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Date: Sunday, June 29, 1958
Cold – Warm in the morning

Sue and I got up for 8:00 breakfast – smorgasbord style, and we left the hotel at 9:30 by steamer. People were packed in on the top deck like sardines so Sue and I went down below and found this small deck. The other fella from Ohio (the cutest one) came down and sat by me. We started talking, and he is on a Marsh tour. Oh yes, and his name is Sam! He got me a bottle of pop, and we had so much fun that I almost didn’t get off the boat. He wasn’t going to the same place, but he said he’d look for me in Oslo. (I hope I see him ’cause he’s just a doll, looks something like Jim Burt). <Who is Jim Burt??> He came up on deck and waved good-by.

We drove to another town by bus and had lunch at 12:45 – salmon with lemon butter! Then we crossed a fjord by ferry, bus and all, and took another steamer to this place where we had to wait three hours for the bus! Not too much traveling! We finally got to to our hotel at 8:45pm. It is really cute – quite Norwegian. Everyone was starved so did we eat. We had fresh oranges for dessert smothered with whipped cream! (Everything has whipped cream on it) and after we had coffee downstairs in front of a fire! Very cozy! Went to bed early!

Lærdal, Norway was established as a municipality in 1838. It lies on the Sognefjord (the largest fjord in Norway) and has approximately 2,200 residents. The Old Lærdalsøyri village, a national monument site, has 161 protected wooden houses that date from 1700-1800.

The area’s dry climate has been instrumental in its development as a farming community – it was one of the first places in Norway to use artificial irrigation. In addition, the Lærdal river is a favorite for fishing – its clear waters offer an abundance of species, including salmon, herring, and eel.

Judy had a missed opportunity in Laerdal: the Borgund Stave Church. Built in 1180, it is considered to be the best preserved stave church (“stavkirke”) in Norway. Now run as a museum, it is no longer used regularly for church functions.

From Wikipedia: “A stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church building once common in north-western Europe. The name derives from the buildings’ structure of post and lintel construction, a type of timber framing where the load-bearing posts are called stafr in Old Norse and stav in modern Norwegian… Originally much more widespread, most of the surviving stave churches are in Norway.”

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