Spring in the Hardangerfjord

The true winter starts giving way to sunlight and life in March, but for most of Norway, the spring doesn’t really come until May.

Seemingly overnight, the world turns green, soft, easy. Apple blossoms bloom along the Hardangerfjord, little white lambs prance beside their mothers and nap in the warm sunlight, the high-mountain snow melts to feed the flower-filled valleys below, and the whole world glows with a sense of well-earned peace and happiness.

These are the landscapes that inspired Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg to write compositions like “The Last Spring” and “Morning Mood.”

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At least, that’s the idea.

In practice, May doesn’t always go quite so smoothly. My Norwegian friends told me that in May, everything depends on the sun. When the sun comes out, it’s summer. When the sun hides behind the clouds, it might as well be winter again.

Minute to minute, the fjords and the mountains can transform from a green, sunlit paradise…

Spring in Rosendal, Norway.

To a mysterious, dangerous landscape of cold mists, pounding hail and late snows…

Late snow in Tørvikbygd, Norway.

And, as the sun comes back from behind the clouds, back to heaven on earth…

Spring in Eidfjord, Norway.

Last weekend, I was visited by my Scottish friend, Allan (who, oddly enough, spent his semester abroad at the University of Missouri in Columbia!).

With a mixture of optimism and foreboding, we rented a car, packed it up with a tent and a ridiculous mixture of t-shirts, sunglasses, sweaters and rain jackets, and made for the Hardangerfjord to put ourselves at the mercy of the Norwegian spring…

The road goes over the Låtefossen waterfall.

Allan and I hiking up towards the Folgefonna glacier.

Driving along the Hardangerfjord

Women and children walking home from a confirmation wearing Bunad — the Norwegian national dress.

The Røldal Stavechurch

A (most likely unintentionally) wooden frightening troll figure in Eidfjord, Norway.

The Folgefonna glacier above

Apple blossoms on the Hardangerfjord

Odda, Norway

Driving along the Hardangerfjord

Our campsite in Eidfjord

View from our campsite around midnight

Our road map

The path toward Vøringsfossen waterfall

Vøringsfossen waterfall

Driving around Hardangerfjord

Flowers blooming around Hardangerfjord

Lambs in Rosendal

Lambs in Rosendal

One last shot of the Hardangerfjord…

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