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.

Taken with Diane’s Nokia 6230i

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.

Taken with Diane’s Nokia 6230i

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!

Taken with Diane’s Nokia 6230i

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.

Taken with Nikon CoolPix

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.

Taken with Nikon CoolPix

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!

Taken with Nikon CoolPix

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.

Taken with Nikon CoolPix

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!!

39 Comments

  1. Diane, very interesting to read an american “girl’s” experience with a typical Norwegian fenomea: The primitive outdoor life in the wilderness. Thanks for the story and pic’s. Looking forward to your next post

  2. Hei Diane, Very nice pictures and very typical norwegian cabin. The place is very beautiful! There is nothing like a peaceful place and being one with the nature.

    Looking forward to your next post!

  3. Hi Diane,
    It looks just like Vermont! I’ll have to send you pictures of my mother-in-law’s outhouse! We haven’t gotten the cabin built yet, but now I have a cool idea for the inside door! Looks like a lot of fun!

    Michelle :)

  4. Dear Di,

    I miss you so much!!! But I am so happy you are having a wonderful life. I love the cabin and the hike I am so very glad you have a wonderful partner to share that awesome moment pass my love along to Renny & the boy’s….ps Chris say’s hi..
    Ellen

  5. oh diane – it’s so great to read from you. Loved all of the pics!!!

    Oh renny – thanks for sending us a whole lot more goose poop to walk in!!! ;-)

  6. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    Hi Diane…I love looking at these pictures, but I must admit that “roughing it” is not my idea of a relaxed vacation—with outhouse OUTSIDE! (lol) Just send me to the Four Seasons Hotel and I will be very happy to look at ALL your pictures of this Beautiful place! Truly, the mountains are fantastic and the painting of the door and other things…really really beautiful!
    And Renny, you are one lucky man to have a wife that shares your joy of Hiking and that terrific cabin…and I can appreciate it all from afar, as I call Room Service! (lol)

  7. This makes me so proud of my Norwegian heritage. My family comes from Olsbrygge, near Skien in Telemark. Where exactly is the cabin located? The pictures are great at showing the incredible beauty of Norway. Everything seems to be larger than life!

  8. Actually, Diane, I like to rough it and know I would have felt totally at home in that lovely cabin! I noticed the rag rug by the front door. Does every country make those :) Thanks for being a guest on Renny’s blog. Very nice to hear from you.

  9. Hi Diane,
    That was quite an adventure! We should go back to basics more often. Most people in big cities don’t know what nature has to offer. We just spend our days in the office and our car…
    I love the rustic feel of this cabin!

  10. What a wonderful, beautiful place and stories, Diane! It’s so nice to read about your experiences. I’m so glad you got to spend so much nice time with Mother Nature.
    That cabin is awesome. :-)

  11. Mother of Invention

    Thanks, Diane! It is neat that you can rough it like that and made the hike up so high! It is truly beautiful. We go each summer to some log cabins in the forest of Quebec, Canada and I once asked about your cottages there, so I’m glad to see these pics! (I posted some on my blog in August so it is neat to compare the styles)

  12. What a charming cabin! It looks like a great place to go hiking!

    Say hello to Renny for me!

    BTW, the Blog Whore pimped me here :)

  13. Thank you for sharing, it all looks so beautiful and full of real character. When I was a teenager in New Zealand we used to stay in huts in the mountains and go tramping. I remember the joy and freshness of the clear air, and the connection with nature, and also those little walks outside at night. My sister
    still tramps in the New Zealand mountains, it is such a pure way to be, with best wishes, The Artist

  14. the cabin….so beautiful!
    thanks for sharing youre mountain adventure!

    I love the living room picture, and the red cabinet so nice*wink*

  15. How nice and peacefull looking. Sounds lovely…

  16. This is just wonderful (except the climbing up, I am a very lazy person for that) and it reminds me a cabine where we stayed belonging to an italian couple in the mountains above the Lake of Garda. It almost looked like yours only the decoration was the italian style and we even had a toilet with running water ! It was built just over a tiny little flow but with a very strong stream, very romantic ! Nobody thought about environment !

    Thank your husband for the comment on Brugge !

  17. Lloyd Irving Bradbury

    Thankyou for a professional job. I will paint your experience.

