Exploring the people of my ancestors across the Norwegian landscapes of Oslo, Trondheim, Ålesund, Sunnmøre, Bergen and Lillehammer.

During the summer of 2015 my wife Kathryn and I traveled to Norway. Little did we know at the time of booking our tickets six months prior that we would have to vacate our rental, and end up buying a house, within two weeks of our departure. In some ways this felt all too normal for a newly married couple, and in other ways it was very different.
For the next sixty-four days I will be publicizing a new journal entry from our time spent traveling abroad, and every post will correspond to the same day it was written three years ago. The entries will be short transcriptions from my written journal, and will include a photocopy of the original journal itself, as well as photo and video content.
The story picks up after a long drive from Portland, Oregon to Monterey, California, where Katy and I spent one night with my aunt Sharen and uncle Eric before our cousin James drove us to the Oakland airport. It is also worth noting that I lost my phone in the airport at the time of boarding our plane, and that it contained our contacts, maps and international data plan for Norway. It was recovered, and even shipped to me in Norway, but this we soon discovered to be a most arduous task. As such, our trip became a little more adventurous.
Across Continents: June 16, 2015
“Today I awoke to be 30 years old. The morning was briefly spent in Monterey / Pacific Grove with the Stoner-Holks, whose hospitality is above & beyond, before our cousin James drove us to OAK. It was here that we lost my phone upon departure, later to be recovered by TSA.
The 10 hour flight over North America, Greenland, Iceland and the North Atlantic gave us time to listen to gospel music, Elmers’ autobiography, watch a movie or two, and stare just a little at the midnight sun. The vast majority of our flight was spent above a thick sea of clouds.”
Today is Yesterday: June 17, 2015
“‘Stupid American tourists.’ … ‘Hun, it’s 1am for them, be nice.’ What I heard from a local while waiting to pass through customs–I think we were all very tired.
• No way to contact Roy.
• 2+ hours building bikes at baggage claim.
• Pouring rain in Oslo, w/o sense of direction.
• Broken front rack + compass.
• Meeting w/ Roy, + whiskey.
• Roy takes us on a walk, tour of the city to keep us awake until midnight.”
Roy Hanssen: June 18, 2015
“A very late breakfast at 17:25 after a long night’s sleep, after a longer day’s journey. [Local Norwegian milk, Oregon blueberries (fresh picked), Oregon oats, and Gesha coffee from Columbia.]
‘For the ear tests words as the palate tastes food. Let us choose what is right; let us know among ourselves what is good.‘ – Job 34:3-4
Our prayer before breakfast this evening, and consequently prior to our devotions, was in part related to the above scripture; that we would have practical and financial wisdom in a foreign land.
Had our first experience grocery shopping, and found some things difficult to translate or understand, namely with butter and milk %’s. Katy cooked up a delicious pasta and meatballs dinner with garlic bread and spinach, plus we broke into the Sokol Blosser early–it was entirely appropriate. After Katy retired, I stayed up with Roy to discuss faith, gun laws, and to share the gospel.
Meandering Cobblestone: June 19, 2015
“Didn’t sleep all night, maybe one hour. Got up and out to meet Ingrid for lunch at the Åpent bakery, but we went to the factory by mistake. The walk alongside the river and waterfall was lovely, however, and we still hope to catch her and Martin another time.
The rest of our day was spent sending coffee to Ole Jacob in Stord, and stopping in at Tim Wendelboe’s shop where we exchanged coffees–we may attend a cupping there tomorrow.
[Illustration of Tim’s coffee at a bakery called Godt Brød.]”
Grünerløkka – Vettakollen: June 20, 2015
“‘Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.‘ – Proverbs 19:2
With our jet lag diminishing today began to feel as a normal day, like we were back home, only in Oslo. Our server for lunch at Mucho Mas was an Australian, and he didn’t speak any Norwegian, to our surprise. After this we did a little grocery shopping at Remo 1000 (Vee), and picked up supplies for Sunday (since stores are not open on Sundays), including anniversary cheesecake. Then we went for a bike ride to Oslo’s high point where the ski runs and olympic ski jump are. The views north and west were beautiful, and looked untouched by man. There were rain clouds over a range of snowy mountains in the far north. The ride down was fast and cold. It is now much later, 2am in fact, but there is still light out.
‘I don’t speak much English, you had better come back on Monday. Bye.’
[This man works at one of the oldest bicycle shops in Oslo. I tried to buy a spoke wrench from him, but gathered I needed to bring my bike in as well.]”
Anniversary – Markus Kirke: June 21, 2015
“Tried to attend a BBQ picnic in the Hanshaugen Park with Jesus Church Oslo, but due to thunder showers it was moved inside. Eventually we found the building, after much wandering and asking for directions. JCO was beautiful inside, with several well crafted angelic murals and wonderful craftsmanship. Inside we were warmly greeted by two Kenyans, Simon and Gilbert, and a woman from Seattle, Bobbi-Jo. What little we saw of the service seemed to be a bit ‘showy.’
The afternoon was restful and quiet.
For dinner, we had red wine and an authentic pizza pie a piece, and wrote a list of memorable events from the past year.”
To The Midnight Sun: June 22, 2015
“‘Do not long for the night, when peoples vanish in their place.‘ – Job 36:20
The plan was to wake early enough to run a couple errands and visit the sculpture park. Having run out of time, we had to skip the park. However, after our train mishap there was suddenly six new hours in our day, so we went after all, and had lox and snøfrisk with crackers for dinner. The statues are very thought provoking, with a nordic meets greek sort of theme. Roy had said earlier about it that, ‘You will find yourself within some of his (the artist) work.’
Then we circumnavigated upper Oslo, and stopped for wine, cheesecake, and brownie at The Nighthawk Diner before grabbing our train to Trondheim.”