The air was quite warm when we arrived, but by the time we reached my uncle's home, it had cooled down quite a bit. It was somewhat shocking to see the house my grandfather built so dramatically changed, but I also understand why it had to be done. My uncle expanded the original house and also added a second floor with two extra bedrooms, a living area, a kitchenette, and a bathroom... and he built it all himself. Building things with one's hands seems to run in the family -- woodworking is a talent of several of my ancestors. My uncle did a truly fantastic job, but I cannot imagine how he could do it all himself!
|The best strawberries in the world...|
After dinner, I took my son down to Baerums Verk, the town founded due to iron ore 400 years ago, which is what lured many of my ancestors to the area. The old foundry and buildings surrounding the iron works still exist, and many have turned into cute shops; most sell very high quality handmade arts and crafts. Several of the buildings were homes once, and my grandmother was born in one of them.
|My grandmother was born in the second building, May 7, 1913...|
|Baerums Verk -- The Bakery|
|Baerums Verk has the oldest restaurant in Norway. The building was built in 1640.|
On day 2, we took the bus to Oslo and went to the tourist office to get an Oslo Pass. These passes are a must for the visitor in Oslo as you can get into all the museums for a very good price. Even better, all forms of transportation - buses, trams, metro, ferry - are included. We then boarded the ferry to Bygdøy, which is where the Viking Ships Museum, Kon Tiki, Maritime, Folk Museum, and FRAM, which houses the ship that took Roald Amundsen to the North and South Poles, are all located. My favorite museums are the Viking Ships and Folk museums. The Folk Museum, or Museum of Cultural History as it is more properly known, has all original buildings as old as 1000 years old that have been moved there from all over Norway. This includes an original Stave church, of which there are only 28 left in the entire country. We managed to escape heavy rain until we decided to return to my uncle's home. When we arrived there, we found a wonderful stew made with carrots, potatoes, and a hock of ham. It was delicious, especially in rainy weather.
|The Oseberg Viking Ship|
|Old buildings at the Norwegian Folk Museum|
|Gol Stavkirke is 800 years old. It was moved from the mountain village Gol to the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History around the year 1880 by King Oscar II.|
|The Scream by Edvard Munch|
|Adolph Tidemand and Hans Gude's Brudeferd in Hardanger|
|Trolls in Oslo|
|Climbing the Opera House to the top; below is the view from the top|
|Holmenkollen Ski Jump|
My next blog post will focus much more on some family history, since yesterday I met with some relatives I had not met before. And today I am going to visit some cemeteries; so stay tuned!