Classic Norway

Day 04 - Sunday, July 20, 2014 - Lillehammer Orientation; Drive to Lom to Visit Stave Church; Pass Through "Roof of Norway"; Jotunheimen National Park; Evening in Sogndal

This morning we woke up at 7:00 to a high sun (sun rise - 4:21 am) and clear blue skies. It was 64 degrees with 74% humidity. We left the hotel right on time at 8:45.

Birgitte reminded us how lucky we were to have such nice warm weather in July. On the way out of Lillehammer we saw only one person out and about on this Sunday morning.

We began our journey into the mountains by traveling on the main highway E6, following the Glomma River Valley. As we went deeper into the mountains, we saw more evergreens and birch trees.

There were many campgrounds and small ski and summer cabins used year around by people from Oslo who want to enjoy hiking and cross country skiing. People in Norway are generally very fit and happy.

Because of the short summers, people love to be outside now, as the dark winter will come all too soon. However, in the winter many suffer from depression and alcohol and drug addictions.

We made a brief morning stop at the small village of Kvam. Waffles with local jelly or jam and lefse, a potato-based tortilla, are two popular snacks in Norway.

Back on the bus, Birgitte explained about the history of the stavekirke, the stave churches constructed of tall straight pine trees. We turned off of E6 and followed the Otta River on Route 15.

We arrived in Lom at 11:30, but our appointment to tour the church was not until 12:15. While we waited, we walked around the old churchyard and were able to take photos before the large group arrived.

Our tour of the Lomskyrkja, the stave church is the second largest and best preserved stave churches in Norway. Our guide, Tor told us of the history and construction technique of the church that was built in 1158.

Originally a Catholic Church, it was enlarged and converted to Lutheran after the Reformation in 1537. Decorated with Protestant artifacts and also Viking symbols, the church has an active congregation and services are held every third Sunday.

After our tour, we went to the grocery store to buy an apple and a soda. We had brought sandwiches and enjoyed a picnic on the rocks close to the water.

We left Lom at 1:15 and traveled on a secondary road #55 over the Jotunheimen National Park. Above the tree line we saw beautiful waterfalls and the blue green glaciers. We stopped for a Kodak moment at the overlook of the Leirdalen Valley.

Our next stop was at Breheimen National Park where we were able to spend time photographing the glacial lakes, the snow, and the cairns, piles of rock that past mountaineers had laid out to mark the paths over the mountains. The temperature was 62 degrees. Perfect for us!

The drive over Sognefjellet, the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe (4,648 feet) known as the "Roof of Norway", was spectacular. We could see Galdhøpiggen, Norway's highest mountain in the Jotunheimen National Park.

Our last stop for panoramic views was at an overlook above the Lustra Fjord before continuing on to Sogndal and our hotel, a Quality Inn. A fan was going when we stepped into the room. Although the temperature had risen to 80 degrees with 43% humidity outside, it was relatively cool in our room.

Birgitte had received word that our dinner was delayed until 7:15 so we had plenty of time to unpack our bags, cool off, and get connected to the WiFi. Dinner was another buffet which is really great for us who like to try a little of everything and not have to make major decisions!

By the time we posted the journal and got to bed it was almost 11:00.

Accommodations: Quality Hotel Sogndal - - - Meal: B & D

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Gorgeous scenery - this is definitely on my bucket list~ Enjoy!

Cheryl Vieira   July 22, 2014 - 5:14am

The pics and descriptions, Jeannie, are so vivid. Beautiful!! Still think you should write a book of your ventures. You are a great writer!!

Pat   July 20, 2014 - 8:24pm
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Bovra River in Lom, Norway

Bovra River in Lom, Norway

Lomskyrkja Stave Church, Lom

Lomskyrkja Stave Church, Lom

Cairn at Breheimen National Park

Cairn at Breheimen National Park

Jotunheimen National Park

Jotunheimen National Park

Waterfall at Lustra Fjord

Waterfall at Lustra Fjord

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