140611 Geiranger – Lillehammer

The Plan

We  farewell the west coast of Norway and travel through the highest mountain range in Norway.  We enjoy a visit to the beautifully maintained medieval stave church in Lom, before continuing to Lillehammer. FB,D Overnight Stay: Lillehammer

Some Information

The vest has been retrieved.

How the Day Turned Out

We are sad to leave Geiranger today, as it has been the highlight of the tour so far. As you have seen from the photos, Norway does have some beautiful scenery. You can click your camera every minute and you will have postcard type pictures to share and brag about.

It is raining as we depart the hotel and make our way up the many switchbacks out of the fjord that we now call ‘ours’. Once up the long climb we head out of the snow area into lush countryside again where the evidence of a great growing season can be enjoyed. We pass orchards and open farmland with the traditional red buildings for the animals and farm equipment and white buildings for human habitation.

We stop for a break at the town of Lom. Here is the first church we have entered for the whole tour. (Norway prides itself in the beauty of nature rather than the building set for worship.)

This church is a quaint ‘stave’ church, which means it is timber throughout but the foundations are stone. No part of the timber is against or in soil. This reduces rot and degradation of the timber. The church was built in 1158 and still stands. There are only 29 churches in the world known as ‘stave’ churches with all, except one in Poland, being in Norway.

Initially, the walls did not have windows so the cold did not affect the congregation too much and they all used to stand for the service period. Windows were installed in the 17th century.

The entrance way was dark with the choir section the brightest part of the sanctuary, portraying the sinner in darkness being led into the light of God’s presence. The church service used to take 2 to 3 hours. The money collected was stored under the floor of the church.

Prior to 1537, the whole of Norway was Catholic and it was after the revolution that the country became Lutheran Christian. In 1634, pews were installed. The reason why the women sat on the right side of the church was because Christ put Mary on his right hand side. Of course, men had to sit on the left.

In the 19th century, someone donated the organ, which is still used today. And the electric heating was installed in the floor in 1970. When the installation took place, the archaeologists were called in to identify the coins found in the foundation area and also to survey the remnants of an even older wooden church that was built into the ground below.

Well, back on the bus and have lunch down the road a bit. Our group finds some bits and pieces in the Kiwi Mini Mart. I notice a guy pushing a plastic bottle through a hole of a machine. We work out that he must have an account and a credit for recycling bottles returned, was given against his purchases for the day.

Then it is on to Lillehammer through some lush green meadows again. In Lillehammer we go direct to the out door museum called Maihaugen. It is a re-enactment of history and the guides take us into a few of the buildings. Yes, a second stave church for the day. This one has doors on the end of the pews to keep the congregation warm. (I thought it might be to keep the sinners in). We visit a schoolhouse and are given a ‘jovial’ time of going back in life and becoming students again. What a hard taskmaster our guide is, and would have been, had he been a teacher in the day.

From here we are guests in a farmhouse and shown various practices of the family; where the individuals would be sat at the table, and for what reason, and other little ‘family’ secrets were told.

Our accommodation is in a very unique hotel overlooking the city. Sadly, we are not shown anything of the goings on in the town during the Winter Olympics, just a few years ago. We notice the ski jump close to the town, but no mention of it is made.

Once in the room, I start to have another Meniere’s attack and so that is why this post is 24 hours late. I was in no fit state to eloquently write a post. Sorry for that. Each day, I try to have it posted by 10:00pm our time for it to be ready for those in Australia at 6:00am the next day their time.

Seniors Moment

While Lyn S was shopping for lunch in the supermarket, she thought she was buying butter. It turned out to be yeast.

We were in the farmhouse at Maihaugen and Lyn H asked why a door was larger than the doorway. the guide was a bit put off and appeared not to know the reason why. When the door was closed, it was able to fit into the doorway, no problem.

Author: @colinspain

The Official Blogger for Grey Nomads Travel and Cruise Group Tours

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