Hamlugro lake, 20 km west of Voss with Arse Seim
We're on the move
'Hearing apparatus, seeing apparatus, smelling apparatus, eating
apparatus....' Sugata ridicules the necessary crutches of his venerable
age, chuckling away.
'Passport, money, carkeys...'
'Nothing to thank. 3.50' He's in sparkling form. 'And when are you
going to travel with your husband?' he says with mock sincerity.
Up over Hadanger
Vida ('It's Europes largest uninhabited plateau' he tells me and
I wonder how he cannot know he has said this 1000 times before,
990 of them to me, but then like an Advaita teaching, the words
mean something different each time uttered, listened to with different
time and space ears, and as we plateau out and stretch our eyes
over this majestic, primal and timeless landscape, I remember the
words of Arne Ness of Halingskarvet: 'Here on this mountain, it
is impossible to think small thoughts.'
We're off to Voss where Sugata, then Karl Wagner, was stationed
in 1940 - a reluctant German soldier and, increasingly, an unwilling
occupier of Norway. As an interpreter, a skill he unwittingly learned
in his wondervogel days crossing boarders escaping from the rise
of National Socialism, he was posted in the telephone exchange to
eves-drop on conversations for a whiff of sabotage, a task, needless
to say, he did not find agreeable. But it was through this listening
that he learned the language more fluently and came to in closer
contact with the people.
we round the corner from Ulvik to Granwin, Sugata exclaims:
'There, now you can see how the cliff falls sharp. There I became
stuck on a ledge and would have froze to death were it not for the
Norwegian resistance man.'
Falling in love with this land, exploring ways to find a path over
the snow mountains, he ended one day precariously on a ledge from
which a cliff face descended vertically down and up was no longer
an option. A Norwegian resistance worker, who was also trying to
find a way over the mountains avoiding the trains monitored by the
notorious Witt, found the stranded Karl and with a rope lifted him
up and brought him safe down the mountain to Granvin. As they neared
the train station Karl said to the silent Norwegian:
'You go separate from me, for I understand you do not want to be
compromised in your work'. The Norwegian had saved Karls life.
Yes, I saw the cliff face he must have met, and along with it, a
tinge of excitement. We were in the entering the footsteps.
We pass Voss for now, and drive to Hambro lake, to Arse, who we'd
met in Kathmandu. Along with the Norwegian Ambassador, she welcomed
us for dinner at the Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu one evening
last October, along with some young Norwegian budding Buddhists.
'We have a hut in Voss' she said. 'When you come to Voss, come and
met at University' says Talyn, the gentle husband of Asa, and in
his smile he is 19 years old again, and falling in love.
Ase and her sisters family hut. I feel your chromosonal link with
your past, that as a child you brought sherbet from this now abandoned
farm house that was once your Aunts (who was our age now, which
was far away as the moon from you then), that from this water we
look out on comes the story of your Uncle who drowned in a storm
returning from seeing his finance (Ah love and alcohol - how they
unbalance the senses: most deaths in water, Arse informs, are men
found with their trousers down by their knees, the assumption being,
tipsy with drink, they missed their balance having a pee.)
We talk of Knut Hamson, whose life Arse is reading (The Overgrown
Path), and try to understand what conditioned a man at this time
to favour National Socialism. While his stories sing Sugata's themes,
(Growth of the Soil, considered Hamsun's greatest novel, deals with
peasant life and Vagabonds depicts the rootless, wandering individual
of modern society) his politics appear opposite. Throughout his
life Hamsun had strong antidemocratic views. He was the only Norwegian
writer of first rank who publicly welcomed the German invasion of
Norway in April 1940. In 1946 he was tried and fined for collaboration.
Our conclusion was that, living outside the direct manifestation
of German National Socialism, Hamsuns belief was idealistic. Sugata's
life was its manifestation.
During the war Karl had seen Hamson on a park bench at his home
near Grimstad, sleeping in the mid-day sun, his hat tipped down
shading his eyes, balanced on his curmudgeonly nose.
catch the last of the sun, we drink Campari on their so-named Campari
Height, 'Safe to drive with Campari', Sugata recalls the 1930's
sound bite for the drink, which has us all in stitches. He's got
an elephant memory.
With talk of war we ask: is the default in the human condition self-interest
and cruelty for self-engrandisment? You have to cultivate good,
says Ase. Good feels cultivated this day and night spent with Ase
and her family. We feel full of their warm good will as we drive
down to Voss the next day.
