We encountered trolls almost everywhere in Norway — and in many other areas touched by their ancestors.
Millennials are likely to think of trolls as people who make deliberately provocative and offensive on-line posts and tweets. But trolls were originally mythical cave-dwelling beings, usually very ugly and for some reason either giants or dwarfs.
Trolls first show up in old Norse, Swedish and Danish sagas, but eventually they made it into English and Irish writing as well [probably carried there by those pesky Vikings].
When our ship stopped in Ålesund, we went on a tour that took us out through the lush Valldal valley known for its strawberries, cherries, apples and raspberries and around the Reinheimen National Park.
Our route took us over Trollsteigen, the Trolls Path/Climb, a narrow winding highway with one portion that has a steep nine percent grade, eleven hairpin turns and dramatic waterfalls.
Before returning, we stopped at Trollveggen- the “Troll Wall” – which has long been a prestigious challenge for climbers and BASE-jumpers. It is the highest vertical mountain wall in Europe rising 5950 feet from valley to top. The summit slopes out 160 feet over the base. A sign listed 19 climbers and BASE-jumpers who have lost their lives since 1966.
Click on photos to enlarge.
P.S. I knew that BASE jumpers were people who jumped off anything high, but Trollveggen prompted me to look it up: BASE stands for “buildings, antennas, spans [e.g., bridges] and earth.”
As I post this, we are on the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam in Martinique. Alie had a major arthritis flare in her hip making even walking to meals extremely hard. When the price of oil soared, the cruise industry was hit hard. But unlike the airline industry where passengers have few choices, cruising is a luxury. We are sympathetic to the industry need to cut costs. Fortunately, the management of this ship was willing to provide Alie a wheelchair at no cost. We would be willing to pay a small fee that would prevent passengers using chairs who did not really need them. But we strongly object to the recent trend in the industry to farm out such services to contractors and object even more when they make providing a wheelchair a profit center. Thank you again to the Nieuw Amsterdam for recognizing our genuine need.