04 Ringebu Stave Church-DaleGudbrand’s Farm

Previous leg: Mageli Camping-Ringebu Stave Church
Next leg: DaleGudbrand’s Farm-Vinstra

Presented by Milly Marmot
August 10, 2012

I joined a guided tour to do a pilgrimage from Ringebu to Vinstra within two days. We started at Ringebu railway station, waiting for the local expert to lead us to Gildesvollen – our first overnight stay. Then we walked the 35 km from Ringebu Stave Church to Vinstra, with some cultural events scattered along the road.
As you can see from the first photo, the few waiting minutes at the station were spent on sensible activities like supporting Norwegian fruit producers and knitting a woolen blanket or two.
What about a knitted marmot size sleeping bag? I regret I forgot to ask for one…
The walk to Gildesvollen was an easy warming up exercise. A pleasant farm showed up:
The owners were industrious, calm people, so it was an inspiring but yet relaxing atmosphere at the premises. You can order wood carved furniture from them, if you like:SAM_5036-ut
Some ex-Galicia pilgrims turned very happy as they came across a scallop sign:
SAM_5037 Pilgrim hostel to the right, private home to the left: SAM_5069-ut And this is the workshop and the sales room:SAM_5068-ut This memorial stone on the next photo was erected in 1937 to commemorate men from Ringebu who participated in a local battle against Scottish troops in the year 1612. The act was part of a war between Denmark/Norway and Sweden. 300 Scottish soldiers were to walk from the west coast of Norway to join the Swedish forces. They were defeated in Gudbrandsdal by local troops. The Scottish soldiers were recruited in a brutal way, so probably very few of them really wanted to be around in the first place… SAM_5043-ut SAM_5035-ut Nowadays this farm looks like any well kept property in the area, but once upon a time there was a medieval court ground here, and it is likely that it was used as a place to celebrate blót in even older days. The archeologists have found traces of iron production from the Iron Age. SAM_5045-ut SAM_5033-ut What you notice nowadays is all the wildflowers.

SAM_5046-ut We left for a late dinner at the “Vicar’s farm” (nowadays it is an art center) and passed the church on the way. SAM_5048-ut SAM_5050-ut All of a sudden I counted to seven and got an unexpected vision:SAM_5052-Disney
In addition a well known tune was hanging in the air, and I could not get rid of it, and started to whistle along:

We walk walk walk walk walk walk walk from early morn’ till night,
We walk walk walk walk walk walk walk to any pilgrim sight,
’cause Kari never gets astray,
we’ll never ever lose our way!
Sign my pass! Sign my pass! Sign my pass! Sign my pass!

Soon a million stamps will shine!

We walk walk walk walk walk walk walk from river bank till top,
We walk walk walk walk walk walk walk until to sleep we drop.
The farmland and the forests past,
the shoelace does not always last,
but in Nidaros we’ll end it all,
We walk walk a-walk walk!

We walk walk walk walk walk walk walk through fields of grass and rye,
We walk walk walk walk walk walk walk as Kari waves good-bye.
We have the maps, we have the skills,
we have light bags to force the hills.
So we speed it up, ignore the signs,
We walk walk a-walk walk!

Heigh-hooooo, – , Heigh-hooooo, – , Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, Heigh-hoooo!

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, we walk and think and talk,  
[Whistle] heigh-ho, heigh-ho, heigh-ho,
heigh-ho, heigh-ho, we walk and watch a hawk,
[Whistle] heigh-ho, heigh-ho, heigh-ho,

heigh-ho, heigh-ho, …. “HOW COME WE ARE IN SKJÅK??!!”
[Whistle – in minor] Heigh-ho, Walk-back, Heigh-ho, Walk-back, Heigh-ho …..[until fade] 

For some reason I was the only one to notice this prediction. I asked the others, but they just laughed at me. I wonder if marmots have internal receivers different from the people around? Or is it just a matter of focus? I have to do some more research—
(And if you do not have a map around: Skjåk is 70 km off the pilgrim trail…)

OK. Back to facts. Stave church details – not so different from what you can spot at certain houses in British Columbia, I would say: SAM_5054 SAM_5055 The church looks even grander inside than outside, but it is not allowed to take photos indoors, so I cannot present myself there. But here you have some interior photos.

This is the view from the entrance door towards Vålebru – the center of Ringebu. (Hidden behind the trees.)


SAM_5058The gardener who picked these flowers for the spot did a clever job.SAM_5058-ut

And the church builders picked a good site, around year 1200…Ringebu stavkirke

Quite a few people must have walked back and forth between these buildings through the years. But hardly any marmots. I am happy to change that!


The farm is protected.SAM_5084

The manager Einar is a busy man who seems to find time for everything: office work, historical walks in English or Spanish, maintenance projects, waffle production, art exhibition decisions, visitor entertainment etc. etc. He even runs a pilgrim pension at his own farm.  SAM_5070-ut

The only thing I am not sure about, is if he also plays the grand piano…SAM_5072

The paintings change from year to year.SAM_5088

In the outbuildings other artists can put their works on display.SAM_5073

The note says this is an ash shovel:SAM_5074

Steinway, three American dahlias and me having a chat about pilgrimage. The sons had left.SAM_5087

The pilgrim choir performed this evening song, written by Catharinus Elling. (Note his connection to the St. Hallvard Church area in Oslo.)
We got it from the “Ringebu Ladies Choir” repertoir anno 1916, and it is hand copied by their conductor Anders Stokkeland. In short the text is stating that the day is gone, the red sunlight is fading and the only sounds you can hear comes from the river. Very suitable.

Damekorets notebok 01 Sommeraften Elling 1 Damekorets notebok 02 Sommeraften Elling 2

I joined in the marmot way, only with whistling. Marmots are not really known for being notable musical, as this film shows you. But we do provide a very skilled audience for other musicians!

E: “Please be careful on your way back to the hostel. It is dark out there.”
T: “My genes have adapted to this area through four generations. No problem!”SAM_5062-ut

And it wasn’t too dark either, thanks to local water power.  SAM_5064

Trying out different ways to charge the batteries for tomorrow’s walk.


Then back again for breakfast and more dahlias:

SAM_8037 prestegard-hage prestegard-haGE2 prestegard-hage3

SAM_8034 SAM_8025

IMG_1812 IMG_1811

Time to walk, walk, walk!

SAM_5086-ut prestegard-millyThe start was promising:  SAM_5090

ringebu-view ringebu-view2

And temptations appeared sooner than expected. “We will be served dinner, right?” Fortunately. ringebu-annie

“I admit. It was so full of lovely, crunchy nuts…”


Enough shops for today. Now we have to start the serious walk, walk, walk…

Uphill from the bakery, until you get this view – or something like it:


And in the bend of the road you will observe this perfect site for a coffee break. Unfortunately there is no service available. Solbakken-kaffe

At the other side of the house you can study this practical, yet elegant entrance:SAM_5100

And here you can guess who is related to who:Stokkelandtrappa-2

Walk, walk, walk, …

And all of a sudden an unexpected treat: “Have a break and enjoy the strawberries. Greetings along the road from Per Otto.” I would have given him a very soft marmot hug if he was around, bot we could not spot him anywhere.jordbær

I was given the task to hand them out to everyone. jordbær2



Next leg: DaleGudbrand’s Farm-Vinstra


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