600 Miles South of the Arctic Circle

It has been a little while since our last entry. This is mostly due to the fact that we have been spending time in a cabin in the woods and there is no Internet available. This has mostly been great. We do miss feeling connected to all our friends and family through Fodenvensel Studios however. Thank you again for reading our posts and supporting us. It really does mean a lot to us.

Let’s fill you in on our happenings:

Gunnar took us on a boat adventure where we trawled for pike in the lake and caught a 7-pound champ. We both enjoyed the visceral experience of fishing, but also watched in wide-eyed amazement as the pike was pulled onto the boat by a hook attached to a stick and then whacked on the head by the same stick until it stopped moving except for a few random involuntary breaths here and there. We then watched with fascination as the pike was beheaded, cut from neck to vent, gutted and filleted. We both wish to be aware of and connected to the details of our consumption of animals and don’t wish to deny the reality that awe-inspiring animals die so that we may live. Still, watching it happen was intense. Lise prepared the pike in butter with potatoes and tomatoes and, let us assure you, it was amazing.



We then had a week at the cabin, just the two of us, while Gunnar and Lise spent time with their son and daughter-in-law in the high mountains of Norway. We spent a lot of time on the water by the cabin and at a small, deep, crystal blue lake a few miles from the cabin called Clear Lake, or “Klaretjern” in Norwegian. The summer has arrived here near the Arctic Circle and we’ve been enjoying time in the sun with our feet in the grass, biking around on the rural roads, rowing the boat in the lake and stopping on a little island to read together. We went for a scramble around the perimeter of Clear Lake that included several somewhat-technical climbing moves and we felt very accomplished.

20130716-134818.jpgAbove: summer storms.




Five days ago we drove an hour west to the village of Svinndal where we are now house-sitting for Gunnar and Lise’s other son (Erik) and daughter-in-law (Ewelina) . Erik, Ewelina and their three daughters are vacationing in Poland and we are making sure the pet bunny and dog stay fed and happy for the next 7 days. We had a really fun time hanging out with Erik and Ewelina’s family for a few days before they left. Erik took us out in his motor boat for an evening in the Oslo Fjord. He smoked his pipe and emanated great ease while we fished for mackerel. We did not catch anything so instead we snacked on some tinned mackerel that Ewelina packed for us. It was delicious and much easier that way.

In the few days prior to the family’s departure, David became best friends with the youngest daughter, 5-year-old Ingrid. This is probably not surprising to those of you who know David. Although they don’t share a common language they have been having the best time jumping on the trampoline, playing in Ingrid’s room with her toys, playing music together, playing dead, shrieking, staying up past bedtime and yelling “no” at each other in Norwegian. Yes, it is as adorable as it sounds.

20130716-135320.jpgAbove: introducing a bunny named Muffin.

Norway has been treating us well and has been a perfect opportunity for time with family and shelter from the heat of southern Europe. We think we will probably be in Norway for a couple more weeks and our list of possible northern activities includes: heading to the western city of Bergen via train and foot, visiting the Viking boat museum and Vigeland Park in Oslo and checking out Stockholm. We don’t have plans yet for what comes after Norway but we found some cheap flights to Turkey and that is currently on the top of our list.


11 thoughts on “600 Miles South of the Arctic Circle

  1. I’m happy to hear about your experience with turning animals into food. It can be quite a spiritual experience for some. People are often amazed when they see a deer being turned into steaks and roasts for the first time. Some get it and some don’t. I happy to see that you guys get it.

    I love living vicariously through your descriptions of your adventures. Please continue.

  2. I think I’ll take the entire paragraph about the fish and turn it into lyrics for a song called “Seven Pound Champ!” – Ska Tana

  3. We are so glad you’re back! (though seeing David on the boat with beanie and parka makes us realize how HOT we are here in NY!). Your trip is beautiful. Love from us both, Sue & Doug

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