Thursday 18 January 2018

Norway diaries : Beautiful views in Jaeren

I've been looking through my (numerous) photos of Norway from our work visit to Stavanger last week and I still find the views just as breath-taking as in real life. I've decided that the power of the beauty lies in the unique Norwegian light. Night falls so quickly - all of our sight-seeing was packed into the two hour window of daylight between school finishing for the day at 2.30 and nightfall at 4.30 - so by taking the same shot three or four times, you'll get a whole array of different light effects and you're bound to get one that looks stunning. 

Take this quaint little white wooden church at Varhaug for example, just down the road from Varhaug School that we had been at all day. It is one of the smallest chapels in the area, if not the country, with just enough space for nine guests. It's very popular for weddings because it's so scenic but the guests all have to stand outside ! 

It's very pretty but the real views were going on behind us, with the fading light and the big open sky providing the perfect backdrop. 

We could have stood here quite happily watching the sun go down behind the ornate gravestones overlooking the sea, but we had other places to see before it got dark.

We drove into the rocky outcrops and recognised something from the last time we visited - Hitler's teeth, which are concrete blocks that the Nazis installed to prevent Allied landings. You can find out more in my blogpost Exploring World War II bunkers in Vedafjellet - we thought it was remarkable how intact they were and creeping through the dark tunnels with just the light from our mobile phones to light the way seemed incredibly spooky, especially given the history of the place.

We were heading somewhere much more tranquil though - a little fishing port where we stopped to eat some iced buns and take in the view, while giggling at the Norwegian mealtimes. After having lunch (sandwiches) at 11am, we were taken to a bakery at 2.30pm for a snack, before going to a local teacher's house for dinner at 4.30pm. One of my colleagues joked that it was like being babies, having to eat every three hours, which made the Norwegian teachers laugh !

The water of the fjord here (and in fact everywhere we went) is crystal clear so we could see right to the bottom and the dozens of crab shells scattered about, presumably from the fishing boats. The water is also totally still so the reflections in the water are amazingly crisp.

The sense of peace and tranquility forces you to stop and just soak it all in - mindfulness at its best !

I think I could use pretty much any of my Norway photos as a screensaver ! They all ooze tranquility and well-being.

I'm tempted to get this one, from our final stop at one of the local beaches, printed out on a canvas - I love the hint of pink in the sky, the reflection of the clouds, the ice formations at the edges of the water and the walkway that looks as if it leads out to infinity.

The walk through the dunes from the car park already had us wowed but it was just the prelude to the main event ... of Jaeren's many sandy beaches.

The Norwegians were blown away by the vastness of the sandy beaches when they visited us in Dunkirk, but I think it's the perfect reflection of the sky in the water that makes the Norwegian beaches and landscapes in general look so huge and never-ending.

You feel so small and insignificant in the scale of things that any day-to-worries seem mere trifles. You only get a couple of hours before it gets dark though so you have to make the most of it while you can !

I'm the King of the World !

What you can't see in these photos, though, is how blimming cold it was getting !

As the light started to fade, we headed back to the car, still oohing and aahing at the views all the way !

1 comment:

  1. Most beautiful views. That little church is very picturesque, I can see why it's so popular as a wedding venue. And I love the photo you want to print too, it is gorgeous.


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