So my trip to the land of my ancestors has ended and I am home, busy catching up on correspondence and work. It may be a few more days before I start blogging about genealogy and genetics again. The exciting news is that we got three DNA samples from 2nd, 3rd, and 5th cousins while over there. One came from knocking on the door of a farm house with cousin Corinne and saying, “Our ancestors lived here, are we related?”
Tromsø From Boat
The last week of my trip was spent at a Bridge Tournament above the Arctic Circle in Tromsø. I was amazed at how difficult it was to get my sleep rhythms in synch when the sun never set. I think I did not play my best. I was also surprised by how much colder it was there than down South.
Tromso was the start point for many artic explorations and had several museums with displays celebrating this plus a lovely Sami exhibit at the University Museum.
My plane home had a 5 hour stopover in Oslo so I took the train in and visited their art museum, the National Gallery and the Dance of Life exhibit.
Oslo National Gallery
No photos were allowed of Munch’s Scream but I took many pictures of Norwegian landscapes that really appealed to me as well as some of the impressionist paintings.
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.
Jarle at the Lake
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.
The house my great-grandad H H Lee was born in
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.