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Sometimes thereís a synchronicity of information, where the books, television shows give me this coincidence of subject matter at a certain time and provide a focus that I didnít plan. Some time ago there was a series on TV about Amundsen and Scottís race for the south pole, ďThe Last Place on Earth.Ē It was very good and it led me to read the book from which it was derived. There is a lot about the nineteenth century culture of Norway wherein Amundsen was raised. About the same time I found myself reading Sigrid Undset (in translation), one of those names I had been going to read for some time and just gotten around to. ďKristen Lavrensdatter,Ē ďThe Master of HestvikenĒ and then what books of essays local libraries had in stock Ė surprisingly a few first English editions that have been on the shelves for 50-70 years. Also at the same time I read a collection of essays by William Mitchell who wrote long journalistic explorations of the life in and about New York City in the first half of the twentieth century. Thereís a lot about shipping, fishing and sailors. More than once he touches upon the particular reputation of Norwegians: quiet, restrained and extremely competent. Amundsen and Undset are consistent with that. I get an image of a tough, scrupulously honest, aggressively realistic, somewhat dour people. (are you offended yet?) Not party animals.

I realize that I might be completely out of it. I am working with no actual primary information and no recent information. I can easily imagine a selection of American sources that could give a completely skewed view of my country. Possibly what I mean is a view that I would not like someone to acquire. (Some time ago, on a Tolkien site, I read an interview with Miranda Otto, Eowyn in the movie, wherein she comments that after visiting the US she had the impression that noone here has ever changed a tire. Clearly she wasnít exposed to a very wide range of persons.) For that matter, I cannot grasp America as a home. Itís too big. In a sense that someone is English, Belgian or Norwegian, I feel like I am a Southern New Englander. It has a coherence that I can grasp as a home.

So, anyway, I find myself somewhat intrigued by Norway, though I donít know anything really much about it. (Someone observed that Tolkienís entry into his world was the invention of languages. So it would seem. I am not a writer, but if I had a parallel experience, I would enter my fantasy world by inventing lands and drawing maps. I like maps and Norway is possibly the most lovable such form on earth. That and the Aegean lands and sea.)

Anyway, without ever having actually met a Norwegian, Iíve acquired a respect for and a fascination with Norway. I know there are some Norwegians in PT (at PT? of PT? At least Amarie and GrevBukMcJern (Where did you get that handle?)) and without knowing just what Iím asking for, Iím inviting comment.
I love the design of Norway, it has all those squiggly bits on its coastline, thanks to Slartybardfast. In 1949-50 we studied Norway, as well as Iceland and Switzerland, in our fourth grade geography/social studies class. Dem were the days.
Funny you should mention Norway and your odd attraction to the place and people. I've kinda felt the same way for the last few months. Of course I know several peeps from there, Ama and Per being two of them. I first noticed my attraction a few months ago when I perchased the 13th warrior, the mist, the steep green bush choked mountains* which are very much like New Zealand I might add*. Near the beginning of the movie, the main charactor witnesses an ancient funeral rite, the burning of a king. A Norman recites a poem that is said during the rite, translating it to greek, and the main charactor's companian translates it to Arabic*which we of course hear as english*. I can't quite remember exactly how it goes but it's something like this. *Lo there do I see my Father, Lo there do I see my Mother, my Sisters and my Brothers. Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the begining. Lo they do call to me, they bid me take my place with them in the halls of Val Halla, where the brave may live forever* This poem really interested me, and as you said, the words hint at a people who are accepting, quiet, thoughtful, though purposeful and incredibly violent and revengeful when provoked. *and when not provoked, as we know, the Vikings were one of the most succesful conquorers of the world* I've noticed this same trait in Ama, she's polite, lovely and sweet natured, but when you p*ss her off she never hesitates in letting her displeasure show. I mentioned to her that Norway is right up near the top of my list for countries I'd like to visit.
The poem is real, I can't remember what nationality the man who witnessed it all was, but Arabic is a good guess. He wrote the whole thing down and it has survived till today. It is really spoken by the female slave chosen to travel with the dead king. The rest of the story is not all that family friendly, so I'll just stop there. Wink Smilie

I saw an episode of x-files that was suppose to take place in Lofoten in northern Norway. The fishermen had seen something mysterious out at see and were afraid to go out there. When Mulder and Scully came there, the fishermen were sitting in gloomy rooms, bent over the table and their cups, giving dark glares to the 'intruders' and no one said a word. Oh how I laughed. Imagine the complete oposite and you would be close to the truth. A wonderful type of people up there.

Squiggly coastline indeed! We have plenty of coastline, which is why the Germans was so interested in us during the war and part of why they are still so interested in us now, though this time the invation consists of tourists and they are most welcome.

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the mist, the steep green bush choked mountains* which are very much like New Zealand I might add*.

It is really Canada, but I agree, the little I have seen of NZ reminds me of home, only greener. NZ and Iceland are the top of my list of places I want to go.

With the risk of sounding like a tourist agancy; It is so beautiful up here, and there is so much to see, so many different types of scenery, so many things that will blow you away, you have no idea. Smile Smilie
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With the risk of sounding like a tourist agancy; It is so beautiful up here, and there is so much to see, so many different types of scenery, so many things that will blow you away, you have no idea.

There is no risk that you sound like a tourist agancy... you are only telling the truth. Norway is a beautiful land with many different views. A little expensive maybe Smile Smilie but totally worth it! Whole Scandinavia is worth to see by they way (if someone dont know where to go on the holiday)
Actually Rho, the 13th warrior takes place in Sweden. Apparently only the Swedes traded with the Arabs.