  18. diane, very nice description of the cabin. and also your little sharing on your experience in hiking. hehehe. why don’t you have your own blog? question, are you the one who took the photos? coz they are nice photos also :)

  19. Norway is so amazing – compared to Denmark I think. Your culture is so well preserved – I love the handpainted things! I love your mountains and your friendly people who teaches us danes how to look hilarious on skis.

  20. hi renny, nice to finally hear from you diane! i think norweigians must be extremely healthy and enjoy a longer life span or something. they seem to know how to de-stress and take care of themselves. hiking. cabins away from it all. (oh and i love that traditional painting style. it’s gorgeous.)

  21. Thanks for sharing diane! It’s nice to hear from you:)Very interesting trip indeed!

    Warm regards to you & ofcourse, to your better half!;)

    Have a nice weekend !

  22. Nice to meet you, Diane!

    That’s lovely painting in the cabin, wow! I’ll have to look that up, I’d never heard of that technique before.

    I’m glad you had a nice trip :-)

  23. Hi Diane, we’ve been hearing about you, now we finaly get to hear from you :-)

    I like the fact that they didn’t try to dig out roads to the cabin, it adds to its uniqueness. I would love to spend days somewhere like that! It must be really peaceful.

    Hey, RennyBA :D Chas and his comment whore sent me.

  24. how completely lovely and charming. and that view really does look utterly breathtaking! looking forward to the hike!

  25. Diane speaking:
    To all: I appreciate you all stopping by! As a blogging Virgin it was really great fun!

    @TorAa: I do the very best I can as an “American girl” as you well know:-) Stay tuned, because the next post on the mountain hike is the best part!!

    @AL: I love a peaceful place and being at one with nature! There is too much stress in our daily lives, we all need a place to retreat sometimes

    @Michelle: Good to hear from you. I know you have Norwegian roots, and Rosemaling could be something which brings your family in touch with your traditions! If you want to read more about rosemaling in English click here: http://www.rosemaling.org/

    @Ellen: Hi Girl, thanks for stopping in! Yeah I made a good catch and we have a lot of wonderful times together. The boys say Hi to Chris and want you to send his address to my email!

    @Expat traveler: I’m happy to drop in and share my experience with you all! And watch out where you step ‘cause here come those geese!

    @OldOldLady: Renny and I do share an interest in the great outdoors, but I should explain that this was a girls only trip! It was just my two girlfriends and I getting away from it all. Everybody gets away from in all in their own personal way…I’ll send Room Service right away ;-)

    @Barbara: The cabin is near Rjukanfossen in the Telemark mountains, which is further inland then Olsbrygge. Stay tuned to see more of beautiful Telemark and be proud of your heritage!

    @Ginnie: Nice to hear from you too! I don’t know if all countries use rag rugs but they are quite common here. Up in the mountains it can get a bit messy and these rugs are light and easy to take outside and just shake out the dirt…no electricity, no vacuum cleaner!

    @Sidney: I get out of my office and car a lot more living in Norway then I did in New York! That’s for sure! It is great to get back to basics sometimes.

    @Ladybug: Thanks! We did get to have some quality time with Mother Nature, we even heard Gaupe, mountain lynx, calling in the night! So at that point Mother Nature was talking back!

    @Mother of Invention: It’s not so impressive that I made it up there but my friends in-laws were up there a whole week when we came up and they are well into their 70’s! These cabins are used by folk here from 0 years and up!! Will be in to see your cabins!!

    @Teena: Yep the hiking was great, stop in for our next post. Renny is here with me and says hi back!

    @Yorokobee: Thanks I will send your compliments along to the cabin’s owner!!

    @Grish: Thanks it was a memorable experience!

    @Gattina: Well in the middle of the night after we heard mountain lynx I wouldn’t have complained if the toilet was inside LOL!

    @Llyod: I would be honored for you to paint me:-) Wait till the pictures of the mountains come!!

    @tin-tin: Thank you, yes I am the photographer. I have a little family “my space” to share pictures with my family in NY. I haven’t started Blogging really because I see how much time Renny puts into his blog. I’m kind of a perfectionist, if I can’t do it right I don’t do it at all.

    @Nan: You don’t have to be Danish to be a bad skier:-) I fall down like a bowling pin! Hiking is more my style, I can walk! My friends and I love to visit Copenhagen by the way!

    @April: Thank you! Norwegians believe it is important to be outside in the fresh air, it is a healthier life style then I had in NY. Once you get used to it you really appreciate it.

    @CheH: Thank you! Renny is here beside me and appreciates your greetins!

