Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Ehli Family in Norway

Following a tearful parting with brother Jeff, gone to pursue his fortune in America, the Ehlis make their way north, accompanied by their trusty and strikingly handsome son-in-law, Joel. The voyage across the North Sea is long and perilous, but at last our craft makes landfall at the village of Sandefjord, where we manage to hire a worthy vehicle to convey us for the rest of our journey. Late in the night, the dauntless Ehlis are joyfully re-united with their intrepid and tireless Norwegian kinswoman, Sigrun, who is to accompany and direct us. Sigrun plies us with food and wine, and we rest for the night.

Arising with the dawn, our party ventures forth. The eerie light of the northern sun casts mysterious shadows, wherein may lurk any manner of trolls, nisse, tusse, huldre, or other wights of the Norse wilderness. After endless hours of driving through mountains, valleys, and woodlands, a ferry is found to take us across the fjord to Volda, near the ancestral home. There we meet more of Randi's gracious kin, who give us wonderful food, comfortable lodging, and pleasant conversation.

The next day begins with a visit to the churchyard where many of Randi's predecessors are buried. Paying our respects, we continue to the ancestral farmland itself, the fabled Velsvik. As we walk the familial grounds, we became aware of a bond reaching through the ages, linking us to this place. This bond is only strengthened by the seemingly endless supply of cakes, berries, and iced delicacies which we are subsequently served by our hospitable relations.

The following two days of our journey include a harrowing journey to Oslo over icy mountain passes, through the fjord of Geiranger, whose sheer slopes rise directly from the waterline to the knife-like peaks of ice, towering far above. It is here that the heroic Justin narrowly defeats a frost giant in single combat. Once safely in Oslo, after meeting more of the kinfolk and examining relics of the Viking age, we spend one last night with Sigrun and cast off once again for the shores of merry Scotland.

Further visual aids may be accessed here.