23 July 2008

A Walk Through the Forest to Storfossen

I have been in Norway for exactly a week now, and yesterday was my first day off at Jøssåsen. With three other co-workers, Anne, Eva, and Linnea, who have the same day off, I went on a day hike to Storfossen (the Big Waterfall). I have wanted to hike this waterfall since the very moment I laid my eyes on it from afar, on my way to Jøssåsen from the airport in Trondheim. It made such a huge impression on me; I couldn't wait to hike to it. So when Linnea, who has been volunteering at Jøssåsen for a year, offered to guide the 3 newbies to the waterfall, I was ecstatic.

There were many new things I saw on our 3-hour walk. The first was the way hay was being dried in front of a farm house. According to Eva, there are only a few places in Europe, where they dry the grass on poles (detailed photo below). I have seen rolls of hay and haystacks like the ones in Millet paintings but never like this. The hay on distinctive trellises looked like a line of shaggy yaks in procession. I lost count of how many photos I took of the hay....

Everything was so green around us. There must have been thousands of shades of green. From the blackish dark green of the pines to the silvery green of the birch leaves, the array of green was endless. And the way the Norwegian sun reflected off these greens made me think that Monet would have enjoyed painting in Norway. As I walked along the path, I wondered how he may have captured the Norwegian summer light in his paintings. I would have been content just staring at the beautiful surrounds, especially the patches of fire weed growing wild at the edge of the paths. The contrast between the hot pink and the bright greens of the grass couldn't have been more vibrant.

As we got closer to the waterfall, the more magical the forest seem to become. I know I've said it before, but how could anyone not think that there are trolls living in such forests, with all the velvety peat moss hiding their living quarters. I bet if I lifted one of the moss patches, a troll would have surely appeared and welcomed me to Norway with open arms!

He certainly would have shouted, "Velkommen!" with a mischievous smile on his face, and he probably would have offered to take a picture of the four of us. (L to R: Linnea, Eva, Anne, and me!)

Lowbush blueberries were everywhere, and they were ripe! So we picked wild blueberries along the way to the waterfall, and when we stopped to have our picnic, we were able to have lots of fresh blueberries. I probably picked the most and also ate the most, not surprisingly. My tongue was probably a nice shade of blue or purple, like Linnea's shirt.

The sound of the rushing water from Storfossen was loud and calming, all at once. I wished I had a recorder to capture the sound. It would be so nice and relaxing to listen to in the evening, right before falling asleep.

And just when I thought the waterfall couldn't get any better, it did! A short walk later, up and down the trail in a moss covered forest, we came upon Dølafossen. It's a smaller waterfall than Storfossen, bu together, they were truly grand.

My first day off could not have been better, ending at midnight with a view of a mother moose and a baby moose, from afar. Picture perfect. (The mother moose, or "mor elk," is the big brown spot, and the baby moose is, obviously, the small brown spot, following the big spot. Obviously....)

1 comment:

Dennis said...

this is the complete opposite of chicago and it truly looks unbelievably beautiful. not to sound all granola, but our planet earth is full of such diverse and glorious places, and i'm glad you get to experience norway!!