Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lillehammer and Stav in Norway

We wound out way out of Geiranger, climbing higher and higher

We went through 74 tunnels in four days and traveled 750 miles

Stave Church in Lom, Norway


 A stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church building. The name is derived from the buildings' structure of post and lintel construction which is a type of timber framing, where the load-bearing posts are called stav in Norwegian. Once common all over northwestern Europe, most of the surviving stave churches are in Norway

Outside, interesting headstones

Inside, all wooden construction... and "No Smoking" signs everywhere! We are stading in he original stave church--the part in the background was added later.

This woodwork frames the entrance to the chancel. Above is a beautiful arch

Detail. This is exactly half of the arch overhead.

Chancel and it's beautiful ceiling (shown below).

Area for the police officer(s) who would bring their prisoners to church

Our young tour guide

Chandelier from medieval time. It was found under the church.

The church was built in medieval times. People had converted to Christianity but wanted some symbols to guard them and the church, such as this dragon on the roof. There are some painting of dragons inside also.

Driving toward Lillehammer we followed a river that had flooded--big time. Trees that lined the banks of the pre-flood river were now in the middle of the river. Hay bales, washed from the fields, lined the banks.

Flooding in this area is not uncommon. A stone next to the river recorded previous high water marks. The highest inscription is June 22, 1789. Recent floods have not been inscribed yet.
(I added black marks to the stone with a photo editor)

The tour company we went with was very good. The coach was top-notch, there were only 26 people (although i think they would have taken more) and the guide was fantastic. She is of Norwegian heritage, grew up in Denmark, previously lived in Canada and now resides near Stockholm. She spoke excellent English and four other languages.

Our group was all english speaking but hailed from South Africa, England, Wales and the U.S.


Lillehammer is the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics--one of the last small towns to host the games. The people of Lillehammer are very proud of the games and of their athletes in particular. The Olympics is still mentioned in conversation nearly 20 years later.

We poured into the stadium like conquering athletic heroes

I headed for the bobsled simulator, but alas! it was out of order...
The petroglyph on the right is the Lillehammer game's symbol for Bobsled

The ski jumps at Lillehammer are a Normal hill (Hill size 100) on the right and a Large hill (Hill size 138) on the left 
Normal hill
Large hill

While we strolled around, running up the stairs to light the Olympic flame and taking photos, a 50-60 year old man was making practice jumps. After one, when complimented by our group on his jump, he say wryly that he was glad someone liked it... See the VIDEO below.

The ski jumps are now covered in a plastic surface, which is sprayed with water from the sides to wet the surface in preparation for a jump.The hill probably feels reasonably similar to snow, however after landing the jumper runs onto the grass. Sitting back on his skis prevents the jumper from going head-over-teakettle because of the sudden deceleration.

Oslo, my only photo!

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