Sunday, July 5, 2009

Norway, Day 8

Norway, Day 8
June 28

Yes indeed, Rhia & Eivind got home very late (or very early depending on how you look at it) so the day's activities were delayed considerably. This was fine with me: I was up before anybody else for the first time & so had time to catch up on email, do a little reading, & even have a cup of tea without conversation. Georgiana was the next one up so the two of us went for a walk on the pilgrims' path. I am just starting to learn about the tradition of pilgrimage in Europe. Like many other historically Catholic countries (it seems) Norway had a long path suitable for the journeying of pilgrims. It provided a means of demonstrating religious commitment, an opportunity for atonement, and no doubt a way of spiritual retreat for those who found it hard to sit still. This path went from Oslo to Trondheim, a distance of several hundred kilometers. We didn't go the whole way (of course); just a kilometer or so, but it was enough for me to imagine that this would have been on the whole a pretty pleasant thing to do. The forest is beautiful in the summer: lush & green, lots of deciduous trees & birdsong.

Later, we all helped out in the garden for a while where that lush green Norwegian summer growth is more of a deficit than a pleasure. Lots of weeding.

And that was pretty much the day. To tell the truth, I was glad to have a day without spending money. It's interesting how us North Americans get used to the idea that going on holidays often means going to a place where things are cheaper than at home. But in Norway everything costs more, far more. Did I mention that Norway is the richest country in the world? That's what Eivind says & I wouldn't be surprised. I really feel like a [relatively] third world tourist here, complaining about the high price of everything & feeling reluctant to buy so much as a cup of coffee. But no doubt that's how most of our project partners feel when they come to Canada & realize that their money has so little buying power.

Tomorrow we are going to go to the folk museum!

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