My regular readers know I love to share our culture and habits and today I have something rather special. One of the most Norwegians is our cabins. Even more special is that the story will be told through the eyes of an immigrant, my wife. So Diane, the floor is yours:
Hello, I am Diane, Renny’s co-editor, proof-reader and wife. I have been invited as a guest blogger to tell you about my recent adventures in the mountains of Norway. I am going to describe my adventures for you over 2 posts; the first dedicated to the cabin itself and the second dedicated to my hiking experience.
When my friend invited me to her family’s cabin in the mountains of Telemark I quickly accepted and looked forward to the trip as a child looks forward to Christmas! One thing which distinguishes Norway from many other parts of the world is its dramatic landscape. Norwegians traditionally love outdoor life and many families have small rustic cabins way up in the mountains, often without roads which go up to them and without running water or electricity. This one was exactly that type.
We arrived just before and parked the car a little over one kilometre from the cabin. With all our supplies packed in incredibly large and heavy backpacks we had about a 20 minute hike straight uphill. An American girl born and raised, I honestly thought I was going to die before I made it to the top:-) I did however survive the hike and the cabin was worth the trip.
In the first pictures you see the outside of the cabin. You can see how it is carefully perched on a little flat edge on the side of the mountain, the path you see, by the way, is the path up from the outhouse, which I occasionally had to go up and down in the middle of the night with the convenience of a pair of rubber boots and a headlight type flashlight on top of my head. On the back side of the cabin, where the view is the best, is a little terrace where we sat out late into the night and enjoyed the crisp fall weather in warm wool sweaters and wool socks. The view from the cabin is just breathtaking as you can see!
The cabin was built by my friend’s in-laws who share the cabin with their children’s families and grandchildren. It was built in the 1960’s and how they got the materials and furniture up the mountain without any roads is a bit of mystery to me, but I am told that much of the furniture was brought up in the winter time when it is possible to bring larger items in by snow scooter.
Here you see some good examples of the Norwegian folk painting style called ‘rosemaling’. This china cabinet and the cabins front door are hand painted by my friend’s mother-in-law.
The wood burning stove is central to life in the cabin, here they have a large pot which is always filled with fresh water from the creek and kept warm on the stove so we have water to wash up with, all food and water for coffee and tea are also prepared on the stove, which also provides heat for the cabin of course and a place to dry our damp hiking boots. In a little drawer under the oven we baked fresh rolls for breakfast. Quite an ingenious device as you can see!
Here you can see the living room with more rosemaling along the ceiling and the dining room table set for dinner. As I told you there is no electricity into the cabin but you may notice a little lamp over the table and over the sofa. These are used sparingly and powered by a solar battery which charges from solar panels on the side of the cabin.
We had the most wonderful time hiking in the day time and relaxing in the evening. Hungry as wolves after our hike we enjoyed a good dinner and topped the evening off with a good bottle of wine surrounded by candlelight and the warmth of the fire. We even had a good laugh going to the outhouse in a group at night with our headlights and our rubber boots on. A totally memorable weekend, I look forward to sharing the pictures from our hike soon. Come back and read the rest of our story soon!!