My worry is nothing on this trip will match the incredible day we had yesterday in Etne, Hordaland, Norway. The ancestral farms around the lake were so very green with snow-capped mountains behind them and sheep everywhere. The weather was perfect. We had a traditional lamb and cabbage stew lunch with the Skjold third cousins on their deck overlooking the valley and lake. Followed by fruit-filled waffles.
Our cousin Jarle was a wonderful guide. He showed me the house, still there, where my great grandfather H. H. Lee was born on farm Skjold. He mentioned that they had shown cousin John the wrong farm, the newer Skjold farm built by Jarle’s grandfather.
Jarle also told us that the children called the white plastic wrapped hay bales “tractor eggs” because they came wrapped that way out of the backs of the tractors. Also we learned that most of Norway’s electricity is hydo-electric and that there are green chemicals available for fracking but regulations in the USA are such that companies do not have to use them. He works in the chemicals for oil companies business by the way.
We drove onto the farm, Tveito where Corinne and my gg-grandmothers were born. Hers married over to Haaland and mine to Skjold. We introduced ourselves to Steinar, a fourth cousin whose family had stayed on farm Tveito. It is now his vacation home and he rents out the fields to other farmers. He showed me sadly where the deer had eaten his magnolia tree and his apples.
Cousin Steinar then showed us the actual house our gg-grandmothers were born in. It is beautifully restored, wood floors, walls and also very low wood ceilings. It was the first house in the area with a second story.
The day before was pretty great also, finding Fatland farm on Halsnøy Island with 5th cousin Magne and his mother; getting lost in very scenic places whose place names I recognized as also being ancestral (1600s and earlier).
Next a tunnel and car ferry from Utaker (another ancestral place) to Skanevik which looks to be a most picturesque little town. If we ever return to this part of the world, we will try to stay a night there.
Then Magne took us to farm Ve which has been broken down to about 6 or 7 farms since the time of our ancestors there. Further out on the same penninsula was Bjorgo farm where yet another set of ancestors lived
The Ve farm is about here.
It is south of the town of Etne known as Etnesjøen, on the Etne fjord.