Lillehammer & the Gudbrandsdalen Valley

Trip Start Jun 02, 2012
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Trip End Jun 28, 2012


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Flag of Norway  , Oppland county,
Saturday, June 16, 2012

We got to see the inside of the stave church today in Ringebu. These churches are generally about 800 years old, harking back to just after the Viking era when Christianity helped transform Viking clans into nations striving to find their place in medieval Europe.

Our guide, Sue, told us that prior to the Reformation, there were no windows in these churches, no seating, and no source of heat. People would stand in the cold in the dark for a three-hour service preached only in Latin that no one could understand. I don't think this was God's idea!

Next stop was Lillehammer, the 1994 Olympic town. It was Saturday afternoon, and the pedestrian zone was hopping with activity. The main event seemed to be a convention of senior-aged dancing clubs from all over Norway, which started with the parade of all the different clubs down the main
street.

After lunch, we visited the Olympic ski jump, and got to see two young jumpers take to the air. We were so enthralled, we waited around as they took the chair lift back to the top and watched three cycles of jumps.

The after dinner activity was a walking tour through Maihaugen open-air museum, one of the best in Norway. Traditional buildings from farms and communities all over the Gudbrandsdalen Valley have been moved here. Sue gave a nice commentary on some of the interesting aspects of life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Life was hard, but life was simple, and right and wrong seemed not so elusive.
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