Sunday, February 16, 2014

Land of the Midnight Sun

Written by Karen.
Norway. The Land of the Midnight Sun. A place that makes me feel personally grounded and at ease like few others.  Norway is where my grandfather on my dad's side was born, before leaving in the 1920's to find a way to support himself in the United States.  

I first went to Norway when I was 17 as a summer foreign-exchange student to the capital city of Oslo, but made my first trek to the place of my grandfather's family a year later.  The ferry captain - who undoubtably knew everyone on the island of Averøya - wondered what an 18-year old female traveling alone from California with an old blue backpack was doing taking the ferry to Averøya, which was very much off the beaten track. 

To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure myself.  I didn't know anyone, just a few names and memories from another time. I hadn't called in advance, nor had I made any arrangements. I was backpacking through Europe and was literally dropping in. 

I still remember the ferry boat dropping me off in front of my grandfather's childhood farm and me walking towards the house wondering if anyone would be there.  If anyone would remember my grandfather.  If this was really a crazy idea. 

The ferry captain had called ahead - unbeknownst to me - and the beginning of a love affair with my grandfather's history, land and family began shortly after the doors were thrown open in welcome.   

Over the years, I have frequently traveled to Norway to visit friends and family.  Today was another first. This would be Adam’s first visit to Norway and I was excited to show him my history here in the land of the midnight sun.  

Dropping in through the clouds as we descend towards Oslo's Gardermoen Airport.
The afternoon sun is soft and warm, highlighting the autumn colors.
The swooping fields present themselves as a painting.
The yellows, oranges and reds shimmer in the late afternoon sun.


Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous country - and what stunning pix!
Thanks for sharing a bit of your history, Karen.
Taksemeka (sp?0,

Observers of Life said...

Hi Gus!

Thanks! :) Take care!