Page 5 of 5

Journey Southward

After a couple days bumbling around in a fog courtesy of jet lag and a long travel schedule, we’re all starting to feel a bit normal. We started our day with a killer hotel breakfast at the Radisson Blu in Trondheim. More options than one could possibly imagine at a free breakfast buffet and all of high quality. I quite enjoyed the crepes and the petit pain au chocolat. While my boys enjoyed the eggs, fresh fruit and croissants. Post breakfast we hit the grocery store and made a quick Starbucks run where we met a nice barista from Brazil, who ended up in Trondheim after meeting a boy in California.

IMG_0331

The weather was cooler this morning, but drier so it felt warmer out than the thermometer suggested. We headed south through some light rain for a bit before we hit some sunny weather. We took a different route back to Oslo that had incredible vistas of mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and valleys. The beauty of the drive is impossible to describe adequately with words, so I’ll add some photos.

IMG_0365

The downfall of driving so far is that the kids get stir crazy and start to fight over things like who has more leg room proportionately and who should have more leg room based on their size. Needless to say the Mayor and Goalielocks were without their phones for much of the drive.

 

We stopped in Lillehammer to have a picnic lunch at Olympic Park, which looks almost abandoned although we did see a team come in for training. It was a nice break in the drive and the boys enjoyed the opportunity to see the ski jumps and the torch. We hit the road again for the final leg of our journey to Oslo, which included our first experience with an undersea tunnel and AirBNB. It took us awhile to find the key pick up place and navigate the city, but we made it and our apartment is fantastic. We’re looking forward to our stay in Oslo.

IMG_8390 2

Exploring Trondheim

We spent our morning exploring Trondheim with my parents, my grandma, my brother and his family, my cousin and her family and my aunt and uncle. Trondheim is a great walking town, so we haven’t needed the car once since we got here. The weather is quite a bit colder than Florida, a refreshing and rainy 55 degrees.

One of the coolest sites in Trondheim is Nidarosdomen, Nidaros Cathedral, which is the northernmost cathedral in Europe. The cathedral was built on the burial site of St. Olav and work started in 1070 as a tribute to the King and was completed in 1300. The church’s denomination (as with the rest of Europe) was originally Roman Catholic Church, but post reformation it’s denomination is the Church of Norway.  It is truly a saintly place.

We stayed for the organ meditation where many of us fell asleep courtesy of a long travel day and some jet lag. The kids were only hushed once, which was a complete miracle. My boys lit a candle to honor Debbie. Each of the kids lit a candle to say a prayer, threw coins into the wishing well, and left a note of gratitude with a stone on an alter. Only two of them burnt themselves on the candles, another small miracle.

 

After the brief nap, or the 1:00 pm organ meditation, we made our way down to the crypt. Its much different from the catacombs of Rome or Notre Dame in Paris. In Norway, the burial practices were much different. In medieval times, they did not embalm people and they reused graves. This means the headstone would change when they would bury someone else in the grave. These headstones, some of which were for knights and other dignitaries, were what was kept in the crypt.

In the Nidaros Complex there are several museums including the crown jewels, the Archbishops palace where you can see the actual excavation sites, and a military museum. We were able to go into all of them on our combined ticket. The boys favorite was the military museum while mine was the Archbishop’s Palace and the military museum.

IMG_0296IMG_0315IMG_0297

Post cathedral, we took a nice nap. For those that know me that will come as quite a shock as I am not a napper. Tomorrow I’ll grab some pictures of the free breakfast, which is absolutely incredible.

True Grit and Determination Wins the Day

After a transatlantic flight with little to no sleep for everyone, we hopped on a train, the T to get our rental.   For the next eight hours we hit the road from Oslo to Norway.  I’m not convinced that Waze sent us the best route, but hey nothing wrong with a little adventure.  Who doesn’t like driving on two lane mountain roads on no sleep and with three boys fighting in the backseat over the lack of legroom.

IMG_8329

IMG_8332

Adventures and travels don’t always come easy,  they call from tenacity and grit sometimes, but that is also what makes them worthwhile.  There was a payoff was the view for the two-lanes drive.  The scenery has been absolutely breathtaking and we’re no worse for the wear.   Time to get some grub before calling it an early night.  Sending much love from Trondheim.

FullSizeRender 4IMG_8303

Tracing Our Roots

Growing up in Minnesota, my family was very proud of its Norwegian heritage.  Like many Minnesotans, our families had immigrated to the United States in the late 19th century from Scandinavia.   While factions of both my mom and dad’s family emigrated from Norway during this period, my mother-in-law’s family emigrated from Finland.  It has always been a dream of ours to trace our roots and understand where our family came from and why they emigrated.

borgundstavechurch

After many years of dreaming, it will finally become a reality.  This summer we will embark on an epic trip to explore our Norwegian heritage and trace our roots in Norway.  Not only are my kids going, but my mom, dad, grandma and my brothers and their families are going.  Together we will be able to meet our family that still lives in Norway and explore the seaside towns, the countryside and farmland where they once lived.

tumblr_n2l5oxDHk81ttn473o1_250.gif

We look forward to connecting with our heritage and the rich history of Norway while disconnecting from everyday life.  Kayaking on the beautiful fjords where one can see seals instead of alligators.  The beautiful mountains and mountain valleys will be a site for sore eyes since we barely have what can be called a hill here in Florida.

In the coming years, there will be more trips to plan.  With family having immigrated to the US from Finland, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, we have plenty of trips to make in order to truly connect with our heritage.   Our heritage is an important part of our identity, but more than that the experience of exploring the world with my boys is priceless.  Nothing beats living a life full of wanderlust.

Support Our Journey