stories of life & wanderlust

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Roadtrippin' Norway: Ridderspranget & Lom Stave Church

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One of thing that I love the most about traveling through Norway is that there aren’t any destinations: Norway is the destination itself. There are highlights, yes, but in the end a Norway vacation doesn’t just consist out of Bergen, Oslo and the Geirangerfjord – it’s traveling from town to town that is the appeal. And it’s because of that that I am convinced that traveling the country by car is the best way to go, at least if you’re only there for a limited amount of time.

After our amazing hike in Jotunheimen, we headed up north towards Trondheim and passed some great scenery on the way. Our first stop was at Ridderspranget (translates to Knight’s Jump), a gorge located at the R 51 near of Randsverk. According to legend, there was a quarrel between two local knights that resulted in one ‘stealing’ the other knight’s bride. On their flight, they had to pass the river Sjoa, so the knight took the woman and jumped with her over to the other side of the gorge, which his opponent didn’t dare to do.

I was expecting the gorge to be much wider (and make the story seem much less probable), so I was surprised to notice that jumping over to the other side actually seemed like a realistic endeavor. Not that I would try or ever recommend that someone else should try it, but if I was trying to escape from an angry knight that wants my head on a platter, I’d probably do it, too. 



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Lom Stave Church


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Our next stop was at the Lom Stave Church. Lom is one of the gateway towns to Jotunheimen in the North of the National Park, but it’s not just mountain scenery that makes this town worth a stop. Lom is also home to one of Norway’s preserved Stave Churches.

Stave Churches can be found all over Norway and are built in a particular architectural style that combines traditional Christian elements with remnants of the Nordic heritage of this country. How often have you seen dragon gracing the outside of a church? They are also built from wood, which is typical for Norwegian architecture and adds another level of interest.

I dare say I have been to plenty of old churches in my life already – so many in fact, that it takes a lot to impress me. I feel that a lot of churches in Central Europe just kind of look the same. Thus, it was so refreshing to be introduced to a new type of church and to start wondering what worship must be like in this atmosphere. I don’t know a whole lot about Christianity in Norway, but I do wonder how this country with its rough surroundings has shaped the faith of its people. (Apparently, there’s a reason why Nordic mythology is so much tougher than Greek mythology)



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Roadside Beauty


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I don’t think this place has a name, but this just goes to show what I mentioned in the beginning of this post: Even the places that aren’t in Guide Books are full of natural beauty. This was close to our accommodation for the night and just a reminder that nature is full with our earth’s little wonders.


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Where would you like to go on a road trip? 


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linking up with Belinda and Bonnie

A Compass Rose
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15 comments

  1. Gorgeous as usual!!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    http://acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  2. Wow. What a fun little legend and a beautiful gorge! Thanks for linking up at the friends around the world link-up!

    Rachel from Brachel Boulevard

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  3. Wow, Melanie, these photos are BREATHTAKING! Looks so fresh and majestic, and tough! I can see what you mean about the Nordic mythology - surely that terrain would have toughened people up! :)
    And that church really is interesting, the wood definitely makes it different from so many others!

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  4. The church looks stunning, very old but preserved :)
    As for the rocks, I can totally relate to what you mean - if I had to get away I think I'd attempt the leap of faith with that one too ;)

    Kate | Diaries of an Essex Girl

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  5. Beautiful. Today seems to have a bit of a Gorge theme going on! Definitely plan to head to Norway at some point soon and hiking sounds (and looks) like it would be amazing these photos look incredible. I've never seen a church with architecture like that. It's such a weird mix of European with a bit of Asian?!

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    1. Oh, I can definitely see what you mean! Dragons are definitely something that Chinese and Norwegian (old) architecture seem to have in common! :)

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  6. Hi, visiting from the Friends around the world linkup! We made it to Norway while we were living in France, but only saw Oslo to Bergen (and in between, including Nærøyfjorden) so I KNOW I still have tons left to see. I hope to return someday, but until then I'll be following to see more of your beautiful photos!

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  7. Melanie, Norway just keeps climbing higher and higher on my travel bucket list thanks to you! It looks absolutely gorgeous and I would love to learn more about Norse mythology. From what I know, it's pretty intense :)

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  8. Stunning photos, much of the landscape reminds me of ours here in Canada. That little church is just beautiful, I really miss old buildings now I live here where everything is so new.

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  9. Absolutely, stunningly beautiful. I'm ashamed to say I've only been to Oslo, but I would so love to see more of Norway. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures!

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  10. stunning! i NEED to get to norway!

    looks like we are kindred travel lovers...can't wait to follow your blog! XO

    the well-traveled wife

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  11. Beautiful photos! What type of camera do you have? I noticed in your profile that you're from Germany! I lived in Hannover and Duisburg :) It's lovely to "meet" you and I look forward to following your adventures! xx

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  12. Oh my goodness! Norway is gorgeous! Thank you giving us a glimpse of the beauty you experienced!

    Elle at elle-alice.blogspot.com

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  13. Ah! I've actually been thinking of visiting Norway after I finish up courses over here.
    A road trip all over any country I've never been to sounds amazing :)

    Michelle @ Mishfish13

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    1. I'm not sure if winter is the best time to visit Norway, just because many roads are closed down and it will probably be freezing, but then again I haven't experienced it yet! :) Let me know if you make it over here!

      xx

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