If you know me well, you know that I love lists. You will likely see a few on this blog and here’s my first: fun things we learned about the Norwegian Fjords.
1. Trolls play an important role in the folklore. Their likeness is everywhere and it’s said that they hide in the rocks and moss that cover the mountains (like those stones that turned into trolls in the movie “Frozen”). I’ve been collecting Christmas ornaments from every country we visit, and this time, it had to be a troll.
This particular troll statue was at the beginning of the “Troll’s Ladder” road that we climbed on our first day in Norway. We wanted to get the scary mountain road out of the way, but little did we know that….
2. The Troll’s Ladder was only the first of many, many hairpin turns and narrow roads in this area. It was however, really the most beautiful one from above:
The mountain roads continued
When you take a look at a closeup of one of these mountain roads, you can see how narrow the pavement really is. On most roads, it just barely fits 1.25 cars, and every so often, there’s small widening to allow others to pass. Remember in my other post when I said I was grateful for our smaller-than-expected rental car? This is why.
For those times when it’s impossible to go up or around the mountain…..
3. The Norwegians have a very thorough system of tunnels so you can go THROUGH the mountains. They are generally quite well-lit, but some felt like Batman’s cave. Some were toll roads and others were free. Some went under the water and others made our ears pop.
I would say Kenzie liked the tunnels the best out of all of us. Me, I was the biggest fan of the…….
4. Stave Churches built in the 12th century
The top one is the Hopperstad Stave Church and the bottom one is the Borgund Stave Church.
We saw another church which was not in the Stave style, but which was worth a visit since……
5. The St. Olaf’s church served as the inspiration for Elsa’s coronation scene in the movie “Frozen”. Check out these side-by-side photos from the movie and from my camera inside the church:
From architecture that looks familiar, we definitely also saw some that was very different from anything we’d ever seen, including……
6. Grass-covered houses and other buildings that were everywhere! I’m still not sure of the purpose of the grass: Is it insulating? Good for the animals to get up and nibble on? Durable? Pretty? Maybe all of that.
The Norway we saw was both lush and barren, vast but also cozy and ultimately magnificent.