June 18, 2017

Norway Pt.3: Glaciers and Book Fairs

Can we pause for a moment to reflect on how good I look in Norway. I mean, There are no bad pictures of me while I was in Norway. None. Also, oh look, a glacier.

My first weekend in Norway was pretty spectacular. One of the cast members of this farm, and the lady who ran their WWOOF program, Debbie, also worked in a museum dedicated to glaciers in the next village over. She took us there and we got to mill around the exhibits, which were actually really cool hands on science experiments that explained how glaciers worked.  There was also a stuffed baby Polar Bear, and I realized my life long dream of having a pet baby polar bear wasn't going to work because they are huge. In the theatre in the museum there was a panoramic movie of the whole glacier (the parts you'll see are bits of a very large one), with excellent 90's Zen Music and it was both super cool and super made me want to take a nap. Not out of boredom, but the whole snowy scenes, calm music thing was pretty comfortable. Had I a wool blanket and mug of coffee, I would have taken a nap.

It's like 6+ feet tall.

On the drive out to the museum and glaciers


That's Jana climbing into a hole under the glacier. This is not a smart idea. It's so unsafe. It's also mother flipping cold and totally cool (pun!)

It's a big hole! Fun Fact, I'm currently wearing this same outfit...

After the museum we went to the first Glacier on our list, Supphellebreen. That sentence feels redundant, because "breen" means "glacier" in Norwegian. That aside, the glacier was breathtaking! And freezing! When we got there the first thing we did was fill our water bottles with water from the river, and I assure you, I have never had more magnificent water. That sounds so weird, but until you've had water from an ancient glacier, you will just have to believe the hype. The drive out there was beautiful and utterly majestic. I actually got a little homesick because there were parts of our drive where the scenery looked very familiar. Those craggy tall mountains, tall trees, and patches of green reminded me a lot of parts of the Sierra Nevadas or Yosemite. Though that is entirely where the comparison ends. Also, and this is totally a stupid point, but we'd been told that you needed good hiking shoes and sensible clothing in order to do this glacier and since I owned neither I hiked the damn thing in a dress and ballet flats because that's how an Ashley do, and also I don't understand the warning we were given...

A You-Had-To-Be-There Side Note: Before leaving Gunvor, our host, gave us a huge bag of lefse and pannekaker (or pancakes, these are not american pancakes, and they are an excellent snack) that had been frozen. (Gunvor cooked in giant batches and then froze everything so we were constantly handed bags of frozen food items to take out to the fields, which makes sense when you're outside in the heat) She then insisted that we all bundle up because we wouldn't be able to take the cold of the glacier. She was freaking out that Jana and I were wearing dresses, and Chiron had jeans on. At one point when she was insisting we bring extra clothes with us, Chiron and I started laughing to ourselves, looked at each other and now in hysterics asked each other how our pancakes would defrost if it was so cold. (additional side note, we didn't think we'd need the food because we ate five times a day at the farm and had just finished lunch, so the fact that she insisted on us bringing it was funny in the first place.) But this was the first day we discovered that "Gunvor is always right," because we did end up eating the whole huge bag of pancakes and we drank both the thermoses of tea and coffee. And it did get super ridiculously cold, though not quite as frigid as we were led to believe!

Fun Fact: I didn't realize this until going through photos, but I have a serious love of yellow houses. I took a lot of photos of yellow houses.

Norway is magic you guys. I cannot say that enough.

The imaginative child in me decided those spires of ice were an ice castle and I made up a whole story about it

Our second glacier was Flatbreen, which is actually on the other side of the mountain from Supphellebreen. There's a little gift/snack shop at this one, and you can hike up the glacier to a cabin with a view of the whole valley. We didn't do that, but I definitely would love to someday. 
The yellow Hotel of my dreams (fun fact: later on there is another yellow hotel of my dreams...)

Illegally double fisting wine in public like a naughty rebellious American.

An entire store full of Thor Heyerdahl books that would have made my father weep.

It's a hat with trolls knitted into it. trolls. TROLLS! The best $30 I have ever spent.

Y'all Norway dropped Norwegian Nancy Drew in my lap. for 10NOK each! That's about $6 in total. Also I am quite taken with the moniker Froken Detektiv. 

One of the villages near Flatbreen was known for it's summertime bookfairs. The whole town is basically made up of little (and not so little) book stores, and it was absolutely perfect. There were musicians playing and people milling about with bags and bags of books, stores filled with the smell of cinnamon, hot coffee, and the sweet vanilla of old books. It was really, really magical.

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