Native in Norway
My non-existent blonde locks and lanky limbs may make it hard to believe, but I am a viking. I may not rape and pillage like my well-renowned ancestors, but I seemed to have inherited the extreme wanderlust of my viking kin.
As far as my family heritage is concerned I am a total mutt, and completely proud of it, but I must admit that having viking blood in the mix is kind of cool (besides the whole raping/pillaging reputation). But it wasn’t until recently that I had the opportunity to get in touch with my inner viking, that soon changed after a lovely week spent with my wonderful Norwegian family.
After a tragic train journey that ended up in hell, (no seriously, that was the name of the town), I finally made it to my family’s home town, Steinkjer. A stunning fjord-side town which instantly took my breath away.
Exhausted and alone I disembarked the train where I was instantly embraced by Sissel. I had never even seen a photo of my wonderful Norwegian relative so I was utterly surprised that she found me so instantly. I had to ask how she knew.
She was honest. “You don’t look Norwegian.”
It must have been the lack of blonde locks.
Sissel and her husband Einar opened their hearts and their home for me and I instantly found a home away from home in the magnificent Norwegian town.
Sissel showed me everything there is to see in the area – from the viking museum of Stikelstad – where Christianity was introduced to the country after the battle that caused King Olav Haraldsson to fall in 1030, to the surrounding towns where so much of my own family history took place. It was magnificent to learn so much about my family’s heritage and Sissels personal tour through the area caused me to feel a complete connection to a country I had previously known so little about.
Days that weren’t spent out of town were spent on the farm – admiring the horses and fjords and hiking through the forest. I learnt to identify the most delicious berries that grow wildly within the forrest (probably the only fresh produce that you can buy in abundance without going broke in the country). Breakfast was always something to look forward to as Sissel and I would eat our warm porridge wile admiring the view, and on the weekend Einar would join us for a traditional Norwegian breakfast spread. Coffee was drunk by the pot and it was never too late for another coffee during my time in Norway.
I met many other cousins (usually over coffee) and feel extremely lucky to be related to such wonderful vikings.
Norway is not only full of wonderful people – it is also completely swarming with spectacular scenery. Every hilltop view is picture perfect and you could never tire from admiring the handsome coloured houses nestled across the green hillsides.
I left Norway with a heavy-heart. I may not look Norwegian, but my viking blood will be calling me back soon enough.