So today we covered works of art and works of nature. I cried repeatedly from the sheer amounts of beauty that inundated my senses. It was quite possibly the epitome of a "good day".
We started by checking out of the hostel and them took off to the National Gallery. Eff me. This place might be right up there with the Louvre. Not in size, the Gallery itself is rather small, relatively speaking. But the variety in the works of art was crazy! Clearly they are showcasing Norwegian artists, but as the city didn't have an art institute for years, artists would have to travel for their education. So they would show a Matisse and then the artists influenced or taught by him. So we were able to view Matisse, Gauguin, Rodin, Picasso, Monet, Manet, amazing Norwegian artists and of course Edvard Munch.
To see The Scream has been a lifelong ambition of mine and when we walked into the room I was pretty much shaken to the core. It is simply an amazing piece. Munch himself wrote about it:
"One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream." Yep, like that.
After the gallery we gathered the car and took off once again for Sweden. Once over the border we paused in a little town called Årjäng for a quick Thai lunch. And then Kevin called his uncle, who was home and so we drove down to Dals Länged to visit Kevin's aunt and uncle. They were over at his grandpa's old house cleaning the place up. Sadly grandpa passed away earlier this year and so they are undertaking the task of going through all his stuff and modernizing the house. We sat for a coffee and cinnamon buns, and I got to see a lovely school photo of Kevin around age 8. Apparently all families enjoy embarrassing their kin.
And then Kevin and I took a walk down to the lake. Good lord, the view... It is so peaceful out there. Apparently this part of Sweden is a miniature version of the whole country. Lakes and trees, farmland and mountains all in one little area. If this is true.. this country is incredible. Very similar to Canada, but definitely Swedish. It's kind of like Ontario cottage country meets BC wine country all mushed together. And with a sunset that takes about two hours at this time of year. Long shadows against warm orange light that just goes on forever. Magnificent.
Kevin and I said our farewells (or rather our Hej då's) and prepared for the final leg. And we got home just before 11. It was a quick 36 hours, but we covered about 1300 km, just one bag of chips, multiple pastries and coffees, fruit, podcasts and a few entertaining Swedish terms that become wonderfully inappropriate when read in English. And it was sooooo worth it to see the countryside, navigate Norway, meet some of Kevin's family and explore his family homestead.... This was an incredible trip.