What a busy time we had.
We managed to travel by road and ferry and visited most of the family. We started with our arrival in the south at Rygge where we were met by one of Svein’s brothers. We stayed the first night near Oslo and the next day then drove, roughly 10 hours, to Trondheim. Here we took a night in a very expensive hotel before completing the next stage of the journey to our first rendezvous (the family reunion) about another 3 hours drive. We had now travelled nearly half the length of Norway and were still not at our destination. A stop on the way in Grong to see Svein’s parents and then a small hop to Hoylandet for the reunion.
The 4 brothers met up and had an all night session catching up and then the next day the reunion got under way with a visit to the original family farm. This was followed by a meal and everyone catching up on the family news. Svein and some of his brothers even went for a quick dip in the river fed by the melting snow (14 degrees) to clear their heads.
On Sunday we returned to Grong and spent the night with Svein’s parents before driving them up to the family cabin. Here Caryn got a shock. The surroundings were spectacular but the facilities more than primitive – an outside loo, no running water in the cabin, no electricity. It makes for a very quaint existence and truly “back to nature”. We spent a couple of days here recovering despite the cold (10 degrees) and the rain and visiting the surroundings then we were on the road again to Trondheim (with a stop in Grong) to visit Svein’s younger daughter.
Once there it was a flurry to get to the kindergarten on time for the end of year show where Svein’s 6th grandchild was participating. Again the weather was not kind but we managed to include a visit to Ikea (to stock up on bedlinen for the boat) and a visit to the old town of Trondheim.
Our visit here ended and it was time to take to the road again for our final family “appointment” north of the Artic circle. We drove north , stopping at Grong and the cabin on the way, and after about 6 hours reached the ferry that would take us to Jektvik. This is apparently a scenic route and the fact was proved by the number of camping cars, motor bikes and cyclists using the ferry. An hour later after crossing the Artic circle we arrived at our destination and after a couple of hundred metres we had arrived. We settled into the flat that we were to use and then sat down to a delicious dinner of prawns that were brought from the trawler directly to the table. After dinner we took the boat out and saw the midnight sun.
The next day was spent recovering and catching up. Svein took Ludwig (No 3) and Ronja (No 5) and Sondre (No 7) out fishing in the evening and they caught a 15kg cod which was duly filleted at the quay and prepared for the meal to be eaten the next day when more visitors were due to arrive from all over Norway. We were also treated to a delicious dinner with salmon cooked 3 different ways. We are certainly getting our fill of fish here. Friday dawned and it was spent preparing the evening meal as well as visiting the local town. Saturday was spent in preparing the venue for the meal. The weather was bad again with low temperatures.
Eventually the day of the confirmation for Ulla (No 1 grandchild) dawned and, thankfully, it was bright and sunny. There was a church ceremony followed by a meal. This had been cooked by the confirmant’s grandmother on her father’s side. The evening was spent packing as we would be leaving early the next day to drive to Namsos to catch a flight south to Sandefjordl Our family obligations were now complete.
We caught the ferry and backtracked down to Grong (to pick up the parents) and finished the car journey in Namsos where we returned the car to Svein’s parents and caught a flight to Sandefjord via Trondheim. This was the easiest part of the journey and by 7pm we were installed on the terrace of our friend’s house. We had a delicious lamb dinner and a good night’s sleep.
The final day in Norway we spent shopping for the last minute items we needed and enjoying the town that we had lived in over 10 years ago. We had our final meal at our good friend Mariann and Bjorn where we ate prawns whilst overlooking Sandefjord bay and the harbour. A taxi home and we were ready for bed.
A quick check that nothing had been left behind and we were off to catch a ferry to cross Oslo fjord and get to the airport. After an uneventful but full flight we were back in Kos by early evening. Unfortunately the car was not waiting for us but we got a taxi and were soon safely back on the boat. As we had been unable to do any shopping on the way from the airport we treated ourselves to an Italian meal on the beach and watched the sunset over the castle. A fitting end to a 3-week trip or the beginning of the next stage and the warm weather was waiting for us.