Kulturhistorisk museum – Stave church portals

 
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Ål Stave church, Hallingdal, 1100
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Stave church portal, Åtrå church, Tinn, Telemark 1163-1189
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Stave church portal, Sauland church, Hjartdal, Telemark c. 1200

You know me – I love museums. Kulturhistorisk museum (in Oslo, Norway), is one of my absolute favorites, and I have visited it numerous times. Never have I ever met anyone as excited as I am at museums. I take TONS of pictures, get down on one knee and speak softly to the wood carvings as I photograph them. To me, this is the best form of meditative exercise there is. Every time I behold these carvings feels like the first. There is always a new detail to take notice of, no matter how many times I’ve seen them. I think this goes without saying, but I adore norse wood carvings and one day I hope to have a replica of one of these as my front door… sigh… THAT would be absolute bliss.

Would you like to see more photos from this museum? 

Sól, The Viking Queen.

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Geiranger, Norway

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Geiranger is one of Norway’s most famous tourist sites. It is believed that the name “Geiranger” stems from the old norse words “Geirr” (spear) and “angr” (fjord). The Geiranger fjord is 15 kilometers long, and 600-1500 meters wide. Signs of settlement in the area can be dated back to as early as 10 000 years ago – and it is believed that most of those inhabitants were reindeer hunters. Findings that indicate settlements from the younger Bronze Age have also been found in the area around the fjord. Today, there are approximately 230 people living in Geiranger. Do not let this fool you, if you decide to visit Geiranger you will not be alone; there are SO many tourists there! I met a biker gang of over 30 Brazilians as I gazed upon the fjord this summer (lol.. not to worry -they were very friendly and goofy and I helped them take group photos) Anyways  – I am still amazed at how beautiful my country is. Don’t get me wrong – I love traveling to other countries, but there is just something extra about the “Troll energies” 😉

Sól, The Viking Queen. 

The dress from Hel

 

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You know when you get this nifty idea that “you should just make one quick dress before the next viking market”? You know – that genius idea of throwing together just one more piece of garb for shits and giggles? Don’t do it. Just don’t. I got that idea three days before Gudvangen and that’s when I made the mustard chemise I am wearing in the pictures above. In all honesty, the dress was awful to make. Sure – It came together nicely in the end, but it was a living nightmare to sew together…. Here’s what happened:

I used no pattern. I always, always make the pattern on the go – just out of my head. This time was no different, all fun and games. One probably thinks this is where I went wrong, but that’s not it. You see- even though the measurements were right, sewing the different pieces together was painfully impossible. I sweated like a pig during the whole process which -by the way- lasted for days (hahahaha!!). I had to re-do all the seams five(!!!) times. I have never in my life had so much Hel with a viking dress as this one, and I’ve made quite a few – even hand stitched ones. At one point n the sewing process I was certain that the dress itself was cursed and I was so angry at it that I almost destroyed my entire sewing gear. While I was sewing this horrible dress, I cursed, sweated, laughed hysterically, cried and bled. Seeing my own blod drip from the needles fueled my anger and naturally, I gushed it into the seams of the chemise with full force. I wanted to burn the dress, I wanted to bury it. Truly, I thought to myself -this dress must have been ordered from Hel.

Why was it was so difficult to make…? Like I said – I spent days working on it. The last hours of the last day before departure I was so flustered that my mother offered (or rather – forced me to allow her) to help with it. “I am sure we can figure this out quickly of we work together,” she said. Boy, was she wrong. To this day none of us can understand why this dress was so difficult. I mean – we did everything right, we even double checked each others work – but it just wasn’t going that well for us. As you can see, we managed to conquer the dress in the end. We both worked on it up until one hour before departure to Gudvangen going on no sleep and way too much coffee. Yes, ladies and gentlemen – sometimes sewing is an awful experience. As we did the last fitting, me looking as if I had survived the last warrior on the battlefield, my mother gazed at me and said; “That colour does not do you any good, my dear… It is really NOT a good colour for you.” It was dead silent for about a minute and then we both laughed so much that we cried. I think we got an hour of sleep before my friends came to pick me up.

I am sure that I’m not the only one who has been struggling with a sewing project (for reasons unknown and despite following all the right steps) – I might be one of few to speak up about how awful making simple viking garb can be, but I know you are out there, suffering in silence between needles and endless seams. Don’t give up! But please, don’t be a fool like me. Start on time before a viking event. The Gods know it is stressful enough as it is. LOL.

Sól, The Viking Queen.

 

Trollstigen, Norway

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I had the most spectacular road trips this summer, we were cruising on epic mountain roads like this.. *Sigh* … Behold Trollstigen, Norway! The majestic landscape is overwhelmingly beautiful, and one has to focus not to create dangerous situations. At some locations the road is carved into the mountain itself, and the mountains surrounding Trollstigen reach an altitude of over 1600 meters.  Indeed, this place is vibrating with troll energies, and I hope to take a long hike around the area next year. Simply driving through it isn’t enough for me – I want more.

– Sól, The Viking Queen

Huldefossen, Norway

 

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This summers adventures took us places that we hadn’t seen before as we drove several miles on narrow norwegian roads. Suddenly it was as if something whispered; take a turn, stop, breathe.” Those whispers guided us to a pit stop at Huldefossen, in Førde, Norway – A beautiful, magical place in the fjords of Norway. A few cows and sheep gathered around us, as if huldra herself was kulning by the waterfall. Who knows, maybe she was.

Sól Geirsdóttir, The Viking Queen

 

Lom Stave church

lom5lom12lom1lom6lom11lom9lom10lom3“Lom stave church was originally build around 1160. In the 17th century an extension onto the west transepts, a sacristy and the large central tower with a high steeple surrounded by four smaller towers were added. In the Middle Ages, Lom stave church was the most important church between Nidaros (Trondheim) and Hamar. Like today Lom was a busy crossroad between east and west. The church is decorated with acanthus baroque wood carvings. During the excavations in 1973, a lot of interesting things were found; the largest collection of old coins ever found in Norway, and a love letter written in runic characters.” – a tourist sign at the site. 

During our Norway sightseeing vacation, we stopped in Lom, Norway to behold this stave church. I have very mixed feelings about stave churches. Indeed, they are beautiful and what interests me about them is the architecture, -or rather- the norse wood carvings. But…they remind me of a time where christianity was violently forced upon the vikings. I think that says more than enough about how I feel, and I’ll leave it at that. *Just so it’s said: believe what you will, be kind and respectful to others. We are all allowed to have faith in whatever we have faith in. Peace out!*

Sól Geirsdóttir, The Viking Queen

 

Gudvangen Viking Market “2017” (part two)

 

gudvangr23gudvangr14gudvangr21gudvangr19gudvangr20gudvangr22gudvangr15gudvangr16gudvangr17gudvangen28The hair is an offering from me to my dearest sister in spirit’s viking bling. She is the only one I will ever grant that kind of personal, spiritual gift to. gudvangr.26gudvangr27
I didn’t realize how much I had missed the mighty mountains until I arrived at Gudvangen. Norwegian fjords and mountains makes me feel more centered, more alive. There was mead, there was laughter and there was ancient vibes. I met old, yet new friends (if that makes any sense). This was the beginning of my western Norwegian road trip, and as I am writing this, there are still more viking markets to go. Still, I wish the season was longer.. because meeting likeminded souls is a rare thing…even amongst likeminded people.
Sól Geirsdóttir, The Viking Queen