Tuesday, June 16, 2015

365 True Things: 80/Travel (Norway) (6/16/15)

This is my fifth trip to Norway in twelve years. Why so often? Because of my delightful Norwegian sister-in-law, Heidi! Sure, I might have come here to visit—once—in the course of my travels anyway, and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it. But Heidi is the best host in the world, a wonderful traveling companion, and she shows us a side of the country (and its people) we never would have experienced otherwise. So of course I keep coming back! It's all her fault.

Heidi's country cottage, Jørgenstua, is on the left
The first visit, in 2003, was during the summer with David. That was when we first visited Heidi's home valley of Folldal, which is near two beautifully austere national parks, Rondane (where we went hiking) and Dovrefjell-Sundasfjella (where we once saw muskoxen in the wild). Reindeer travel through the area too, but those we have yet to see. Moose are common. It's a wild and wonderful place.

Folldal is also the highest dairy-farm valley in Norway. Heidi's father, Magne, was a dairy farmer.

The next time I came—the very next winter, in fact—it was to ski. Heidi and I spent a week in her country cottage, Jørgenstua, in the tiny community of Grimsbu, where we were able, basically, to ski out the door and into the snowy mountains. And the next time, in 2008, it was to spend a week skiing with both Heidi and my other wonderful sister-in-law Patty, again at Jørgenstua. Talk about heaven! It was so much fun.

Patty & Wayne, David, Geoff & Heidi, me

Three years ago, the semiregular Canright family reunion came to Norway, and where did we go? Folldal, of course! As well as— spectacularly memorably—the Lofoten Islands, above the Arctic Circle.

Vorfjord, Lofoten Islands
And the day after tomorrow, we are heading to Folldal once again, this time to celebrate Heidi's daughter Malin's wedding to Stefan Skår —which actually happened last year, but this year is the reception. Seventy people will take over the Grimsbu community hall, and a good time will be had, of that I'm sure. Today we had the pleasure of meeting Stefan briefly at their home in Oslo; we figured they'll be busy on the weekend, so it was nice to have a few peaceful moments to say hello.

So yeah: Folldal—where Heidi's mother, Anne-Marie, still lives (Magne died last year; I'll miss his impish smile)—is part of the reason I keep coming back too. I can't say I really know the place. But I have so many good memories of it that it's seeped into my blood. It's one of my many blessings.

No comments:

Post a Comment