18.07.2011 - 22.07.2011 18 °C
We have just returned from 5 days in Notodden, Norway. We arrived back to England just hours before the events in Norway took place. Norway is such a quiet and peaceful country and this has shocked everyone. Now as I write the small town where my family live has been devastated by floods which started on the day we left. Our thoughts are with all the family as they feel grief for their nation while isolated from their family.
On a happier note we enjoyed 5 trouble free lovely days exploring the region around Notodden. Raewyn and Lynn (Dads Cousins) picked us up from the airport and we enjoyed a lovely dinner on arrival. The girls were given seperate rooms but both decided to bunk down together in one room. (will be interesting when we return home)
Tuesday we drove to Kongsberg which translates to Kings mountain. Raewyns son in law Tom met us at the silver mines there and escorted us through a tour. It was a great tour taking us by small train 2 km inside the mountain to view the mines. The mines then go up 300m and down 700m. The children were kept busy looking for treasure in chests and if they found 5 they get a coin at the end. The tour was really interesting and we all learnt heaps. exiting the girls got their coins and got to stamp it with a huge hammer.
We then enjoyed an impressive lunch at Lynda and Toms, meeting Their grand daughters Mina (9) and Kine (14) and Rune Their Dad.
Mina and Kenzie and Sigrid had a ball playing with little language barriers. Helene took Kine and Briana for a drive into Kongsberg to have a look around and get to know each other. We had a great afternoon chatting and getting to know the family.
That night the girls went to stay with Sigrid and Helene. The next day Helene took the girls to summerland the largest waterpark in europe, much to Brianas taste. Raewyn and Lyn took Michael and I for a drive around town and to a exhibition on Trolls, which was really interesting. We later met with the girls at The Heddal church an old stave church on the out skirts of town. The church is really beautiful made with no nails at all. We then explored the nearby museum where Briana entertained a group of Italians with her stilt skills.
That night Helene mad Moose cakes for us, Kenzie was not impressed at all but the rest of us enjoyed them. We finished dinner with a lovely cream and Norwegian berry dessert.
The next day we had Arild and his 2 children Rennie(4) and Ayla (1) Helene, Elizabeth and Mina join us for lunch and dinner. Rennie and Ayla warmed to us really easily without a word of english and I was enjoying cuddles with Ayla throughout the afternoon.
Michael and Arild had plenty to talk about with Arild being a Manchester United fan. It was great getting to know everyone over the few days.
We would like to thank Raewyn, Bjorn, Lyn and Helene and Family for their hospitality and look forward to returning the favour if ever they are in our neck of the woods.