In Voss we find the first living testament to Sugata's story: Solveig
Grae, aka Kirsten Valevatn. The flighty 16 year old who tenderly
took Karl's hand as they drove on the sleigh through a dark night
to the illicit barn dance; Solveig who danced with all, then bid
Karl a chaste goodnight kiss knowing she was leaving the next day
for her fiancé. It takes us a while to find her, and her a while
to recognise Karl, but the smile that dawns on her elegant face
is precious. 'Yes, I remember Karl Heinz Wagner' she says.
started the day trying to locate the Grae family farm, where the
young German soldier was welcome and could happily escape his barrack
life, where he went that first Christmas invited to sit around the
family table with Johan Grae and his homely wife. The farmstead
was empty, no one answered our call.
'Yes it is the home of the Grae family' a neighbour said, 'They
are on holiday. But there's another Grae in the old peoples homes
down the valley.'
is sitting in a chair as we enter the room and neither rises nor
stops reading the newspaper. Something's not quite right. His mind
has gone missing. 'Just 20 minutes ago', his definitely all together
wife explained, 'his sister came visiting; she lives further down
'Kirsten?' asks Sugata.
Valvatn dusts down her old photograph albums and I see for the first
time a photograph of Johan Grae and his wife. We exchange our books.
Her published work is a meticulous stitch by stitch account of Hardanger
Embroidery that embellishes Norwegian national costumes and deeply
old fashioned things such as table cloths, runners and bed linen.
As Sugata and she lilt away in Norwegian, I am left just to watch,
and wonder how she feels reminded unexpectedly of that time when
you are 16 again, like opening an old perfume as if yesterday.
afternoon of journalists, coffee and at last a beer.
I must do what I can to sell the book, I say. This is a chance.
Arne Hofseth of Bergens Tidende (email@example.com) Rolf Tepstad
of Avisa Hordaland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Oh heck, Arne
Hofseth says in a distinctly familiar English northern accent. He's
married to a Yorkshire lass. He comes with us to where Sugata was
living in 1940, behind the Post Office and into the garden of a
man who's varnishing some furniture.
says the man, 'There were German soldiers stationed here. My parents
lived here then, and I was one year old.' Proffessor Ole Didrik
Laerum, a scientist from the University of Bergen, has an open face
and quiet energy, and is intrigued to hear Sugata's overlapping
We (literally) spend the night in an overpriced hotel in box rooms
and feed on mass produced tasteless food - even the stalwart potato
seemed alien from the earth and more like the tin from which it
came. When I looked genuinely shocked at the Kr800 per night, they
appeared to waiver the food bill. My god, with prices like this,
we will have to sleep in the car!
to Stalheim & Turtagro
I'm singing Frank Sinatra on the boat, down the recently declared
World Herritage Naeroyfjord, an intimate narrow water passage opening
out into the Sognfjord. 'I did it my way'. Yes, this is Sugata's
life, he was his own man, he did it his way.
I've lived a life that's full / I've travelled each and every highway
/ And more much more than this / I did it my way.
call in to the Stalheim hotel.
'She was my best client' says Sugata. 'I used to pack up my VW van
in Gol and bring her regular consignments of my rose painted wood'.
So now we're in the 1970's, Sugata the rose painter living back
in his beloved Norway. But, as it happened, we returned to the war.
Ingrid Tonnerberry gave Sugata a hearty welcome and sat and enjoyed
afternoon tea with us.
The hotel, she told us, was made famous by the German Kaiser who
holidayed here regularly but with the outbreak of the Great Patriotic
War it lost its popular client base, fell in to debt, and a foresighted
lawyer brought up the dwindling shares for a song. He was Ingrid's
grandfather. During the 2nd war, the hotel was requisitioned from
Ingrids father. Initially it was used as an exclusive rest place
for German soldiers fighting on the eastern front. Then in 1942
it was turned into one of the three orphan-homes in Norway, part
of the Lebensborn project initiated in 1941 in Norway to care for
the increasing number of children born of German soldiers and Norwegian
mothers. In this way Lebensborn hoped to avoid a lot of abortions,
or as they said: "loss of good blood".
'Leibesborn, literally it means 'wellspring of Life', Sugata explained.
'And the Norwegian mothers?' I asked.
'No. These childrens mothers gave Lebensborn the right to arrange
adoptions for their offspring. The children were considered racially
"valuable" and taken special care of; the most suitable were prepared
for adoption in Germany. Yes, much has been written about this time
and these children, for it effected them often dramatically and
long term, as you can imagine.
'Yes, what happened to the children when the war ended?'
