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I





THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

RIVERSIDE

GIFT OF



Mrs, Helen Ranney



NORWAY AND ITS FJORDS



BY THE SAME AUTHOR

The Log of The Ladybird
London to the Nore




■j-^- ft -4 : 1




11



NORWAY
AND ITS FJORDS



M. A.^WYLLIE



u



WITH SIXTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR BY

W, L. WYLLIE, R.A.

AND SEVENTEEN OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS



LONDON

METHUEN & CO.

NEW YORK

JAMES POTT & CO.

1907



CONTENTS



CHAPTER I

PAGES

The charm of the open sea — The pilot — The shelter of the
Fjord — Gogstad and the Viking ship — Alf, the timber
ship — Drammen — Oscarborg — Carl-Johans Gaden — The
Viking ship — Gear and the sepulchral chamber — Old
burials — Funeral rites — Hervor rouses Angantyr —
Angantyr threatens — Tryfing is flung to Hervor . . 1-16



CHAPTER II

Christiania — Ancient and modern art — Early painters — Dahl,
Fearnly, Baade, and Frich — Adolf Tidemand — Gude,
Cappelen, Carl S. Hansen — A gruesome story — An
execution — Collet, Ender, Otto Sinding — Three brothers,

^ Heyerdahl, Krohg — Erik Werenskiold — Fritz Thaulow

Q — Eyolf Soot, Gustav Wentegel — Peasant-born sculptors
— — Mathias Skeibrok, Stephen Sinding — Casts from the

Q antique ...... 17-31

0)

O

O CHAPTER III

^ristiania — Holmenkollen — Oscarshal — The fairy - tale
Q) room — A Norwegian winter — Notable men — Cleanly
^ Christiania — The oldest railway — Lake Miosen — George
—^ Bidder the calculating boy — Gudbrandsdal — The saeter
^. of Mork — Phyllis of the uplands — " Gammel ost"—

Lonelyfarms— The store-house— Longing for saeter life 32-47

V



I

00

I



vi NORWAY AND ITS FJORDS



CHAPTER IV

PAGES

Laurvik — Colin Archer the shipbuilder — The Fram —
Nansen's simple means to attain his end — Skien — Henrik
Ibsen — The Saetarsdal — Saetarsdal costume — The oldest
glen in Norway — Christiansand — Oft-painted Jaderen —
Stavanger — Stavanger cathedral — Karmo — Kopervik,
Haugesund — Restless waters — Flatholm Fyr and Hafs-
fjord ...... 48-61

CHAPTER V

The wondrous, beautiful Hardanger — A stony intruder —
The Barons of Rosendal — The Folgefond — Crossing the
Folgefond — Sondefos — Horses manage the climb — Odde,
the end of the Sor Fjord — Waterfalls in the environs of
Odde — Utne — The Thing — OksenQeld — King Utne's
runic stone — Delightful Norheimsund — Musical sur-
roundings — Hunt the fiddler — Strephon — A descendant
of Ole Haugen — The Hardanger violin — Medaas, Isak
Nilson of Boteren — The Ofsthus Fos in sunlight — An
uninterrupted view of the river . . . 62-83

CHAPTER VI

National dances — The Battle of Svold — The polska— The
hailing dance — A panacea for inal-de-Dier — Awaiting
Olaf s ship — Anger of Eirik Jarl — The real Long Serpent
— Sigvaldi Jarl manoeuvres — In battle array — Ulf replies
— Olaf fights most boldly — The doings of Eirik Jarl —
Desperate fighting — Comes Hyrning with his followers
— Thorkel's advice — Success of Thorkel's advice — Great
is the Jarl's luck — King Olaf dies . . . 84-101

CHAPTER VII

Bergen on the By Fjord — Binding's monument — Ole Bull —
Madame Malibran — Adelina Patti — Death of Ole Bull
— The laurel wreath — A studv of human nature —



CONTENTS vii



Tydskebryggen — Modern Vikings — Defrauded Jepsab —
The Hanseatic House — History of the League — DecHne
of the trade — The primitive jagter — Queer seamanship— ^
Old-time battles — Description by Samuel Pepys — Ludvig
Holberg — His early life — His death . . 102-122

