Norway…

…is absolutely gorgeous.  I’ve wanted to visit the fjords for years, so this holiday was really exciting.  It’s one of those places where the water and the air feel clean and fresh and lovely, and (though all the fjords start looking a little bit the same after a while) there’s always a good view – the water, the cliffs and pretty small villages.

We stopped off in a village called Flåm, and got a train up the mountain for views of the valley and some pretty impressive waterfalls:

Near the top, there was a little hotel miles from anything but this train line, but doing a roaring trade in waffles and coffee for tourists.  All the waitresses were wearing these dresses, and one was kind enough to let me take a picture:

I wondered if it was a sort of traditional Norweigan dress, but between the shy waitress and shy me, I didn’t manage to ask.  I like that little detail of the metal closure at the neckline and the bands of colour repeated down the dress; and it should be a fairly easy make.  Maybe in a different set of colours?

In between glimpses of waterfalls, there were a lot of long tunnels through the mountainside, which was actually perfect for finishing off my crochet project.  By the time we got back down to sea level, I’d completed this:

… another snood using this tutorial (I’ve already got one in smoky navy).  This teal Big Wool from Rowan should co-ordinate nicely with a lot of other garments to make some autumn-proof outfits.

Then on to Oslo, which was a really interesting city to wander round.  Lots of statues, and interesting architecture:

And then I caught sight of this sign down a side road, and had to go investigate:

Yes, a Norweigan fabric shop!  Thus, having teased Mr B about taking photos of common old pigeons in a city with a thousand-year history, I went and got all excited about common old wool.

Most of the fabrics (with my rough and ready mental-maths conversion rate) seemed to be about £18 a metre: eek.  Though there were lots of big red ‘SALG’ signs, which seemed hopeful, in the end the language barrier was a bit too daunting and I wasn’t sure what was what.  I started getting souvenir anxiety – you know when you really want something special to take home, but there’s so much choice and nothing in particular that jumps out at you?  I know it’s ridiculous, but it stresses me out (has done ever since I was 6 and sobbed my heart out in the gift shop at London Zoo).  So I took a deep breath and left, reminding myself that wandering round a fabric shop is a nice experience in itself, and there’s no rule that I have to bring fabric home just because it has the appeal of coming from another country.

Not far away, there was inspiration for another make:

How cute is that obi style belt?  Fab idea, and it’s another one that would be fairly easy to replicate.  Given that grey is almost always my natural colour of choice for clothing, I’m trying to stay away from it for my new projects… but oh, doesn’t it look good with that strong pink?

Due to gale force 10 weather conditions, we ended up in Oslo for a bit longer than expected, which meant that we got a night out with my my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and her boyfriend.  Walking through most of the city centre trying to keep up with my brother-in-law and ending up at a place tucked round the back of a petrol station didn’t seem promising, but it turned out to be my favourite kind of cosy bar:

Looks more like a library than a bar, doesn’t it?  Lots of wonderful vintage maps, globe lamps, leather chesterfields and mid-century armchairs – I wish I had room in my house for a cosy dark space like this.  And just to round things off, Mr B and I were told we had a “delicious dialect” by a Norweigan student.  Thanks for having me, Norway, you were great.

4 thoughts on “Norway…

  1. Oh this brings back lovely memories. We went on a Hurtigruten cruise around the Norwegian fjords four years ago. It is an amazing country with some amazing views. Love the new teal snood too. The colour is really cheerful and bright.

  2. Wow, you have perfectly described what always happens to me too on vacation – feeling like I need to bring something home but not seeing anything I love or would buy if I wasn’t on vacation… well done resisting the nonsensical impulse! Great pictures too, it’s beautiful there.

  3. Pingback: The great wool migration | Diana & Me

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