'There were more than 100 children at Stalhiem and only 15 nurses
to look after them. A bizarre consequence was, having no mothers
or direct contact, they had developed their own language. Yes really,
their own language. About half were returned to their Norwegian
mothers - those women who could be located and who accepted their
charges. God knows what happened to them then. Many no doubt fled
to Sweden to avoid the recriminations, which were fierce and often
cruel. As for the rest, these are the tales of a darker history.
They were outcastes in all societies. Life was dark and difficult
Born in '45, Ingrid herself has no memory of this time, but her
elder sisters remember trying to barter for food with the Lebensborn
children. Food, scarce for the Norwegians, was plentiful for the
Lebensborn children who ate like princes and played with royal toys
confiscated from the palace of the fled Norwegian King.
** According to
Kåre Olsen 'During the war about 1200 of the 8000 "Lebensborn-children"
were born at the Lebensborn-homes. At the end of the war about 500
of the children were living at the Lebensborns three orphan-homes.
'There is a beautiful water-fall up this valley'.
'I have absolutely no interest in beautiful waterfalls' I say.
'Why do you come to Norway? You do not want Viking museums, beautiful
waterfalls, national costume.... Let us go to northern Germany.
There we can travel through flat fields of potatoes.....'
From Stalhiem we took the old road, the 'Stalheim Kleive' an 18%
descent down hair pin bends. And then up again in reverse for a
tourist bus ascending - not straight forward in Sugata's car with
no back window to see out of (broken by an Elk 5 years ago). The
local farmer was furious when they built the new tunnel road, S
tells me chuckling, for he had reckoned on a good business towing
cars that got stuck, or rescuing wreckages that had fallen down
The Wittgenstein trail, described by Talyn went cold on us: his
original house (where he evidently lived a year of writing) had
been physically moved and one after the other of all 3 near by camp
sites we tried were full. It was the weekend, as we retired people
with no sense of days of the week discovered.
'Don't worry, I remember there's a hut at Tutagro' says Sugata.
Guess what? Sugata's
1942 Norwegian Mountain Hut had been transformed into a state of
the art fully commercial Hotel, charging Kr1,000 each to stay. It
was 7 in the evening, what to do? They offered us bunk beds for
half price, and happily we took them. The evening food (included)
was delicious, a banquet of lamb and reindeer meat - which we 2
vegetarians ate without hesitation, washed down with a Kr70 glass
of red wine. Delicious. The breakfast was the full monty with fresh
baked bread, and by the time we left with well satisfied stomachs
the high fee had became palatable.
'This mountain range is called 'Children of whores' the peaks are
so numerous'. S told me as we sat on the veranda and watched the
swallows swooping, wondering at their huge journeys across continents,
/Juttenhiem / Juvassytta
cross the mountain range, each turn more breathtaking. This was
unexpected. In a snow field I throw a snow ball at Sugata, laughing
afterwards remembering the photograph of him doing the same with
the Grae daughters.
younger daughter visiting Norway said to Sugata: 'In Nepal you must
go to the mountains, here you can drive through them.'
as the splendour of the mountains was unexpected, Roisheim was packed
with expectation. In the summer of 1942 Karl, out of his dreaded
uniform, journeyed around Juttenheim, and Roisheim was his first
night stop. When his German identity was revealed, the assembled
Norwegian gentry dining on the bedecked refectory table, fell silent.
They had come to these mountains to be away from the occupation
and that darkness, and here was an unwelcome reminder, albeit a
reluctant one. It was a piquant scene, hurtful to Karl yet he also
understood. In another hut, the same reaction mellowed as the more
middle class guests piqued with curiosity, stole themselves to question
him, and the evening ended warm with friendship. It was here in
these mountains that Karl first felt the unabashed friendship of
the Norwegians, which he would later recall and put his trust in
as he fled over the boarder.
Our plan was to spend the night at Roisheim, just as he had done
'Yes, we have one room left. Kr2,600', said the cool girl.
