Visiting with the Viks

Per Inge is a Lutheran pastor now serving three churches in this sparsely populated and outstandingly beautiful area of Norway.  They have four grown children and two grandchildren.  Per Inge and Karin moved to their beautiful home about two years ago from an area called Brattvag.  

Karin grew up in this part of Norway, working as a teenager in a flower shop owned by her Aunt Maria Hatlen and Uncle Lars Hatlen and living with them during the summers.

The late Lars Hatlen was a distant relative of Allan’s who traveled to Minnesota twice to visit relatives, including Allan.  We smiled when Per Inge remarked of Lars the nurseryman, “He had green fingers.”

We said good night to each other after dinner and arranged to meet the next morning in the church parking lot at Orskog. 

Per Inge fixed for us a gourmet baked fish dinner, and Karin fixed a smooth and savory custard with caramel sauce.  It was all outstanding.

This is the place — Fjellstova — that Allan had found for us online just outside Orskorg near the Viks.  It’s a ski resort that is also open for overnight business during the summer months.  Karin and Per Inge gave us directions to get here.  It was just down the road.

Our cabin was in the second row — those with the backend addition.  That addition made room for our own bathroom, thank heavens!  It was all rather primitive and always an adventure.  We dropped off our luggage, freshened up a bit, and drove to the Viks’ home in Skodje.

We first met Karin and Per Inge when they came to America several years ago and most recently when Per Inge served for three years at the Mindekirken Church in Minneapolis.

The meal was topped off with chocolates and fresh strawberries.  Norway claims to have the sweetest and best tasting strawberries in the world.  We would agree. 

This next morning was Monday, July 9th.  Allan and I had been seeing these beautiful flowers along the roadsides through Norway and now, in the church parking lot, I could get a close-up photo of them.

Karin said they’re not really “wild,” but that the seeds were sown and they multiplied around the country.

This is the inside of the Stordal Church where Pastor Vik preaches.  It’s where Allan and I stopped to take a photo yesterday (Sunday morning) but not at the right time to catch Per Inge.

The church is also familiar to Karin, of course.

Then we climbed into the Viks’ van and were happy to leave the driving to others.  This home was one of their first stops.  Actually, it wasn’t planned, said Karin, but she knew the lady who lived here — Nikoline — and her tunnbakels.

Nikolene is 96 years old and, sure enough, she was in the middle of another batch of her specialty.

We all received an entire delicious tunnbakel.

Allan and Per Inge inspected the big heavy tunnbakel iron, not unlike our familiar Belgian Cookie iron.

Karin purchased a very large batch of Nikolen’s tunnbakels to serve at their daughter’s upcoming wedding in two weeks.

Then the Viks took us to the Gudbrandjuvet, which is an outstanding canyon where mountain water rushes in a noisy explosion over rocks and through crevices.

We followed its rushing path through part of the canyon.

Karin surprised us with a  fun picnic of carrot cake, strawberries, and hot coffee at the canyon.

See that person waving on the deck in the distance?

Our next was at an even bigger and wilder mountain waterfall. 

We couldn’t see the top of it because of the fog.

Allan and I had been driving on roads like this, but we never had such a view of them like this.

We wouldn’t want our grandchildren to sit on this wall.

This bridge was cleverly engineered to be built right into the rocky mountain.

This photo was cleverly arranged to show how the mountain waterfall flows under the bridges.

The Viks were on their way to Isfjorden, taking us to see Allan’s relatives that afternoon.  That’s the next stop!

It was an outstanding display of mother nature.