Revisiting the Charms of Small Town Norway

25 July 2012

Wednesday


Sand i Ryfylke

Three years ago when I was last in Sand i Ryfylke, in September 2009, I posted about The Charms of Small Town Norway. I have not returned to Sand, and am once again experiencing the charms of small town Norway. And in contrast to the several days of rain on the drive to get to Sand, it was a pleasant day here, with some clouds but also many sun breaks. When the sun comes out, it is warm.

I cannot say enough good things about Norwegian strawberries; I think these are the best strawberries I have had. Earlier, in our drive to Sand, children came around to the windows of each car at ferry landings and sold local berries. I bought a container of strawberries for 40 kroner and enjoyed them immensely. Since then we have had more strawberries along the way. The berries here are very sweet and tasty; the strawberries have a texture like a ripe pear, nothing like the big berries that are hard and white inside. The ripe berries here are red to the center.

The charms of small town Norway change but little over time, just as I remarked about the pause in history one feels at Urnes. Urnes, and Solvorn across the fjord, are small towns not unlike Sand. History has been paused at Sand and Urnes and Solvorn. The perennial pleasures of good food and good company hold pride of place.

The center of Sand

Sand is my home away from home. While it is ruinously expensive to come to Norway, this is my seventh visit, and as I remarked in an earlier post, it has now been almost a quarter century since my first trip to Europe and to Norway and to Sand. This gives me a certain perspective both on my experiences and upon this place that I have visited more than any other with the exception of my home and places in Oregon that I frequent. (But we usually grant an exception for home, do we not?) I suspect that the only streets that I know better than Sand are those of Portland.

Enjoying the charms of small town Norway in Sand i Ryfylke

What is a home? If it is a place to which you return, then Norway and Sand must also be included among my homes. (Whether or not the Norwegians want to count me as one of their own is another question.)

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