'I'm not sure you heard that, Sugata: she said Kr2,600'. I'm not
sure I heard it.
look was free, so we toured the downstairs, taking photographs of
the fireplace, the beautiful rose painted chests, the fine water
colour paintings on the walls, moved in location but unchanged from
when Karl came. The owner then had two daughters, neither of which
had married and carried a sadness that seemed to speak of their
barren dead end. We do not know the story, but today, no longer
the traditional family business passed down generation to generation,
Roseheim was now a commercial enterprise owned by a conglomerate
group of shareholders. They had not seen the majority owner in 3
years, the cool girl told us. They showed no interest in Sugata's
history here, although I saw the manager cock his head with vague
curiosity when I (deliberately) asked Sugata in a voice he heard:
'Where was it you met the Jew who was hiding here, and whose hands
shock as you offered him a light for his cigarette?'
we drove, out of Kr2,600 a night, and up in our 4 wheel drive, up
to Jotenheimans highest mountain to the Jurasshyta hut, family owned,
and whose family member at the toll gate wavered the Kr70 charged
to use the private road, falling in love with Sugata and a snippet
of his story.
We did not share our story here. A torpor fell on me, and I could
not rustle an energy to make connections. I saw the now old couple
who run the hut, I looked at all the black and white photographs,
of reindeer pulling sledges, old fashioned climbers, women wearing
hats and long dresses standing in the snow fields for family gatherings.
I walked. It's tough walking through ice fields with menopause.
Like putting a sauna into a freezer: deeply confusing. I tired easily.
No longer the mountain goat, I watch strapping Vikings and their
off spring overtake me with their long strides and tireless bodies.
Sugata, without menopause, is determined I walk the glacier tomorrow;
I am doubtful.
'Always rope up crossing the Styggebreen Glacier' the notice warns,
I warm to its brutal description: 'The name means dangerous glacier.
It moves at a rate of 30 meters a year. Natural 'snow bridges' cross
the chasms underneath, but under sufficient weight the snow bridge
will collapse and you will fall into the crevasse. You will fall
until your head gets stuck between the ice walls, 15-20 meters down.
Some survive the fall, but not for very long, for ice cold water
runs down the walls and you freeze to death quickly.'
In my dreams I fall down crevasses, so wakeful I read 'We must talk
to Kevin', then dreamed of Wednesday before Thursday.
5 Tolga Hut near Roros
A thick fog envelopes Tutagro and the mountains. No glacier today.
Instead it was a day of roads. Roads never far from water, following
the natural river course, opening out alongside lakes, where the
sparkling light of water lifts, and plays.
last we've found something affordable - before we ran out of money.
A typical Norwegian hut, not on a camp site but privately run by
an enterprising farmer up above the village of Toga. We cook soup
and drink a beer.
'I have slept so much but I am tired again' says S curled up with
Huxley in his sleeping bag. 'We can spend 13 nights here for one
of Roisheim!', are his last sleepy words, his mind calculating.
(Settersegga camp, Tolga90180185)
6 Leila the
As we drive from Reitan station, Sugata pipes up:
'Leila was 6 years old then. Now she'd be .... 65!'
We had never dreamed of finding her.
original plan was to dive all the way up to Trondhiem. It was not
so much the place that attracted me as a more nebulous and romantic
notion attached to Trondhiem, the name, after working on 3 chapters
in the book originally called Train to Trondheim and encompassing
vivid stories from fellow passengers. The train to Trondheim was
the beginning of Karls escape to Sweden. He leapt during the warm
window of opportunity, the Kakeline, when the insufferable minus
40 temperatures thawed a few days before Christmas. Then he took
his chance. Travelling by train from Oslo as a German soldier (with
forged papers), he deliberately did not disembark at Roros, where
he'd heard German soldiers were vigilant for boarder crossers, and
instead he got off before at Storen, where he took the local narrow
gauge railway to Reitan. From Reitan he would start on ski. On this
local train he changed into his famous 'dissppearing outfit', every
detail of it white, to camouflage with the snow. A local farmer
along with the conductor, seeing what must have been obvious, offered
the boarder crosser some guidance. This was the first in a whole
series of gifts Karl would be given - so generously and courageously
- to help him live out his escape. They advised him to follow the
track immediately to the east, but avoid being seen by the Retian
shop, they warned, for they were uncertain of the politics of the
owner. Some crossers had been caught after calling in at the shop.
There was a feeling of the drama as I flourished the map on the
car bonnet at Reitan station. 'Right: let's find the track', I said
to no one in particular.
'Can I help you?' said a voice from a window. Just 5 minutes before
Sugata had said, 'And typical of Norway, there is no one around
to ask directions' and he was right, the station seemed particularly
'Yes, perhaps you can.....'