CHAPTER VHI

Bergen — Grieg — Music — The Nordaasvand — Edvard Grieg
— Troldhaugen — " Just a bar, please " — Grieg's forebears
—The influence of Ole Bull— Richard Nordraak— " Jeg
elsker dig" — Franz Liszt — Peei- Gynt — Sdr Fjord— ^
Bolstad Fjord — The Vosse-Elv — The ceremony of name-
fastening — Voss— Verdandi, Norse representative of the
present — Voss Church — The old Finneloft — Hrolf Blakar
— Adieus to Voss ..... 123-143

CHAPTER IX

The Sogne and Naero Fjords— Aurlands Fjord— "Let go"
— Carioles and stolkjaerre — Fjord horses— On the i*oad
to Stalheim — Stalheimsklen — Great Jardalsnut — The
road to Bakke — Norwegian cattle — A perfect rainbow —
Fjaerlands Fjord and Mundal — Bdjumsbrae — Suphelle-
brae — Alone at the foot of Bojum — The haunt of the
Jotnar — Balholm — King Bele's Bautasteinar — Runatal —
Odin's Song — What Odin learned from the runes— An
artistic home — Time and tide wait for no man . 144-166

CHAPTER X

Loen, Merok, Naes, and Molde — Hornelen — Loen — Lake
Loen — Turf-roofed gaards of Naesdal — Nonsnib —
Kjendal — Merok — A zigzag road — " Cherrmans to dee
front " — Geiranger Fjord — Under the shadow of mighty
chffs — The Romsdalhorn — The valley of the Roma —
The Mongefos — How the water falls — Molde — Molde
Fjord — Charming surroundings — Bjornstjerne Bjornson
— Pure peasant stories — Voluntary exile — Jonas Lie —
Alexander Kielland 167-190



NORWAY AND ITS FJORDS



CHAPTER XI

TAGES

Trondhjem and its Kings— Trondhjem Cathedral — Advice to
visitors — Back to comfort — We are of one tongue — The
bard as an historian — Scandinavia and ancient Greece —
Heathen gods — Old records — The Peace of Frddi —
Trondhjem and its Kings — Harald's vow — The Norman
March— Rolf Ganger— "The Ballad of Rou"— The
Norman Flood — Harald Harfagre — Haakon the good
Christian — Olaf Tryggvason — Halfred the Scald — His
song of the heathen gods — Saint Olaf— Magnus and
Harold Haardrada — The Vaeringers — Peaceful Kings
Olaf and Eystein— Troublous times — Bernadotte — The
Storthing — King Haakon vil. — Military service — The
new militia ...... 191-22 1

CHAPTER XII

Torghatten — Mrs. Pilot — Narvik — Lofotens — Tromso and
Lyngen — Hestmann and the Sisters — The bolt that sped
— The pilot's wife — Lofoten Islands — Hardy Norsemen
— Torfisk and Klipfisk — The world's consumption of
dried fish — Vaags Fjord — Tromso— Midnight — Cluster-
ing pinnacles — Lyngen — Lapp Encampment — Lapp
clothing and ornaments — A Lapp baby — Balto and
Ravna — Lapp boots — An Englishman's experience —
Home life amongst the Lapps — A warm, dry shelter —
The Kota — The tent — A picturesque group — Norway's
desert boundary ..... 222-246

CHAPTER XIII

Hammerfest and North Cape — Soro Sund — Dr. de John's
dark brown cod-liver oil — Nansen's welcome — Meridian-
stdtte— Fog — The Bishop's belief in the kral'en— Octher
" encreases knowledge " — Hjelmso — North Cape flora —
Norwegian trees and flowers — Wild animals — Hans
Haugen — Homes of the elk deer and glutton — Lemming
— Lemming seek submerged Atlantis — A Lemming year
— Linncea borealis, national flower — Reindeer moss —
Eider-duck rugs — Warm and comfortable 247-267



