Wednesday, 30 July 2014

July moments....

July was hot, long and hard.
Most of the time was spent at work in the mountains.
I am glad it is over.
Here are the moments:

We had a visit from a different era in early July. Car from 1937 driving around the mountain roads.

Early on in the month there where still time to hike. Later on in the month it became to hot and to much work to do.

An abandoned lodge higher up in beautiful surroundings..
Oh, these pleasant views...
These little moments that appear right before your eyes...


Most of the month has been hot and sunny. Nearly 30 degrees celcius in the Norwegian Mountains is is a lot, and it lasted for a long time. A bit to much for a  northener :).

Most of July I spent around the mountain lodge..

Still I got to enjoy the sunset  from my living room window in Bergen also.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

A is for Aurland....

About twelve years ago,  I came to Aurland for the fist time. I had a short term job in the neighbouring village and I was just passing through Aurland mainly to see what it was like there. "Passing through" are the key words when it comes to my relationship with Aurland.
Aurland is a village situated deep in the majestic Sognefjord with about 2000 inhabitants. Even if I could see the beauty of it I remember thinking at the time; "How can anybody live here?"
Six months later I sat  on the pier in Aurland, looking out at the majestic fjord feeling happy and knowing that I would stay in the neighbouring village.
I had found love. I was happy. I felt I had come home.
I was still glad I didn't live in Aurland.

Seven years I spent in the village on the other side of the mountain. Seven good years. Aurland was a place I came to if I wanted some "air". I used to drive throug the tunnel just to get away for a bit. I used to come here if I wanted to shop in a  different supermarket. I could come here when I needed to be a stranger.

 How many times did we cross this mountain and stop at the viewpoint halfway up it or at the top to enjoy the majestic view of the fjord and the mountain ranges beyond? I often say that this is my favourite mountain in the world. It truly is. For all the joy it has given me.
I sat on this pier in the mid winter, watching the sun barely reaching the tops of the snowcapped mountians dying them purple and orange. I returned in spring when the sun again could reach down to fjord and the greyness  that the winter had left in the landscape would slowly become green again and turn in to summer. Then the place would be buzzing with tourists, boats, activities for a short while untill autumn came. The shaddows grew longer. The sun wuld again creep further up the mountain and we where back to normality.
This is where I sat when I first came to the area feeling sorry for the people who lived here and counting my blessings that I was here only for a short time. This is where I sat, only a few months later, filled to the brim wih love and happiness knowing I would stay. This is where I sat crying my eyes out when I knew we wouldn't make it and I had to leave it all behind.
This summer I have worked within the municipality. I haven't spent much time in the village itself. I have just passe through a couple of times. That is the relationship betweem Aurland and me. I pass through and still it has been such an important place to me.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Mountain life....

We all have our different reasons to seek the mountain.

Some are here for the peace and quiet that is around. They find it in their own little cabin far from everday huzzle and buzzle. Some are here to seek solitude and to be one with the nature. The further away from the familiar paths and into the wilderness they can get the better. Some  are satisfied with the easy paths and it frightenes them to get to far away from civilization. Some are just passing through on their way from one town to another. Some are here to work.

The mountains provides respite, beautiful views, work, exercise, challenges, danger and joy.

 The mountains have a  magnetic effect on people. It's the ever changing landscape and weather, the seasons, the wilderness, the solitude, this hunting instinct that so many Norwegians have, that calls. For the people born and bread in this kind of environment and close to the mountains ranges, I think the mountains must have the same effect as the big ocean has on an island girl turned city dweller. It is in you, and at times you feel you need it to get on with life.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

July 14 - Monday

It is the 14th of July.
I am at work at the mountain lodge.
It is high season.
I am tired and homesick.

The kitchen table was needed somewhere, so we are left with three chairs stuck up against the wall for kitchen furniture. Feels like the student days.

Spent the morning on the sofa and went out for a shor walk.

 Dark clouds threatened over the horizon. It was that kind of a day.
I had the late shift at work, which meens a quiet time alone in the staffroom late in the evening.

Friday, 4 July 2014

The graveyard...

There is an old mountain graveyard here at Østerbø. It was in use between 1859  and 1911.  The last person that was buried here, was the last person who ran the lodge as a full-time farm. He died in 1911.

The graveyard serviced the farms located in the upper part of the valley. In all there are 29 people buried here. Conditions where harsh. It is 800 meters down to the village and there where no proper roads going through the valley at this time. Only a footpath. Sometimes they had to postpone the funeral for weeks due to weather conditions. In winter even for months. 

The story goes that sometimes they just buried the body and marked it with a pole. When the weather conditions allowed it and the priest could make his way up the valley, they would keep the funeral. It could be months later.

The graveyard is now protected by the Norwegian governement. When you look at the location of it, so remote here at the top of the valley, you can be struck by respect for the people who lived their life here in this valley and you can admire their work and the stammina they must have had.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Some days.........

Sometimes mountain life can resemble a war sone. You can only see the power lines getting in the way of the landscape, everything seems grey and I just long for the "normal" life at home. Wherever I turn there seems to be a pile of stones in the way of the view....
All I can see is the rain and cloud covering the mountains and you have to look really, really hard to actually see the beauty in them.....Because it is there...
If I look hard enough, I can see it. And I know that I will cope and soon I will be at the halftime mark of my stay here. There is always something positive.

After all, it is not that bad here.
It is just some days...