Trip Start May 07, 2005
117Trip End Ongoing
OK, It's later (a month later). The situation is that Kim was looking for a bed and breakfast in Norway and it turns out that Anne-Marit wrote the Norway bed and breakfast book. On her website she advertises that she will give you food and shelter in exchange for helping her rennovate her house. We were expecting to spend two weeks in a cozy little B&B while doing a little work on an extra wing or something. In reality her house needed a lot of work -- like walls and plumbing.
Fortuantely Kim loves fixing up houses and motivated us all to work hard. The first order of business was to finish up the neighbor's shower. The neighbor (a farmer) had an unfinished shower and Anne made a deal that she could use the shower if she finished it
Anne is an architect and has spent a lot of time on construction sites. She has a great attitude towards getting things done. If she needs a place to stack boards she grabs a hammer and nails and makes a couple of saw horses. Kim liked being able to work on her own projects too. She made a hanging pot rack for the kitchen and a rock path to the stream (out water supply) as well as more mundane painting and such. I was happy to do any mundane task like chopping wood.
After a hard day of work (or often an easy day of work) we would make dinner. I think the three of us took turns making things. The best meal was on my birthday Kim made two types of lasagna and the biggest and tastiest apple pie I've seen. Other than that our favorite meal was vegetarian nachos, whale steaks, and "rutabega royale" (mashed potatoes, rutabega, and carrots). We ate so much dessert we thought we would explode.
On the weekends we would explore the area
But the best was picking blueberries. Anne had two blueberry rakes that made picking very easy. After a few hours we had more blueberries than I could believe. I love fresh blueberries and would buy them for $2 / pint. Now I was staring at 20 or 30 pints. We went blueberry crazy. We made three huge blueberry cobblers, blueberry jam, and blueberry sauce. We froze them, ate them with cereal, and ate them with ice cream. It was blueberry heaven. After a week we were running low so we picked another huge batch. Our blood ran blue for weeks afterwards.
We learned that the nearby town of Surnadal was going to do their semiannual traditional hike to the summer farm. They recreate a hike with horses to take supplies from the winter farm to the summer farm and bring back dairy products. It was a great excuse to go hiking and we got to meet some more Norwegians even if it was a bit drizzly and muddy
-- The cleanest water in the world (Surnadal)
-- Holy water (Oropa)
-- Fountain of youth water (Fonti)
-- The best water in the world (many different places)
Anyway, we enjoyed the hike but were very slow
The farmer neighbor was named Joni (yonnie). Actually I think it was something longer and more complicated but we called him Joni. He was very smart and had a great sense of humor. He also had never done any travelling. He had been to Trondheim once about 20 years ago. We asked if he would like to travel. He said he would but he would miss the farm work so he couldn't go for more than two days. When we asked him where he thought that he would like to see farms in Switzerland. Apparently the Swiss make the best tractors for mountain farming. When Anne drove us back to Trondheim he tagged along. We took him to the top of the TV tower and when the elevator started to move he jumped, startled. He explained that he had never been in an elevator before (!!!)
So Surnadal was loads of fun. We like to go back and visit in a year to see how much progress Anne has made. We learned a lot from her and might use some of her techniques to build our next house. I also learned that I like having large blueberry fields nearby. If anybody reading this is interested in helping her you can write to her at email@example.com