I read today that Ford Motor Company in Norway has been renamed to Fjord Motor Company. Very appropriate, i guess.
The klan-chief (or whatever) was played by the swedish actor Max von Sydow (just some dull facts)
Did Amarie know?

The 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 10th tallest waterfalls in the World are all in Norway.

Norway has the 7th longest coastine in the world (13, 624 miles), which is longer than that of the USA (12,380 miles) and China (9,010 miles) and only slightly shorter than Australia (16, 007 miles).

The Gudvangen and Leirfjord tunnels are the 5th and 6th longest road tunnels in the world.
Lots of good info there Val. Thumbs Up Smilie

I just read that Arab guy meets up the vikings in Russia, so it makes good sense that they are Swedish. Haven't seen the movie in ages
I've been to Sweden and Finland, but have yet to make it to Norway. Lovely people around those parts and yes, truly amazing countryside. Let me tell ya though...I have never been so cold in my life as when I was in Helsinki!!! BRRRRRR!!!! This Arizona/California girl literally could not breathe. My Finnish friends were pretty amused. It was great though -- spent lots of time in saunas and went ice skating on soccer (football) fields. I was there at New Year's and they had wonderful traditions, such as heating up some sort of metal and dropping it in a bucket of cold water, and whatever shape appeared in the metal would tell your future for that year, he he. They also like to shoot off fireworks on the streets -- a little dangerous, but fun. Oh, and it got dark at like 2 in the afternoon. CRAZY! Smile Smilie
It's amazing how much the Norse got around then. Harold Hardrada, king of Norway who invaded England at the same time as William the Conqueror (1066, and lost) had at one time been admiral of the Byzantine fleet fighting the Turks. There's an Icelandic saga about him. The Norse conquered Normandy (hence the name), a lot of the British Isles, and, of all places, Sicily. At one point Norway and England were in the same kingdom, under Canute (Knut, about 1020?).

By the way, the Icelandic sagas are really good, unlike anything else in literature. This is going a step away from Norway, but not a very big step. Norwegians and other Scandinavians are often the subjects of Icelandic sagas.

For that matter, the great Anglo-Saxon epic "Beowulf" is about a Geat. (my guess is that is someone from what is now called Gotland.) Other Anglo-Saxon stuff mentions figures across the European dark ages, including Attila the Hun. There's this cultural continuity across the whole germanic north. It's all wonderfully intriguing, partly because there are so few fragments of literature left from them.

Anyway, I think this stuff is really cool. So did Tolkien.
Actually, the 13th warrior is the HolyWood version of Beowulf. The Book was writen by that dude that wrote the dinosaur books, can't rememebr what they're called. My ex GF told me that he wrote it after he made a bet he could rewite the poem into a easy to read and understand book. Though as far as I know, didn't Tolkien already do that?........oh well.......
Can't really see much Beowulf in that flick, really. There's no Grendel, but an entire people.

On a sidenote, anyone seen the classic "Beowulf" with Christopher Lambert?

Dinosaurs book = Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton?
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Norwegians and other Scandinavians are often the subjects of Icelandic sagas.

Well that really isn't so strange. Guess three times who found Iceland in the fist place? Wink Smilie

Beowulf? We have the Hollywood version of Beowulf in the shelf and it has very little do to with 13 warriors. The 13th warrior is based on a book though, and that may be based on Beowulf, what do I know? Also Beowulf takes place in Denmark. Denmark is also a nice place to visit. But it has not mountians. So now we have covered all the Nordic countries in one thead. Smile Smilie

Lambert, yes. Thats the movie.
Yah Vir, Him, the book was called *the eaters of the dead*
Ah shucks Rhodry, I thought the book you were talking about was Dinotopia. Elk Grinning Smilie
MWAHAHA!!! GRONDY IS SILLY!!!

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Can't really see much Beowulf in that flick, really. There's no Grendel, but an entire people.

On a sidenote, anyone seen the classic "Beowulf" with Christopher Lambert?

Dinosaurs book = Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton?


Finally I've seen a movie that everyone else has!!! Alright, someone else. I saw the 13th warrior, and I kept thinking "Hey, this is a little like Beowulf... but it must be coincidence. It just can't be Beowulf."

The classic Beowulf with Christopher Lambert? I gotta see that.
/me smaps Grondy
I'm actually from Sweden my self, and I must say that
Norway IS a beautiful country. But its different compared
to Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark. We all have our different beauty.
So, if you'r going over to Scandinavia, don't think you've seen it all
just because you visited one country. VISIT them all. Smile Smilie

What I really like about our countries is that we have so much history,
and tales. Like the one from Iceland.
Our countries are so old, there's alot to learn about them.
And the tales, most of them are just so beautiful.

Well, I hope everyone gets the chance to visit Scandinavia at least
once in their life.
Take care!
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So, if you'r going over to Scandinavia, don't think you've seen it all
just because you visited one country. VISIT them all.

No way : too expensive.

;-)
Not if you spread your individual visits over a couple decades instead of visiting all of them in one long tour. Elf Winking Smilie
Miruvor, it's not that expensive. There are cheep ways to get
around there. But you don't have to take all of them at the same trip.
Even if I think that would be the cheepest way.
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There are cheep ways to get around there

Alas, I can't swim that far!
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Alas, I can't swim that far!


Oh, you can't? I thought so. :P
Well, there still is cheep ways to get around.
Without getting wet. Unless you get into the rain ofcourse.