CONTENTS ix



CHAPTER XIV

PAGES

Eozoon — The Devonian Age — Triassic and Jurassic times —
The Ice Age — Deep fjords — Neolithic man — Early
workmanship — Jotnar and Thursar — Icelandic poets —
Eddas — Sagas — Aud, Queen of Dublin — Burnt Njal —
The beardless carle — Bergthora's avengers — Sigmund
— Skarphedinn sings a mocking song . . 268-285



CHAPTER XV

Spitzbergen — The life-giving Gulf Stream — The phantom
ship — The hardy hunter — H.M.S. Callipso — Famine
bread — The Fox and East Glaciers — Cutting up whales
— Fulmar petrel — A whaler — Fauna — Poor Balccna
boops — The snow bunting — The height of the midnight
sun — Latitude 80° 24' N. — Prince Charles's Foreland —
The beliefs of the Vecti— The daughters of Ran — The
coast of Britain — The Thames once more . 286-306

Index ....... 307-315



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



IN COLOUR

The Vectis at Christiania

Timber Barque off Stavanger

Christiania from Holmenkollen

The Folgefond from Norheims Sound

Bergen from the Pudde Fjord

Tydskebryggen, Bergen

House of Edvard Grieg and the Nord-

AASVAND ....

VOSSEVANGEN ....

Naerodal .....
Balholm on the Sogne Fjord
LoEN Elv .....
Trondhjem ....

Lofoten Islands
Tromso (Midnight)
Hammerfest ....
Graves of Norwegian Whalers, Recherche
Bay ......



Frontispiece

Facing page 6

)) 33

75

„ I02

„ IIO

125
» 136

„ 160

226

232
» 249

» 291



IN MONOTONE

Viking Ship found at Gagstad, near
SouRDE Fjord ....

Beds found in the Viking's Ship .
" Sisters " .

By Hans Heyerdahl



10
10

25



xu



NORWAY AND ITS FJORDS



Carved Door from Old Church at

Hallingdal ....
" Norwegian Winter's Day " .

By Fritz Thaulow

"A Solitary Couple" .

By Adolf Tidemand

"Melting Snows"

By Fredrik Collet

"The Bachelor"

By F. Fagerlin

Cariol and Fjord Horse, Naerodal

Nonsnib, Lake Loen

"The Funeral of a Peasant"

By Erik Werenskiold

Trondhjem Cathedral .
"Frokost" (Breakfast)

By Gustav Wentzel

"Scene in the Lofoten Islands" .

By Otto Sinding

Drying Stock Fish

The Fjeld Lapperj of the No-man's-land

THAT divides NORWAY FROM SWEDEN

The Whaler's Harpoon, Spitzbergen



Facing -page 29
35

45

58

85

147
172

183

194
220

228

235

244
298



Note. — The Publishers desire to thank the Artists for their kind permission
to reproduce their pictures in this book, and Messrs. Veering, of Christiania,
for their assistance in obtaining photographs.



NORWAY AND ITS FJORDS

CHAPTER I
THE CHARM OF THE OPEN SEA

THERE are many ways of seeing Norway, — by liner,
fjord steamer, yacht, or on foot. Perhaps it is
possible to see most and to learn most by walking, and
the help of the post steamer. But then time is needed,
and time nowadays goes quicker than of yore, so that
I am inclined to think that our way was the best, namely,
boarding the Vectis, as she lay in midstream on the
Thames, with bag and baggage.

One feels like the snail whose shell forms a part of him,
that in this great big ship " Home " was always at hand,
which added greatly to both pleasure and comfort. It
was wonderful to see how men and women, who had
come on board more or less weary and jaded from too
hard a London season, overworked from a long session
in Parliament or in office, revived after a day or two
spent at sea. They lay drowsily extended in various
positions of comfort on their chairs on the broad white
after-deck, the happy moment after lunch ; too soon to
get to work or play, the tremor of the great screw
acting as the mother"'s foot on the cradle rocker.

