img 6832On your way over markets and squares, you find people mild and hospitable
Which is a gift by Your hands and feet, sweet fruits, all sorts
Even if you miss your loved ones, seeing them now is still too soon
Of tender soft loving you can never get enough
Of tender soft loving you can never get enough

Loosely adapted and translated:: Onderweg - Willem Vermandere

Did you know that Edvard Munch, the painter of The Scream, was the first to make selfies?
After painting, he was a photographer as well. "I have an old camera with which I made countless pictures of myself and often surprising good results [...]". As said by Munch in 1930.
I'm not that fond of selfies myself. "Selfies" sound very similar to "Selfish". Sometime, no often, I see pictures on social media and then there's this head in front of everything... Such a shame, the photo could have been wonderful.
The people in my inner circle among you might have been surprised about finding a short video on which I was in view... talking as well. I'll point out right now that this will remain a rare occurrence!
By the way… I wonder if The Scream I saw in Oslo is the real thing since I've seen the real deal right here in Vågåmo. Just look here:

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Find the differences...

Ik ben weer terug in Ringebu en de heb de route tussen Ringebu en Dombås nu helemaal klaar. Hij is prachtig. De bergen werden hoger, de rivier smaller, de sneeuw witter, de wolken donkerder en de oude schuren nog ouder. Woensdag fietste ik door het Reinheimen nasjonalpark, waar de boomgrens al op 850 meter begon (hoe noordelijker je komt, hoe lager de boomgrens). Het regende, waaide en op 1230 meter was het 6°C. Logisch op die hoogte, zul je zeggen. Maar ‘beneden’ was het 9°C. Het was gewoon een koude dag. “Het wordt al herfst”, zei de kassamedewerkster in de outdoor-zaak waar ik handschoenen kocht (mijn handschoenen had ik potverdikkie in de auto laten liggen…).
Gelukkig duurde de herfst erg kort en donderdag was het al weer 20 graden warmer. Sowieso zijn de warme en regenloze dagen tot nog toe sterk in de meerderheid.

Women in the lead

Strong women are also represented this route. I'm talking about Pilarguri, the Hero of a town called Otta, the writer Sigrid Undset and the protagonist in one of her books Kistin Lavransdatter.
Pillarguri is in Otta the local hero for a diversion in 1612 that made short work of a Scottish enemy force. There's a statue in the town where she blows 'the deadly horn'.
Kistin Lavransdatter is the main character in the book with the same name from Sigrid Undset. The story is situated in the 14th century and describes the life of Kirstin, an independent daughter of a farmer. The themes involve the struggle between free will, faith and obligations to her family and others around her.
The stories are based on real locations and persons (apart from the main characters). Many of these locations are in Gudbrandsdalen, a valley between Lillehammer and Dombås, where the pilgrimsroute goes through; but can be followed over the route all the way to Trondheim.
I visited Jørengard, the farm where Kirstin grew up in the book. It's situated near the town Sel where you can find a movie set now. As I'll be moving to Trondheim, I'll find more references to Kirstin, because she made the pilgrimage to Nidaros, the present Trondheim.
At the moment I'm reading the book - a trilogy of a thousand pages. Unfortunately I have very little time and rest to read it at leisure.


Pillarguri in OttaSigrid Undset in LillehammerKirstin Lavransdatter in Sel

Double meetings

How remarkable is it when you're going though Lillehammer twice and meet the same cyclist. he was a pensioned travel cyclist who doesn't ride large distances anymore because of his advanced age. These days he makes day trips around Lillehammer on his e-bike. Both times I met him inside the town. And the race cyclist Vinstra. On my way north he spoke to me and gave me some advice and tips and told me everything I needed to know about Norwegians as a foreigner... in his opinion. A couple of days later on my way back I head a loud bell across the road. It was the same cyclist.
And as I got near Staafkerk in Ringebu near my car, I encountered a Dutch pilgrim. It appeared we had met on the hike and cycling fair earlier this year. Besides, Cor - as his name was - stayed in the same pilgrim hostel as I did. When I saw him again, he had walked too far off already.

The most remarkable meeting was last Monday. I had a bicycle-free day and I took shelter in the middle of nowhere for two days. There is nothing here but a huge forest against a mountainside and a small farm. I was a guest there. There were still some emails to be sent, including to Tone from the pilgrims center in Hamar. When I was in Hamar, Ann Elin told me that Tone was on vacation, so I was in no rush to email her.
Because it got dry after lunch (it was raining that morning), I decided to take a walk first. Actually I hoped to encounter a moose or even a troll, but this was much more special.

I was on my way back to the farm when I saw a woman on a bench. She looks like a pilgrim because of the large backpack. I spoke to her and it turned out it was Tone!

I was flabbergasted! The pilgrims center of Hamar is about 200 kilometers away from here. And the day I want to email her, she'll be there. In the middle of nowhere. I invited her and after a nice and informative gathering I waved her goodbye again.
But get this! A couple of days later I was already going south and suddenly I heard a car horn. I see a car parked with person waving frantically to get my attention and lowered the window. It was Tone. She was on her way back from her pilgrimage and saw me cycling. So she waited for me a little further down the road.
And so I had double meetings...

And in case you wondering, yes I miss Remy... But that doesn't mean that I'm not enjoying myself  or am otherwise unhappy, quite the opposite. Otherwise I don't want to put him through all this: Stop every time, cycling back, make notes make pictures, going back again to try an alternative and so on... But still. Every couple of days we call each other and he translates all my newsletters to English! Saves me a lot of time since my English isn't that good (or I have very high standards). It won't be long before I see him again. I hope in a week or two.
But first a day off in Ringebu and then the final stretch between Dombås - Trondheim. The car will end up somewhere in the middle. First I'll cycle Dombås and back, and Trondheim is next. For the hikers the hardest, highest and most beautiful part of the whole pilgrim route. How it will look like for the cyclists is still a surprise. It's not possible to go over Dovrefjell (completely), the highlight of the route in many respects.

One more thing for the people familiar with the the hiking route and the people who are going to cycle it: The route between Sel and Dombås goes over a highway for six kilometers. On itself it is fine, but in my view the alternative is more beautiful: through the Reinheimen nasjonalpark. You make a considerable detour and climb up to 1200 meters, but it's worth it. You just might see a reindeer!

Hadet bra! 👋

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