'Interesting', the voice said, 'An English voice and a Norwegian
Ah, I clocked, a Sherlock, a curious man. I willingly offered some
more mystery to solve, and a short version of Sugata's story. Not
for two hours later did we set off. After delicious hot coffee and
light mazipan cakes fresh backed by Joanna, sitting on a veranda
in the warm sunshine; after beginning our story and hearing some
of theirs, and feeling the surprising intertwining. Tronds grandfather
had been the stationmaster here at Reitan, and his father was living
here at the time Karl got off the train December '42. And some news
for Sugata, two German soldiers lived permanently in the upstairs
'They must have been occupied with cards or local girls, when you
passed through,' Trond suggested.
father later sold the house in the '60's, but it came on the market
last year and Trond brought it back, back into the family. He was
intrigued by this side snippet of history that passed near by his
home in the form of Karl Hendrick Wagner. Come and stay with us
tonight, he and Joanna invited, or come back tomorrow if it's too
the track, passed the private house that was the uncertain shop
(closed down since '85 said Trond), up we climbed, into the landscape
that was Karls route to freedom. Naturally then was dead of winter,
snow covered, freezing cold, short days. Ours is the height of summer,
bursting green, blue skies and warm sunshine, but the form is the
'See these stunted silver birches - the snow covers their low braches.
My skis got caught in them and I kept falling over. It was exhausting.
I really doubted I would make it. But then a sleigh passed, and
I followed its tracks.'
stopped and asked a man cutting seeded silver birches from his grass
roof, where the lumber men's house may have been. Yes, he knew of
'Further back', he said. We'd passed it. It was the lumber men who'd
passed in the sleigh, whose trust Karl sought (seeing they had holes
in their jumpers, so you knew they were not German), exhausted and
in need of food and shelter. They fed him hot reindeer soup, and
drove him some distance on their sleigh then, after admiring his
'disappearing suit', pointed him in the direction of Fjellheim where
Axel Axelson, the Lap lived. The Lap will show you the way over
the mountains, they said.
we travelled, looking always east to the boarder mountains. In the
distance was a distinctive pass: was this where S was warned the
German patrols would lay in wait for the easy catches of boarder
Passing the lake which, frozen, you skied over, we came to 3 Fjellheim's,
upper, lowers and middle.
'There are people down here, let's go', I say, turning into a rough
were interrupting a small gathering enjoying the afternoon sun in
the protective lea of their house. Apologising for our sudden arrival,
I asked if they knew of the house of a certain Axel Axelson, who
in 1942 lived somewhere near here.
As it happened, one of the group was an authority of the Samai of
this Roros region.
'I've never heard of an Axel Axelson', he said.
Sugata began his story in Norwegian. '..... And I came to this house
by the side of the lake. The grandmother beckoned me inside, where
a man was making Komag shoes. He invited me to sit on a stool, and
continued with his work saying nothing. As if getting the smell
of my atmosphere. At last he dropped his needle, and I could stand
the tension no more. Are you Axel Axelson? I asked. Yes, he said,
who has sent you. And I told them the lumber men. I will help you,
he said, but first you must eat some reindeer soup and take some
rest. I have seen you come over the mountain, dressed in your white
said the woman who must have been around 65, 'Yes, I remember the
white suit'. And Leila, who was 6 at the time, spontaneously embraced
'The name is not Axel, but Lars Axon', corrected Sverre Fjellheim,
our authority on Roros Samai. (email@example.com).
Now the man who was chopping wood stopped chopping and came over.
The friends who were visiting, came closer. Sugata began to spin
the story. Cameras clicked, coffee and food were offered. Slowly
the questions began.
listened to the lilting voices, half wondering what their gentle
questions were. A courageous gift given by her father, with no expectation
of a return, to the contrary, a chance of being punished, returns
and visits his daughter, 65 years later this summer afternoon. She
had those same sparkling eyes that Sugata wrote about then, sharpe
and quick-witted, instinctive like an animals eyes. At the time
of writing, I'd baulked when Sugata yet again described her eyes
as almond: 'Not another with charming almond eyes', I'd protested.
I may have been having a mean street day. But here they were. I
read her the paragraph from the book:
little girl, looking just like a doll, came in. She was Laila, Axel's
6-year-old daughter, with milk white skin, rosy cheeks and almond
eyes. In front of me, he presented her with his Christmas gift,
the smallest skies I had ever seen, that he had carefully lined
with reindeer skin. She skied off, skilfully using the traditional
single ski stick, flinging her head backwards and smiling at me
with her almond eyes.
happened when you left Lars Axen?' they asked. He tells of how he
hid behind a rock when the journalist and 2 German patrol soldiers
appeared, who Lars Axon had warned Karl about for they had visited
him the day before. How they settled down for a picnic, as Karl
pointed his gun alternatively at one and then the other for surely
the dog with them would smell him. How they discussed tactics for
catching boarder crossers, and chassed them well over the boarder,
and what fools these boarder crossers were not to realise. And when
they had gone, Karl stood up, and felt the wind. By chance he was
upwind of where they were - so it was he had heard every word, yet
the dog had not caught his scent.