The deck was partly in shadow, partly in sunlight,
I



2 THE CHARM OF THE OPEN SEA

with a delightful breeze ruffling the surface of the blue
sea, and the long white wake streaming away to the
horizon. Care was left behind. The stress and hurry
of everyday life, like the ship's wake, receded in the dis-
tance. We looked calm enough now, basking in the sun
with no thought of to-morrow, content to drink in the
invigorating forces of air, sea, and sky. The ship's kittens
gamboled silently, dodging in and out under the chairs
of the sleepers ; every now and then the gong throbbed
as the watching figure in the bow, standing like a black
statue, caught sight of a ship to port or starboard.

I really think this is what yachting should be — no
responsibility, no guests to keep amused, plenty of nice
people, and punctual meals.

Norway had been discussed, and books referred to and
read, whilst the ship steadily forged ahead. But all
passes. The sky that looked so blue the day before had
slowly become overcast, the sea too was distinctly rising,
the frothy wake no longer stretched straight to the
horizon, but, like a wounded snake, coiled and curved
restlessly. The sea, a deep indigo, rose in waves capped
with transparent green and white feathery crests, with a
great under swell rolling in from the west like some
grand bass motif underlying the music of the lesser
turmoil.

It was clear that the ship was no longer under the
protecting shelter of the Skaw, — and the stormy Skagerak
open to the west acted as a highway to the ocean
swells. Through the driving mist appeared quite a fleet
of sturdy Norse double-ended fishing boats with their
foresails a-weather, snugging down as they tacked back-
wards and forwards over the mackerel shoal. Each carried
four long spars resembling great fishing rods, which gave
tlie craft a spider-like appearance.



THE PILOT 3

One small boat detached itself from the fleet, evidently
trying to intercept oiu' ship. She had a red cloth down
the middle of her white mainsail, the distinguishing mark
of the Norse pilot. As the pilot approached he threw
out enormous fenders, great hairy things, masses of rope
yarn threaded on chains, but he omitted to hoist his flag.
The officers of the watch, not grasping his intention to
board, did not give the word to slow in time, and the
poor pilot went bobbing astern, tossed up and down on
the great sea. Though we turned astern with our pro-
pellers, some minutes elapsed before he was again able to
overtake the ship. As he ran under our lee all the wind
went out of his sails, and it was clear that he would only
have time to scramble up the ladder that a running
Lascar hastily threw over, making it fast to the rail of
the poop. Waiting his time, he cleverly jumped as his
boat rose on the crest of a wave, and was on deck shaking
hands in a moment. His imperturbable, solitary crew
sheered off, and, after lashing the helm, proceeded in a
leisurely fashion to lift in the heavy fenders.

These pilots are a fine body of men, numbering some
five hundred, who mostly farm, work in the forests, or
fish during the winter. "When the summer comes on
they leave their farms in the charge of Mrs. Pilot and
the little Pilots for months together. It is the King
who decrees where the pilot stations are to stand. The
administration lies in the hands of three superintendent
pilots, each in his own district assisted by master-pilots,
who in their turn supervise the ordinary pilots.

I asked one man what the fee depended on, and his
answer was, that the tariff" was fixed by law; the fees
depending chiefly on the di'aught and capacity of the vessel,
and the season. If he was privileged he kept the fees,
with the exception of 14 per cent, that went to the relief



4 THE SHELTER OF THE FJORD

fund for the old and invalided, the widows and children.
" Ah ! " he said, " we do not mind giving the money to
keep om- poor.- You might not think it," he went on,
" but as many as 17,400 vessels are sometimes piloted in
one year, which brings in a lot of money. Anything of
30 tons burden, coming from or leaving for ports out-
side Norway, must have one of us on board ; even fishing
vessels, if they are over 130 tons burden. Yes," he said
reflectively, " I suppose the money we earn as a body
must be some 615,000 krone."

My friend was a tall good-looking fellow with clear
blue eyes and fair hair. He had been in America and
spoke English well, and whiled away a most instructive
hour as the ship wound in and out of the narrow walled-
in fjord that leads to Gudvangen. I repeat his conversa-
tion here, as the pilot is the first and most important person
that welcomes the visitors to Norway.

