Cool’n crazy sights in Norway Nr 4. Hairy House and Troll
Traditional Norwegians live in hairy houses. Well, they are not officially called that but in Norway old houses have bushy-fluffy rooftops. This is for cool architecture. The roofs grow moss and grass and protruding shrubbery, which makes them look like unkempt headdress covering beautiful wooden habitats.
Roofs in Scandinavia have been covered with birch bark and turf since prehistory. Birch bark and turf. That is one crazy Scandinavian idea but very romantic and nice to look at. Not sure about actually living beneath turf, though. During the Viking times most houses had turf roofs, mainly because they are difficult to build and, as I have elaborated in previous posts, Viking’s were badass and looking for hard-core challenges all the time.
Norwegians like retro design, which is not only confined to roof tops.
Everyone in Norway drives a cool vintage car. And I am not kidding on this one.
If I lived in Norway, I would splash out my Norwegian salary on antique era vehicles, buy some fjord with some land and top my huge red house with a lush green roof.
The green roof is called ‘torvtak’, which means turf roof. Every Norwegian had to build a house with torvtak to please the trolls, who demand humans to live in harmony with nature. Trolls live in the woods and throw trees at those who disagree.
I didn’t make that up, it’s what this troll told me.
He was behind glass, so it was difficult to make out his exact words but I am pretty sure, that’s what he said.
I thought that trolls were cute creatures, that only lie if absolutely necessary. Sensible, kind and supportive to mankind. It turns out, that in Norse mythology, beings described as trolls, live in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves, and are rarely helpful to humankind. That’s just the worst troll propaganda I have heard. Just look at that troll picture again and you will know the truth about trolls.
In Scandinavia trolls not only live far from human habitation, they are also not Christianized. Trolls are extremely old and very strong. They are night creatures and upon contact with sunlight may turn to stone. The reason they are not easily spotted, is described in folklore as being a consequence of constant church-bell ringing. Trolls find ringing annoying and leave for other lands, although there has been some resistance. Trolls managed to stop the construction of churches and have been known to lunge boulders and stones at clerical institutions. Despite their motivated efforts, they are believed to be slow-witted.
My favourite troll depictions are by John Bauer, a Swedish illustrator (1882-1918). Only heartless people describe trolls as ugly.
If you spot a troll, consider yourself a romantic Scandinavian soul.
Trolls have my full sympathy. If I get to meet one without window-glass barrier (nor Viking outfit), I will adopt.
Modern trolls have their own post boxes and live on Trollskogvegen 28.
Inside their homes they get troll interior decorators to work.
This house belongs to the blair witch. Just looking at that ripped curtain in the top window makes me shiver.
Let me show you what goes on in less rural areas, like Florø, a typical Norwegian town with about 10.000 inhabitants.
One day Norwegian postmen must have gotten really angry about their calluses, thereby revolutionizing the postal system. Walking endless miles to reach domiciles is annoying, so today people keep their postboxes together. This could well be the total number of post boxes for a whole village.
Norwegians used to live on fish and game, now its oil and gas. And salmon (mainly as a pink paste in tubes).
There are not many people in Norway. Their football team is still in diapers, talking a walk with mum and the trolley.
Towns project tranquillity and make for a nice background. In a desperate attempt to populate remote areas, those islands in the back are given away by the Norwegian government, for free.
Norwegians live in big wooden houses, which are preferably red.
Grey is popular with the rich and young. Obligatory deluxe fun equipment for the kids.
Some children get their own dragons to play with.
During WWII Norwegians lived in such bunkers. Hitler managed to mess up big time about everywhere on the planet.
Just like in the good old days of the middle ages, the nicest house belongs to the priest. He is important, because he is responsible for the long term defence of trolls.
Every town has got a white wooden church. This is when you know, that trolls have been chased away without mercy.
Or, wait, I thought I saw a weird shadow on that church wall…
It’s definitely trolls, disrupting church holiness.
Sometimes you will see remains of trolls’ handicrafts. Such as this troll table.
Trolls leave depictions of themselves on trees, to help the lost.
Happy troll face – you are on the right path.
There can be overwhelmingly many signs in Norwegian woods.
Luckily there are troll signs. A baffled troll face means ‘wrong way’. Oh, oh.
See large rock lying around? Sometimes you can see half eaten mushrooms, too. Trolls have crossed those paths.
Bold spots in the grass? That’s what happens when nature turns into a Christian monk.
Let’s not finish off with boldness. Here is a sweet troll goodbye picture. Be aware that in Norway you may be standing on troll, thinking its rock.