Saturday, September 19, 2015

Alta, Norway

I really enjoyed the excursion today despite the early hour departure. We first went a way up the mountain to visit the rock carvings of the ancient Norwegian. Now forgive me, but at first glance of the “unpainted” carvings they were much like seeing the face of Christ on a potato chip. But I decided that in the realm of things trying to decide what ancient scratches upon rocks had less meaning to me than what was occurring around me in the “here and now”.

What an absolutely beautiful day. Just a bit of crispness in the air and the fall colors of red, yellow and green (no brown) were bursting forth.  So despite what I said before I left that I was going to miss a season, it did not happen, it just happened to happen in Norway.

In addition to visiting the sites of the ancient rock carving we went to visit a Sami village; the parallels of this native tribe of Norwegian native Sami’s to the American Indians is uncanny. There was a time when the Sami people where not allowed to speak their native tongue and were forced to speak Norwegian, in  addition their history was not considered important nor was it encouraged to explore.

In recent years this has changed. It is estimated that there are between 50,000 to 100,000 Sami people in Norway today. They are now allowed to speak the Sami language and to propagate their culture.

Today when we visited this small village of Sami people near Alta the men were all away up the mountain to gather up the herd of rain deer for the fall and winter season.

I loved walking out in the woods, the fall colors were brilliant and while overcast it was not at all cold yet, just crisp and delightful. Yeah, I actually thought about how I would fair the winter here above the Arctic Circle. You have to admit there is a certain triumph to surviving a winter in a harsh climate and just thumbing your nose at the climate powers that be.

Tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. we set sail once again and work our way toward Narvik, Norway. In the meantime I will fill my hours with naps, food, reading and chat.  I need to schedule a massage soon… oh and did I mention that today my “nap” measured three hours in length?

See you all soon.

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