Higher and higher rose the wind, striking the water in
sharp squalls which sent the spray flying from the crests
of the waves, till out of the hurly-burly loomed a tall
tapering lighthouse — a dim ghost, grey at first, which, as
we approached, showed up red and white, standing high
on bare rocks with clustering wooden houses at its base.
This was the Faerder Fyr, that throws its welcome beam
during the dark days across the entrance of the Christiania
Fjord. Once under its lee the swell subsides, and gradu-
ally dies away as the ship steams steadily northward,
passing hundreds of rocky islands.

The squalls dash down the inlets as we go by, ruffling
the inky water, which breaks into a mass of fierce little
white horses. Through the mist one can just make out
the higher land of Telemarken, a country of rocky slopes,
and the beginning of the great forests of conifers which
clothe the banks that rise to a moderate height on either



GOGSTAD AND THE VIKING SHIP 5

side of the fjord. After the rough weather it was most
pleasant to ghde over the still water, entering into this
land of pine-clad ridges, intersected in all directions by
valleys, lakes, and torrents.

The whole region is historic, easily populated in imagina-
tion with our old Norse ancestors, plundering seafaring
pirates that they were, who, coming as they did with fire
and sword, sowed the leaven of their freebooting love of
adventure and danger in the blood of the Anglo-Saxon race.

" Bautastenar " — the stones carved with runes telling the
names and parentage of the old Vikings — stand here and
there. At Gogstad, near Sandefjord, an old chief was
found buried in his war galley, with all his arms, posses-
sions, and treasures. As late as 1880 a large barrow,
called Kongshangen (the king's mound), was opened by
Mr. Nicolaysen, discovering a ship of the ninth century, '
built of oak 70 feet long, with the mast, oars, rudder, and
even some of the shields still hanging on the upper
strake.

On the opposite shore the old town of Halden, that in
days gone by so bravely withstood the Swedes, and earned
for itself the name of Fredrikshald, comes into distant
view, and is soon passed. It was regarded as a strong
fortress, and the key to Norway. To-day Fredrikshald
is the centre of the timber traffic, where some millions
of logs are collected for export every year.

Every port in England knows the hog-backed strained
old Norwegian timber vessel, with deck-load piled level
with the rail, masts sloping all ways at once. The green
windmill everlastingly at work trying to pump out the
water that is always running in through the yawning
seams. The Alf or the Ol(if\ we know it well. Its
patched old sails, which always seem to have been cut
out for some other vessel. The line of its sheer dragged



6 ALP, THE TIMBER SHIP

out of shape by the pull of the chain plates. The great
wooden stocked anchors, and the rusty cables made of odd
lengths of chain shackled together. The white hoops
round the mast, even the smell of the burning fir from
the galley fire. Is it not all as the face of an old friend ?
Dear old timber vessels, I have met them everywhere,
tumbling over the fierce channel rollers as they stagger
under lower topsails trying to work off a lee shore with
solid green water swirling along the deck-load, and storm
staysails glistening in the spray. Or perhaps in an oily
calm, where the great empty hull towers out of the
dimpled waters high as a church, every stitch of canvas
slatting and shivering as the creaking yards saw from
right to left. I have met them being towed towards port
waterlogged with a bad list, and alas ! I have also seen
them floating bottom up, the curling surges setting their
white teeth at the drifting timber as though they would
devour everything.

Our ship steams steadily on, and it would seem as
though there is no end to the labyrinth of ice-worn rocky
islets. One channel among them leads up in the direction
of Tonsberg, the oldest seaport in the country. Only a
narrow neck of land separates us from the long fjord on
which this busy whaling port stands. It would be in-
teresting to walk over the ridge and drop down on the
Notere and Tjeme where the sailors live, and hear the
tales of the ice pack and the polar ocean, all crimson with
the blood of the struggling rorqual, of flensing and trying
out, of fogs and ice-blink, of leads and blocks and nips.
After the dangers follow the happy return of the deep-
laden whaler, her spars and rigging black with soot, and
her hull greasy from stem to stern with the fat of the
slaughtered cretacean. Tonsberg goes back to the time of
the Vikings, and is famous for its hardy seafarers.



