Hello again! I have another update for those who are interested in my Norway adventure. After having class for only two weeks, it was time to go on a field trip! I’m taking three classes this semester; Advanced Norwegian, Scandinavian Film and Fiction, and Telemark Regional Identity. My largest class is Telemark Regional Identity as all the students enrolled in the Scandinavian Studies program are required to take it. The field trip was for this class, and we were told that we were going to Seljord (about a 30 minute bus ride from Bø) for a “festival” called Dyrsku’n that’s very important in Norway. We didn’t get any more details than that so when I woke up early this morning to catch the bus, I had little expectations. What I came to find out is that Dyrsku’n is basically the equivalent of a state fair in the US. Even in Norway I got that wholesome family fun vibe that fairs have back home. I had a good time and made sure to take pictures!
As I just mentioned, I started my day off waking up early. Our professor, Heidi, instructed us to take the 8:45am bus to get to Seljord by 9:20am, and then we were to meet her at the front gate of the fair by 11am to be given an introduction. Despite being tired, I managed to stay awake during the bus ride.
I sat next to my friend Marina. Marina is from Serbia and also taking Advanced Norwegian with me. We share a love for melancholic music and eating entire bags of sweets when the time is right. We met during orientation week and have been sticking together ever since. She had the window seat on the bus but didn’t mind that I wanted to take pictures. My friend Jason (who hails from Minnesota) was sitting on the other side of the bus across from me. We have Scandinavian Film and Fiction together and have since bonded over Rick and Morty, weird movies, and of course the fact that we’re both Americans who’ve never been in Norway before.
The scenery was beautiful. The appearance of trees was unending and the water was the most alluring shade of gray-and-cold I have ever seen. I wanted to jump in even though I knew it would be freezing if I actually did. We passed houses dotting the hills, a waterfall cutting through the forest, and we even went through a very organically designed tunnel that felt like we were inside the Earth for a few minutes. Before we knew it, we had arrived at Seljord.
This is our class as we piled off the bus. My PLU friends Jackie and Kristi had come along to explore Dyrsku’n as well but were separate from the class so I didn’t see them after this point. To the left, I see that Jackie caught me being a photographer. I guess I’m not as stealthy as I thought!
Since we had about an hour and a half until we needed to meet Heidi (and were definitely ready for some breakfast), we decided to go to the bakery that was located only a few steps away from the bus station.
I’m so happy this bakery was nearby because it was the perfect place to hang out and kill some time. Immediately the class formed a line and coffees, hot chocolates, and treats were ordered. I had brought food with me so I was content with watching everyone enjoy their Seljord breakfasts. It was incredibly cozy with the dim, warm lighting and the baked goods sitting out in the open. As you can see in the second picture, the rolls and loaves of bread were stacked upon each other in shelves like little logs of kindling. The third picture shows all the sweeter treats, ready to be smelled and admired . I’m not sure what anything was called but with that white icing, intricate braiding, and powdered sugar don’t they look delicious?
After fueling up at the bakery we made the 10 minute trek into town to find the front gate of Dyrsku’n. Here’s the sign that let us know we were in the right place!
Nearby the sign we also found our professor Heidi! I’m really glad I caught this moment of her smiling because it’s a pretty accurate representation of who she is. She’s the professor for all three of my classes so I see a lot of her every week and get to enjoy her cheerful personality.
Once we were all together we were given a small introduction about Dyrsku’n. We learned that it is Norway’s biggest fair and has been a tradition in Norway for 150 years. Where it is held in Seljord is also sacred ground, as the vikings used to live there long ago. It’s a very important and popular event.
After the introduction we were stamped in. We followed Heidi to where we could get maps of the grounds but then we were free to go wherever we pleased. Marina, Jason, and I stuck together and started to explore.
This is when I realized that Dyrsku’n was really just a big fair. There were food vendors all over selling hot dogs, fries, and waffles, and other vendors spread out along the grounds selling anything you could think of from knitted socks to tractors. There was also the area of rides and games which was fairly large. We didn’t go on any but it was fun to see others go. The kids on the safari ride in the second picture were especially cute. I’m always more drawn to the rides for little kids than the rides for grown ups anyway.
After finding the food areas and the ride areas we wanted to see the animals. Marina and I really wanted to pet some sheep or goats but it turned out that all the animals were put away in their enclosures or being preened by their owners. We saw a lot of younger people dressed in their bunads standing next to their animals, so I’m assuming that what they were doing was similar to what kids involved in 4-H do at the fair in the US.
We walked around a lot and saw pretty much everything. Marina and I bought handmade chocolates and ate them as we walked and we also bought bearded trolls to hang up at home as souvenirs. I tried to get Jason to eat some of my chocolates and to buy a troll but he said no to both. My peer pressure game needs work.
Around 1:30pm we walked back to the bus station and were back in Bø around 2:30pm. I’m ready to finally start my weekend after a long week! My brother Colten is visiting me on Saturday so I’m very excited about that. This will be the first time we meet up and be together in Norway. I might write a blog post about it if we do anything eventful or take any pictures. Also I have a few more pictures of Dyrsku’n that I’m only putting on Facebook, just so my blog post isn’t too picture heavy. So if you want even more pictures, check them out there.
The next time an adventure comes around I’ll try to write another post. Until then, thanks for reading! I hope it was interesting.