Tag Archives: Norway

The Huldufólk of Iceland

“This is a land where everyone is aware that the land is alive, and one can say that the stories of hidden people and the need to work carefully with them reflects an understanding that the land demands respect” –  Terry Gunnell, a folklore professor at the University of Iceland

We have moved on from Wroclaw in Poland and its street dwarfs so I thought you might like some pictures of the Huldufólk. the “hidden folk” of Icelandic folklore who live in a mystical landscape of mountain passes with peaks lost in the clouds, of arctic chill, windswept valleys, gnarled volcanic rock, wild moss and winter scorched meadows.

“It’s sort of a relationship with nature, like with the rocks. (The elves) all live in the rocks, so you have to. It’s all about respect, you know.” – Icelandic Singer Bjork.

In a land like this. of fire and ice, a place that is wild and magical, where the fog-shrouded lava fields provide a spooky landscape in which it is possible that anything out of the ordinary might lurk, stories flourish about the “hidden folk”.

According to Icelanders these are the thousands of elves who make their homes in the wilderness,  supernatural forces that dwell within the hallowed volcanic rubble and coexist alongside the 320,000 or so Icelandic people.

People in Iceland do not throw stones into the wilderness just in case they carelessly injure an Elf!

“It has caused a lot of arguments, as it’s something that’s very difficult to prove. Iceland is full of álagablettir, or enchanted spots, places you don’t touch – just like the fairy forts and peat bogs in Ireland. They’re protected by stories about the bad things that will happen if you do” – Terry Gunnell

If you are wondering where the Huldufólk are in my pictures? Well, according to Icelandic lore they are hidden beings that inhabit a parallel world that is invisible to human eyes, and can only be spotted by psychics and little children, unless they willingly decide to reveal themselves to people.

Sometimes however you can see their houses…

Have you been to Iceland – Have you seen the the Huldufólk?

Weekly photo Challenge: Circle

Tyre Circles Haugesund Norway

One of the reasons that we have tended to avoid Scandinavia is because of the notoriously high cost of living and the lofty prices relative to southern and eastern Europe.

The reason that Norway in particular is so expensive is that after World War Two, thanks to shipping, the merchant marine industry and a policy of domestic industrialisation the country experienced rapid economic growth.  Then, from the early 1970s, there was further accelerated growth as a result of exploiting large oil and natural gas deposits that had been discovered in the North Sea.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

Haugesund COOP products Norway

… if you have ever wondered why sometimes products change their name to be more universally accepted then here here are some examples why…

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Iceland Meat Balls in a Tin

Norway, Haugesund Museum

Haugesund Norway

On the way back it started to rain again so we quickened our pace and returned to the hotel and made for the tea machine and the television lounge.  Twelve o’clock was checking out time so we completed the formalities and then wondered what to do.  The city museum, that was closed yesterday, was open from midday today but I couldn’t persuade Kim to step out in the drizzle for a second time so I left her in the comfy chair next to the log fire that was crackling in the grate and went back out by myself.

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Norway, Bjørge Lillelien, Football and Winter Weather

Haugesund Norway

The rain showed no sign of easing off so we settled in to an afternoon of sport on the satellite television which was promising a full afternoon of English Premier League football.  I sampled the first can of Frydenlund and was pleased to discover that it was very nice indeed and then sat down for the match.

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Norway, Vinmolopolet and Marilyn Monroe

Mermaid Haugesund Norway

To be honest the shops in Haugesund weren’t especially thrilling but we did stop at a co-op supermarket to see what sort of things Norwegians eat and how much they pay for them.  We had some difficulty in understanding the prices and everything seemed horribly expensive but then we realised that a box of cornflakes couldn’t possibly be £25 so finally understood that prices were in øre which is a hundredth of a krone and effectively therefore the equivalent of a penny or a cent.

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Norway, A Land of Plenty – Some Facts and Figures

Haugesund Norway

In the morning by a minor miracle the rain had stopped and the pavements had been dried off by the piercing wind so when we woke and discovered this we were hopeful of a dry day.

Just to satisfy ourselves we searched the Norwegian breakfast television channels for a forecast and after a few minutes surfing eventually found one.  The weather man appeared in front of a map full of symbols and, I don’t know why she did this, but Kim turned up the sound so that we could hear what he was saying!  I think she failed to take into account that whatever it was he was telling it in impenetrable Norwegian.  I asked her why she did that and she said that she thought it might be helpful!

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