■""^f*

■%



4 .Jk^:



-int^




DRAMMEN 7

Now we are coming up to the Isle of Basto, with its
fixed light. Beyond opens the broad bight which forks
into Sandesogns Fjord, and Drammen P'jord. Pale blue
hills fade one behind the other into the distant clouds,
and the nearer shores slope upward, covered with thick
forests of firs which seem to stretch for miles. At first
sight the light yellow water-mark, which outlines every
little cape and inlet, seems to suggest a sandy soil, but as
we steam nearer we can make out through our glasses that
the gently rounded surface is all of solid rock, no doubt
worn quite smooth by the ice ages ago ; even the fir trees
are all growing on smooth stone, though the colour where
the water no longer washes is darker and more grey.
Little wooden houses nestle, here and there, among the
trees, with sometimes a patch of bright green meadow.

Drammen is a great place for timber and pitch. Even
down at the mouth of the fjord the brigs and barques are
lying, taking in their newly sawn freights. There are
places where the steamers moor right alongside the rocks.
At first it was impossible to make out of what the cargo
consisted that came sliding down a switchback from
above, appearing and reappearing till stopped by two
men, and guided into the hold. On nearing the spot the
sun's rays caught a block on its swift course downwards,
turning the lump of ice into a great sparkling jewel. As
we passed close in to the shore, men, women, and children
came out and waved table-cloths, flags, and kerchiefs,
greeting the great ship that seemed to take up all the
width of the fjord.

Pine trees are over everything, far and near, and along
the banks are the country houses of the residents of
Christiania, with flat roofs, flagstaff's, and the gay free
flag of Norway fluttering in the summer breeze. Green
sloping lawns, jetties with skiffs moored alongside, and



8 OSCARSBORG

bathing boxes, form ideal suiToundings during the long
light days.

As we near Christiania we come to lara;e stacks of
timber, piled high on the edge of the fjord, in all stages
from whole trees to firewood. Close by on the left is a
great target for artillery practice. The fort itself,
" Oscarsborg," holds a strong position, terraced with green
sward from which grin the muzzles of quick-firing guns,
trained down the narrow reach.

Almost in line with the fort is Drobak, Avhich calls
itself a watering-place, a mass of what looks like dolls""
houses, with white poles everyAvhere. The houses of the
chalet type are painted red, pale blue, green, and yellow,
a little rustic church with red roof and white cross stands
in their midst, a brilliant spot of colour on the hillside.
Then come the cement works of Stemmestad, and farther
on the island of Steilene, on which are large tanks of
petroleum, with steamers lying alongside the rock. The
formation of this island is evidently due to some great
upheaval that must have taken place, as the strata, once
horizontal, noAv stands on its end in perpendicular lines of
deposit.

From the moment we had passed the fort the fjord
had been expanding, the porphyry ranges of Kolsaas,
Skongumsaas, and the Vardekolle lay faint and blue in
the distance, and as we passed the promontory of
Naesodtangen Christiania came into view, with a fore-
ground of many islands dominated by the old fortress of
Akershus.

Chi'istiania lacks the grand setting of Bergen and the
beautiful colour of the old houses, but as a capital has
an undoubtedly healthy look, and a sweet clean smell
comes off from the pine-clad hills, I should say the note
of Christiania, as is that of Utrecht, is one of superior



CARL-JOHANS GADEN 9

satisfaction. It has discreet verdant parks, large comfort-
able houses built of very superior yellow bricks, and public
buildings built of granite, syenite, and Labrador stone.
The palace stands in an unimpeachable position on a
height at the west end of the town, with a grand view
over the fiord, but has no pretensions whatever to
architectural beauty. It is a great block with a classical
portico, and that is all.

Being lovers of all craft that sail upon the sea, our
footsteps naturally took the direction of the sheds where
repose the remains of the Vikings' ships, but lingered
in the Carl-Johans Gaden, where the band A^as playing
Rossini's fine overture, " Semiramide." The lads and


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