Saturday, May 3, 2014

Leinøy, Norway

Ron here. I went to Norway over Easter Weekend. I was working in London this month and happened to be there for the UK's four day Easter weekend. Since the office was closed, I have been to London and UK a few times, I reckoned I should go somewhere else. So I decided to visit some relatives of the Larsons in Norway.

Both of my grandparents on my father's side are Norwegian-American. My grandmother's father immigrated to Minnesota from Norway. The relatives I met on this trip are cousins from my grandmother's family in Norway.
Flying in to Bergen

I flew to Bergen, Norway's second biggest city on the Southwest coast of Norway. From there I rented a car and drove 7 hours north to the island of Leinøy to see Anna Sofia and her family.

I didn't have time to see Bergen. I wish I did. From the air it reminded me of parts of Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, between Seattle and Vancouver. Lots of islands, trees, water, and mountains. Bergen is the wettest part of Norway. Perhaps that is why it looks and feels like Seattle.

On the way north, I had to take a ferry across the Sognefjord, Norway's largest fjord. I also had to drive through many tunnels. I noticed a couple of things.

Jølstravannet Lake
Overlooking the Nordfjorden in Stryne Kommune
First, there are no billboards in Norway. Or at least there are no billboards in western Norway. I have not been to the east near Olso. I have to say it is so refreshing not to have this beautiful scenery blemished by garish billboards. I only know of two states in the US that don't allow billboards: Hawaii and Maine. Also my home county of Santa Barbara doesn't allow them, but there are still a couple on Hwy 101 that were grandfathered in.

Second, there are no fast food restaurants. Perhaps it was because I was in rural Norway. But I drove over 1000km over the weekend, and didn't see one. Nor did I see a bar, or even a restaurant.
Anna Sofie greeting me at their home
Since it was easter weekend, Anna Sofia's brother Kristoffer Leirdal and his family was visiting too. Also there were another couple related to Kristoffer's wife.

Dinner was waiting. Fish soup! It was yummy.
The view from Anna Sofie and Terje's house.
Anna Sofia's husband, Terje, is a retired fisherman. He owns a small fishing boat which he keeps docked across the street from their house. So we decided to go out and see what we could catch. It was too windy leave the shelter of the islands and enter the open North Atlantic Ocean, so we tried bottom fishing. But it was blowing too hard and the boat was moving too fast to catch anything. We only caught one medium sized cod.
Terje in his workshop
Terje's fishing boat
Kristoffer Leirdal
Me... yea. It is cold.
They eat very well on the west coast of Norway. Fish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was wonderful.

This is the fish we caught that morning.
Leinøy is one of many, many islands off the west coast. Most of these are all connected by bridges now. After fishing, we drive over to Bergsoya, the town of Fosnavåg, and over to the Nerlandsoya Island.
Fosnavåg on Bergsøy Island 
Town of Kvalsund on the island of Nerlandsoya
I only had one day in with Anna Sofia and her family. I had to leave at 0500h to drive to my next stop: Gaupne and the Larson family homestead.
Seriously. We had fresh trapped lobster for breakfast.


  1. It looks like heaven. Sweden looked like heaven to me when I was there last year, too.

  2. Ron, I enjoyed reading about your visit with family. Beautiful country, the view from their home is wonderful.
    Cousin Cherie

  3. So enjoyed your photos and comments.....what a beautiful country....visited there interesting....remember meals had a lot of cold meat and hard bread...but great folks and scenery....rain rain in Bergen....story is a tourist asked a local youth what was it like in Bergen when it was not raining...he told the tourist, " how would I know?...I am only 7 years old....again thanks for the tour

    Dean Lambert