After Bergen I headed north along the coast to the tiny village of Vevring. It's about a third of the way up the country, perched at the bottom of a mountain on the edge of the Førdefjorden. The village has one shop, one post office and one elementary school with a total of 12 students.
While there, I got to know a local family. Dagmar, her boyfriend Stein-Torald and their daughter Viktoria live on Dagmar's sheep farm a little outside the village, in a little neighborhood called Stall Gryta. Dagmar's father, Magnar, lives in his childhood house, which is the next farm over and also where Dagmar grew up. The road and tunnels that lead to Vevring from Stall Gryta were built in the mid 1960s. Before that a boat was the main form of transportation instead of cars. The closest shop in the days before the road was directly across the fjord and so Magnar and his family frequented that village more than Vevring. It was interesting seeing how much a road can impact the lives and lifestyles of a community.
When she was 19, Dagmar bought her neighbor's farm and has been a farmer ever since. She now has a collection of sheep, goats, cows, ponies and horses. Both the sheep and cows are a mix of more rare breeds. Dagmar is trying to make her money off of only breeding and supplying these rare animals to other farmers instead of raising them for meat. She would also like to sell the natural colored wool from the old sheep breeds. As a knitter, it was great getting to know the sheep and understand the origins of wool. I even got to see the sheering of the sheep. I look forward to being able to buy rare wool from Dagmar and her beautiful sheep. Her relationship with them is really lovely. She really cares for them, and they obviously adore her.
While in Vevring the village celebrated Carnival and I got the chance to join in. Norwegians, I found, are a lighthearted people with a love of humor and having fun. The small community hall was decked out in a healthy dose of paper decorations and lights. Everyone was dressed in costume, and voted on which was the best. There was dancing and singing and general revery.
Before leaving the village I visited the Ausevika Rock Carvings, which are 3000 years old. There are over 300 of these ancient artworks sprawled across a section of rock right along the water. Deer, spirals and humans are all depicted and still clearly visible when not covered by earth. Unfortunately those that you can see are exposed to the elements and thus in danger of eroding away. There hasn't been enough money raised to build a structure over the rocks to protect them for future generations. Hopefully that will happen sometime in the future.
I left Vevring the day after Easter and traveled back across the country to leave Norway after spending more than 2 months there.
kaitlin k walsh
Adventurer armed with a camera.