July 19, 2015
Parting and New Territory
It was time for Vicki and Dave to leave for their visit to France. We left Havard and Anne’s house and headed for the Trondheim Airport. Not LAX but big enough for 737. Once delivered, we were off. We would first retrace our steps down E6 for a few hours. We stopped in the Troll capital of Bombas for a Norwegian fast food hamburger. It was good but In ‘n Out have nothing to fear. We couldn’t find a “I Drove the Trollstigen” t-shirt for our departed professional driver Dave. I told the clerk who was wearing an E6 graphic on a Route 66 emblem that they were missing a sure fire best seller. She laughed. Norwegians are friendly people.
We reached the Gudbrandsdal Valley that opens up south towards Oslo and left it at Otta and headed west. It took another hour to reach our destination in Lom. Lom is where we had been a week ago as we headed towards Geiranger Fjord. Along the way we stopped to cross a foot suspension bridge and take a few pictures. We are looking for the archetype Norwegian farm or “Gard”. The ideal would include a white farm house flying a Norwegian flag, red barns and outbuildings one of which would have trees growing from the grass roof and cows grazing. We are still looking.
We reached Lom and our lodging at Kraal Gard. It was obviously a farm. Our youthful host greeted us and explained that his family had continuously farmed this plot of land for 900 years. The place was authentic logs and ancient with modern plumbing. Alas, we had to share the shower. Peggy had been looking forward to some bath privacy and was bummed. She cheered up a little as we headed into Lom.
The stave church in Lom was build around 1150. That makes it a 900 year old wood building that has survived. At one time there were hundreds in Norway, now there are a few dozen. We found out later that our proprietor’s family has been attending services since its construction. That must be some kind of record. Anyway, a stave church is constructed of wooden planks positioned upright into slots in logs below and above. They are all wood except for the rock foundation. The pictures show the beauty.
Originally Catholic, the church became Lutheran during the Reformation. It then need remodeling. Pews were constructed for the first time to allow the parishioners to sit during the long sermons. I didn’t see any cushions. I was too busy trying to figure out how they built the edifice. The paintings were homespun but certainly got the Christian message across to the congregation. The organ was donated by Lom immigrants to America. It was a moving place of worship. You could even look past the dragons that kept away evil spirits in the same way as the stone gargoyles down south in France.
We wandered around a while and found the local zip line. Peggy wasn’t up for it. I would have done it if she would have. Found some sand in Lom where the Leirdalen River empties its glacial brew into a lake.
We decided to eat simply and BBQ at the Gard. We found sausages and salad but no beer. Beer sales are forbidden after 6pm on Saturdays and never on Sunday. We ate our humble meal in company with a very friendly cat who always stays close to wherever the food is found. The room was comfortable and we slept well on the farm.