Monday, June 28, 2010

Two Summer Festivals in Two Days

This last weekend, the Hubs and I successfully attended two separate day-long summer festivals on both Saturday and Sunday...of course I managed to click away a few pictures for you all to see how it went down...

On Saturday, in the tiny town (more like community) called Skjoldastraumen there was the annual Slusefestivalen as well as the 100th birthday of the town church. The yearly festival itself is, I guess technically on account of the lock/dam system that happens to be in the center of the town. To celebrate there were booths of local food, art and children's games. A few really beautiful boats docked in the marina for the public to tour as well...

Chicken bingo! Kids were going crazy over this one. I'm not quite sure how they got the chickens to "pick" the bingo numbers for the prizes, but I'm into it.

We took the dogs to the festival in Skjoldastraumen on Saturday, and they got to sample herring along with us...and then I had to use pretty much all of my limited strength to restrain this adorable, deceptively-tiny dog from running and leaping into the waves. She LOVES to swim.

At the amazingly simple, charming, totally dolled up and restored for its' birthday chapel, I met some of my country-people! A couple from New York with their Norwegian cousin playing tour guide! We chatted for a minute, and the lady found out I was married to a Weegie and here on my own with him at my age, she just exclaimed; "But you're only a baby yourself! Your poor mother must miss you so much!"

Isn't this garland wrapped around the entry archway lovely? I think aside from the birthday celebration, they might have been from an impending wedding!

 The altar piece; it reads "God is Love". I just about melted, that's my favorite verse!

Sunday we headed out to a little island called Borgøy that was the birth place of a very well known Norwegian Romantic artist called Lars Hertervig. Nowadays the island holds maybe two dozen summer houses/cabins and a small cafe. One day a year the festival on Borgøy is held to celebrate good old Lars, and small ferries shuttle out people from the mainland, to the island for a nominal fee to tour the remains of his home, attend a chapel service on the island's tiny prayer house, hike/walk through the trails (the island is heavily wooded and not very populated) and maybe have a bit to eat...we tackled literally all of the above in just a few hours.

As pretty much as soon as we landed on the island, while walking along the paths, I saw this lovely big toad sitting there. Naturally, I squatted down to take a photo, which is where the following conversation happened:
Harald: "Wait. What are you doing?...ok fine, take a picture....ARE YOU TOUCHING THAT THING?!??!"
Me: "Well, yeah. You want to see him? He's got lovely spots up close."
Harald: "That's really gross, babe. Why did you have to touch him?...No, I can see the spots from up here. I'm good."
Me: "What's so gross about it? It's just a little old toad!"
Harald: "Ew. Clean your hands, honey."
He really was a lovely little toad.  All I did was give him a pet on his bumpy back with my fingers for a crime in my book!

I tried to get a shot of these "children's sailboats" from our spot at the cafe for lunch. You can sort of see how tiny they are, but literally, they just put small Norwegian children in them and let them go at it. I was a little daunted by the idea. I'm not sure I would be down with putting my five year old into a miniature sail boat and letting them float around on their own...especially in a harbor that busy and filled with large, actual boats...

The spirit of this tree just spoke to me. It was huge, ancient, and Harald took a few photos of me under it for size comparison...and because I was under there appreciating it for a while anyway...

Here is where and what we had for lunch on the island that afternoon...there could not have been better weather, and the food was great.

The man himself, enjoying his meal near the dock...and his expat bride of course!

(There's the new do! What do you all think?)

Unfortunately we only managed to catch the tail-end of the service in the little prayer house, right after our meal was finished...

Then after picking up a frozen treat back at the cafe on our way back to the boat, we were on the ferry back home again...

(The new do in action again, riding the ferry home....)

We must have walked for close to two miles, all over the island before leaving, and I expressed more than once that I could live there indefinitely, full time, whenever Harald was ready. There aren't any cars of any kind, no roads, just gravel/dirt paths to ride bicycles/walk down. No stores or anything commercial except for the one cafe by the dock, and I'm not sure that even open all year round. Most of the houses were at least 70+ years old, had lovely flower beds and immaculate lawns. Sign me up.

It was a great, summer weekend filled with low-key fun...the weather even held out with no rain both days!

Said weather compensated for all that weekend sunshine today though; waking us up with literal bucket-like downpours and deafening thunder right over our heads...a little scary really. Harald and I did manage to dodge the major showers though, long enough to do some serious grocery shopping in town, including a little visit to the Salvation Army for me. I'll post photos of my treasures tomorrow...I'm pretty excited about them myself!

I hope all of your weekends were just as lovely.