'Yes, I came back in 1957. One Christmas I retraced my escape over
the boarder in the reverse direction from Sweden to Fjellheim and
I came to Lars Axon. Until then he had no idea if any of those he'd
helped had made it safely to Sweden. Yes, I remember he was very
pleased to see me. The grandmother was of course dead, and you were
not there. He'd heard about the world under the sea, of a person
called Jacque Cousteau, and when I returned back to Sweden, I sent
him a picture book of his photographs.'
presented our book to Leila. I read her our inscription:
For Leila. In 1942, 65 years ago, your father fed, protected and
guided Karl across the boarder. With a risk to his own, he gave
Karl a chance of a life, and here, written down, is some of it's
It was by a most fortunate chance that they were here at Fjellheim.
They no longer live here but at Gardimond. They were up for a few
weeks holiday, and would return in four days time.
Laila Axman Bilben / Fjellstein 14 / 2056 Algarheim / Tel 63976875
we bed down that night, in a room in a near by farm, Sugata says:
'Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a ceiling like in Leila's house?
Did you see it? The wood was curved, and it gave such a feeling
of intimacy.....' Never resting in the sentimental past, he is busy
planning his future hut.
feel always so sleepy in Sweden', Sugata's first words over the
boarder, and I see what he means. We stop at Ramunsdsberget, a desolate
ski resort, huge buildings and no one on the streets. Two cups of
strong coffee and 3 sweet soft cakes ('Typical Swedish cakes, without
nourishment', Sugata explains) we drive up a track, and stop when
We have no map, no compass, no idea exactly where we are going,
except a name, Klinken, and an image from 65 years ago. We walk.
The track divides, we have no idea if we take the right forks. I
hold the idea that Knut kept a good path in good working order,
and keep to the stronger way. Over a hill, I saw smoke from a distant
grass roofed hut.
That was what Karl smelt in 42. After hours of nothingness, just
snow meeting sky, exhausted after 18 hours non-stop ski-ing from
the Axel the Lapps house, uncertain if he'd crossed the boarder
if he was safe from the patrols that he now knew crossed the lines,
he smelt smoke. He came up to the house. Framed in the door way
was man silhouetted by the light of the fire inside.
'Good afton', he said, and at that moment, Karl knew he was in Sweden,
As we approached the hut we saw a man outside. He was sitting on
a bench watching us approach. A farmer type about 70 wearing a baseball
He was the son of the first Swede Karl met over the boarder who
greeted him with Good afton. Johan Sv. Mayhr would have been 12
at the time, and never saw Karl for he lived down in the valley.
It was his father who welcomed Karl, fed him and talked with him
while the storm outside raged.
'Over 500 escaping refugees came through this way', Johan said And
this was not a popular crossing route.
'No-one has ever came back', he said. 'You are the first'.
Once again we are lucky to have found them. They do not live here
and by chance were up for a couple of weeks, leaving in a few days.
Johan Sv Myhr / Farupsbacken 3 / 84097 Bruksvallarna / Sweden
Tired but full of lives and stories, we return to where the flight
began, to Reitan Station, and to the unforeseen friendship of Trond
and Joanna, who listen to our tales of adventures and fed us food
and gave warm beds for us to fall exhausted to sleep.
meet Tronds father the next day in Roros, who welcomes us waiving
a newspaper carrying story about Sugata. Oh to sell a book!
we drive the long landscape unfolding drive from Roros down to the
eastern side of Jutenheimen and finally back to Geilo, we are both
silent in our thoughts, the events of the story unfolding in our
memories, Sugata no doubt planning his new hut, how he can bend
the ceiling wood like Leila's hut, finding the colours he can rose-paint.
We arrive back
in the long evening light, clouds like water colours seep around
Hallingskarvet. As my love of that mountain grows, I begin to understand
this deepening people have to where they are, weather it be a chimney,
a mountain, or an oak tree. Here we are in Sugata's adopted land.
'So we shall sell
Sangrila for 2 million and go and live in Rosheim? At 2,600 a night,
4 nights would be10,000,.... we could live there for 2 years. Then
bouf!', he mimes shooting himself in the head 'Why not? Nothing
more to do!'
Posted July 2005