rock to rock, and Indy chases sticks. Getting braver and braver, Peter and Anna finally end up swimming in the fjord. Brrr! It is magnificently warm today, though, and the water in the shallow area is not too cold.

Afterwards we stroll back towards the entrance and stop at the bright green kiosk called 'Pære', or the 'Pear', and buy some ice cream.

It was a lovely beach/rec area, and nice to see that whoever is building this is doing it right. It's already very fine but in a few years it will be amazing.
Skateboard area
Hundreds of fruit trees recently planted
Mysterious railroad tracks

Secret rope grotto
Fjord. I still love that word.
Anna and Peter swimming
Ice cream!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 2 Steinhuggerfestival

Pam and I returned Sunday evening to the stone cutters' festival in time for the announcement of the winners and the start of the auction. It was great to see the finished works!

At the auction, pieces started at 500 kroner ($100). We saw them sell for 500 to 6700 kroner. A friend we met there told us last year one piece sold for 23,000 kroner! We waited and watched for a while, hoping one of our favorites would come up, but they didn't. With over 100 pieces to auction, and feeling that we probably wouldn't win one of favorites given our budget, we left early.

I'm very glad we returned to see the ending of this super-cool event.

Pam's favorite
This is called 'Rumpelstiltskin'
One of my two favorites
My favorite, depicting a princess with a wreath and the polar bear from the story of King Valemon, a Norwegian fairy tale.
Three little pigs
The first place winner, Odin

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Extra second and return of the badgers

... or 'grevling' as they're called in Norwegian.

I was staying up late with Maggie until 23:59:60, UTC (which is just before 2 a.m.) so that we could experience a minute which has 61 seconds in it. Oooooh, it was amazing! You'd never think a minute could last so long!

15 minutes before the special minute, we heard crashing outside the front door. I ran down and swung open the door, ready to surprise bandits. Instead, there were 3 large badgers on the front porch, fighting over some scraps of dry cat food. They hissed at me and ran down the path. Then hissed at each. Then tried to jump up a short wall, unsuccessfully. They looked like a band of fat slobs.

Incidentally, last week I opened the door to head out to work and was shocked with a scene of garbage strewn all over the entranceway. A bag of trash had been left outside the door last night and it was shredded. I blamed the cats, but it seemed far too ambitious for our puny pets. Now I'm pretty sure it was a band of fat, angry badgers.