Norway – Country girls in haying time

We have here so striking an instance of the difference between an ordinary “picture” and a stereo graph that it is well worth noting. An examination of the card as held in the hand like a common photo-graph would naturally lead us to suppose that we stand on nearly the same level as the highway. We assume without doubt that the two lakes are practically on the same level. The stereoscope undeceives us in both matters.

Up behind us on this bank is an inn (“Grand Hotel”) well patronized by summer tourists. If one were to follow the highway to the left it would lead him back to Kongsberg and Christiania.

These girls have been at work in a field not far away. It is customary all through this part of the country for women to do a good share of the heavy out-of-door work ; they think it no hardship—often, indeed, they prefer it to confinement at lighter tasks indoors. Their dress is the customary wear hereabouts—dark woolen skirts, white or light-colored blouses, bright red bodices, and aprons of heavy substantial stuff to save the petticoats below. Embroidered or lace-trimmed white aprons give such a toilet the smarter effect desired for Sundays and holidays.

That white-painted cottage is one honored many years ago by a visit from the German Crown Prince, who afterward became Kaiser Friedrich III (father of the present German Emperor). It is not now occupied, but is kept as a memorial of the royal lodger. The other buildings near by are storehouses belonging to farmers near by—places for keeping grain, vegetables, farming tools, in short, all sorts of ac-cumulated supplies. That odd design, the upper story projecting out over the lower, is something seen over and over again in Norway—the old, traditional type of such a building. We shall see still another design in closer detail when we move on to our next stand-point.

That curious difference in the lake levels is even greater than it looks from here. In order to go from the nearer pond down to the shore of the farther one we should have to descend three hundred feet, by a steep bank on the farther side of a narrow tree-covered ridge between them. There is good trout fishing in the farther lake. Two or three generations ago, when Du Chaillu came travelling through this region it was very little known to Americans and Europeans in general. In his work on The Land of the Midnight Sun, he told of a visit at a farm near where we are now, describing the place as

” . . . nestled among fir-clad hills whose dark color contrasted with the green meadows and fields which they surrounded. The place was partly hemmed in by barren mountains on which were seen patches of snow. Here two lakes, apparently overlapping each other, are noticed—the Bolke, of a triangular shape, 1,000 feet, and the Tol (Fol) 690 feet above sea level. Every-where little streams trickled down the hillsides.”

Horses may be rested or changed here at Bolkesjo.

A short distance from where we looked over the lakes we can have a chance to see one of the typical light gigs such as are in use by thousands every summer. The spot where we are to stand is marked with a red 17. Notice that the red lines on the map reach off toward the higher interior of the country, one line reaching to Mount Gausta.