Trip Start Jun 26, 2006
Trip End Dec 22, 2006

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Yesterday I left Hamar and took a bus along the lake to the north and crossed over to the west side in order to visit my friend, Bente, in Gjøvik . It is a nice town! I arrived in the early evening, so we went back to her place to start making dinner. She lives in a Bedehuset, which I would describe as a prayer house, although, I don't honestly understand what the difference is between it and a church. I believe the difference is that there isn't a priest or minister, necessary, so it is all lay-people getting together for prayer and worship. In any case, Bente shares an apartment upstairs in the Bedehus with a friend of hers. They act as car-takers for the building, and in return, get free rent. It looked like a sweet deal to me.

Bente's friends came over, and the 5 of us had a very nice meal with a bit of red wine. I really enjoyed it. After dinner we watched "So you think you can dance" with Norwegian subtitles. It was fun to hang out with the girls and speak Norwegian! Again, I didn't get EVERYTHING that was said, but I got most of it! I also got to see some paintings that one of the girls had done in a little studio area that they created in the attic. She has lived in South Africa for some time, and I could see the influence in her style. I absolutely LOVED her paintings. They were very colorful, but what drew me to them most was the sort of texture-feeling that she used. Maybe when I've got a place of my own and can afford to start collecting things I could get her to do a painting for me.

This morning, after breakfast, Bente took me for a walk through Gjøvik. It is home to the largest cavern for public use which means that during the Olympics in '94, they held the ice-hockey games inside a mountain! I was pretty impressed with the rink there. I'd like to see a game some time. We also saw people setting up for the carnival that was being held this weekend. It looked like a lot of fun with little stands selling anything from little wooden bowls with rosemaling (traditional Norwegian painting) to sweatshirts with Native American art on them. I had to catch the bus around noon, so I didn't get to stay long enough to see the fair really get going, but it looked like fun. I'd like to go back and visit again.
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