    @Jen: I have thought about learning rosemaling, I think its really interesting and seems pretty simple too. See the link I left for Michelle for more info on rosemaling.

    @JMom: There are a lot of these cabins up in the woods without roads up to them. Of course its pretty hard to make roads up there, its all uphill and rocky!

    @Lime: Thank you, it really was charming. Stop back tomorrow and I’ll take you on a hike.

  26. Hi Diane..I enjoyed this post so very much and I just love the cabin! It looks so very cozy and I love the way everything is decorated! I had a penpal in Norway and they had a cabin up in the mountains like that:-)

  27. Hi Diane, The colourful interior contrasts the earthy colours outside. It’s a great place! have a good weekend.

  28. Hello Diane and Renny! Wow, must have been an awesome time, eh? Beautiful pictures too, thanks for sharing them. You two have a lovely weekend, k? See ya around! (:

  29. Hey Diane, your piece is wonderful!
    I would love to hike to a cabin like that!
    We have spent alot of our vacation days in the wilderness with the bare necessities.

    Speaking of bare…….are there bears in Norway? What kind of beasties can you find in those mountains?

    I will come back to read your next post

  30. Diane speaking:

    @Pea: Thanks! The Norwegian cabin is quite common, many familes have them and it is usually shared by several generations like this one. I think its a great traditon. My friends family is there for weekends, Easter, Christmas and summer vacation! They are very “out-doorsy” people;-)

    @Vicky: Thanks! Strong colors are quite common in traditional Norwegian decorating, makes a nice contrast in the white winter season.

    @Kai: Hey don?t I know you ;-) Thank, we did have a wonderful time. Next time you visit I want to take you to a place like that. The new article is coming soon! Drop in later!

    @Lynn: There are brown bears throughout Norway but we seldom see them. The most ?dangerous? in the woods of Telemark are wolves (which there are sadly only a few left), Gaupe (mountain Lynx) and Moose. The most likely to scare you is the Moose, they are HUGE and can attack if they feel threatened. However they would rather run away then get near humans, so you are usually pretty safe. I would say the most dangerous thing around was the mountain itself and the possibility of losing your footing and falling off it!

  31. Interesting observations. This cabin is typical for Norwegian cabins from late sixties and early seventies. We also had a similar cabin at Venabygdfjellet, which I helped my father setting up. At that time it was not many cabins around and it was a peaceful spot. Later the farmers in that area got the olympics desease when the winter olympics was arranget at Lillehammer. That, and this lands undeserved wealth, changed it all. The cabins from those days is no longer possible to sell and folks like you are rare. Today most norwegians 1.st priority is to demostrate their own wealth by building cabins like big homes with the same facilities as the have in their homes. Cable TV, SPA amd so on. Gone is the romantic days and I regret it as much as I think you do. Great article Diane.

  32. Great pictures and a great story. I will be looking forward to the rest!
    Did you want my e-mail address?
    It is karen.redding@verizon.net

  33. Hi Diane! It is really nice to see you guest posting here! It was sensational to read your experiences.

  34. Thanks for sharing this adventure, Diane. Why don’t you start your own blog and we’ll see Norway from your eyes. That’d be thrill, Right, Renny? :-)

  35. Hi Diane,
    I loved reading this post! The views from the cabin are magnificent. Off now to read part two!!

  36. Diane says:

    @GunnarB: I know the new trend is to build larger and more luxurious cabins, but I think those people have missed the point. “Farfar” was so proud that we were going to use his cabin, he wanted it to be used and for us to enjoy it and that I called it a “real cabin” gave him great pride!

    @Karen: Thanks Karen and your wish is granted, the rest of my adventures are up now, hope it meets with your expectations!

    @charles ravndal: Thanks for visiting charles! I was happy to be honored to guest post on my husband’s blog! He spends a lot of time here you know ;-)

    @Mark: As a matter of fact my own blogg is in the building process, as I answer your post Renny is playing with the beta version of mine…hope I recognise it when i get back!!!!

    @Sue:Thank you for reading both parts of my adventures as a New Yorker in the Norwegian woods. It was fun sharing it! The pictures in part 2 are even better I think!

  37. hey what i love of norway is.. the mountains and sea both !!! wil be back soon

  38. Pingback:On top of Norway’s mountains

  39. Pingback:I’m living in a snowglobe!! « DianeCA’s Metamorphoses

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