The content of this web page is the intellectual property of Sons of Norway. The content is for Sons of Norway members only.  Reprinting of this content, in whole or in part, or dissemination of this content to non-members without prior approval from Sons of Norway Headquarters is strictly prohibited.

 

Route Overview

Click on each leg of the journey for more information and interesting sites along the way. 

 

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Leg A


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Leg B


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Leg C


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Leg D


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Leg E


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Leg F


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Leg G


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Leg H


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Leg I


 

Gudbrandsdalen

 

Leaving the last "big city" of Lillehammer, pilgrims head north parallel along the E6 highway. With just over 400 kilometers left, the journey ahead is beautiful, tough and exhilarating all at once. The name of this historic route from Oslo to Trondheim is named The Gudbrandsdalen Path: The longest pilgrim route in Norway. 

The route is named after its traverse through Gudbrandsdalen, a valley in Oppland County. This area is known for its national parks, medieval farms, skiing and hiking. Along the route, pilgrims will notice stone markers indicating the kilometers left to walk to Nidaros. The markers are opportune times for group photos shots.

Google Map Location:
Oppland County

For further reading:

Gudbrandsdalen Valley - VisitNorway

(Photo credit: Gudbrandsdalen Valley, Pilgrims leaving Lillehammer, courtesy of L. Rotegard images, Pilgrimage 2013.

 

 

Høgskolen i Lillehammer

The Høgskolen in Lillehammer (HiL) or the Lillehammer University College is located on the outskirts of Lillehammer and maintains a student population of over 4,000. The college has a wide range of academic focuses, for example: travel and tourism, business, film, health, social work and more. With a number of classes taught in English HiL welcomes exchange students from around the world. Historically called Storhove, the land that now houses HiL served as a large farm estate from the 15th to 19th centuries. The school was started as an agricultural college in 1847 and has since developed and expanded with the times.

HiL is also one of 18 university colleges in Norway. A university college denotes an institution that offers bachelor and masters programs but has not received the full status of university by the Norwegian government. While this distinction is slowly fading out, these university colleges across Norway are viewed merely as small universities that offer a variety of majors. Most recently Lillehammer University College introduced a program in Sports and Outdoor Tourism. Education and sports are two key elements that represent Lillehammer.

 

Google Map Location:
Høgskolen i Lillehammer


For further reading:
Lillehammer University College
Hil School History

(Photo credit: Høgskolen i Lillehammer, courtesy of Wikipedia,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:H%C3%B8gskolen_i_Lillehammer.jpg.)


 

Lågendeltaet (The Lågen Delta)

Låg in Old Norse means "watercourse, river" while Lågenmerely means "the river". This term can be attributed to a number of waterways in Norway by adding the name of the surrounding region to the front of the name. For example, The Lågen River referred to in this region is officially called Gudbrandsdalslågen because it runs through the valley of Gudbrands in Oppland County. Starting at the north end of Gudbrandsdalen, the river flows for 122 miles, generating hydroelectric power along the way, until it reaches the mouth of Lake Mjøsa. The Lågen Delta is a nature reserve containing islands, canals, meadows, swamps and a beautiful wildlife refuge. The river is known as one of the best fishing rivers in Norway.

Google Map Location:
Lågendeltaet - Lågen Delta

Youtune Video:
Gudbrandsdalslågen

For further reading:

Gudbrandsdalslågen
Lågen - Encyclopædia Britannica

(Photo credit: Lågen Delta, courtesy of Wikipedia,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:L%C3%A5gendeltaet.jpg.)

 

Fåberg

Heading north pilgrims will stumble upon the small village of Fåberg. Once its own municipality, Fåberg was incorporated with Lillehammer in 1964. Like many small villages in the area, Fåberg is named after an old farm where the Fåberg church now sits.

Fåberg Church is a cruciform style church with a beautiful red exterior. Originally built in 1727, the church was modernized in the 1800's in response to population growth in the area, and finally a full restoration was done to bring the church back to its old style in 1956. The church has numerous relics inside including a beautiful soap stone baptismal font dating back to the 12th century.


Google Map Location:
Fåberg
Fåberg Church

For further reading:
Fåberg, Wikipedia
Fåbergkirke - Norske kirkebygg

(Photo credit: Fåberg church, courtesy of Wikipedia, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:F%C3%A5berg_church_Lillehammer.jpg.)

 

Hunderfossen Familiepark (Family Park)

Hunderfossen Family Park is located just 20 minutes by car from Lillehammer in the town of Fåberg. Pilgrims passing by with kids or even their own curiosity many times stop by for a day of fun. Visitors enjoy getting a picture with the largest troll in Norway, riding the fairytale ship, driving mini cars, daring the high ropes course, cooling off with white water rafting, and much more. Hunderfossen welcomes guests into a fairytale adventure complete with trolls and creatures from familiar Norwegian folk stories.

Google Map Location:
Hunderfossen Familiepark

Youtube:
Hunderfossen Familiepark

For further reading:
Hundersfossen Familiepark
Hunderfossen Camping

(Photo credit: Prøysenhuset, courtesy of Norway's National Pilgrim Center website www.pilegrimsleden.no. Alf Prøysen, courtesy of Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alf_Pr%C3%B8ysen.jpg)

 

Hafjell

Just outside of Lillhehammer lies the village of Hafjell and its Alipine Ski Center, ranked third largest in Norway. The mountain is busy all year round as bikers flock to ride the impressive trails, carved out by architect Snorre Pedersen, in the summer. Known for its quality service, facilities and family friendliness, Hafjell has something for everyone. The mountain hosted Olympic skiers in 1994, World Cup slalom racers in 1996 and 2006 and is scheduled to host alpine skiing events for the Winter Youth Olympics in 2016. Its world class bike park hosted the National Downhill race in 2004 with vertical drops of 830 m. Hafjell is full of exciting outdoor adventures for even those who wish to just enjoy the cross country ski paths and walking trails. The cozy village welcomes pilgrims and visitors from around the world.

Google Map Location:
Hafjell Alpinsenter AS

Youtube:
World Cup track at Hafjell - Mountain Biking

For further reading:
Hafjell Ski Resort
Hafjell
Lilleputthammer - kids park

(Photo credit: Hafjell, courtesy of Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hafjell.jpg.)

 

Skåden Gård (Farm) (Overnight Location)

 

Address: Skåevegen 72 , 2636 Øyer

Accredited and recommended by Norway's National Pilgrim Centre, this ancient farmhouse dates back to the early 1700's. Texts and artifacts have been found on the land that confirms a church dating back to the 11th century once stood here. A small museum found in the farm's old storehouse now holds the historic relics.

Accommodating up to 22 people, pilgrims can choose to stay in a cabin or apartment on the farm. A full package includes a bed for the night, warm shower, breakfast and lunch, not to mention a unique Norwegian farm experience and a beautiful view.

Google Map Location:
Skåden Gård, Øyer

For further reading:
Skåden Gård website

(Photo credit: Skåden Gård, courtesy of Norway's National Pilgrim Center website www.pilegrimsleden.no.)

 

 

Øyer

The municipality of Øyer runs along the Lågen River in Oppland County with nearly 6,000 inhabitants. The town has a rich culture and plenty of outdoor activities in the heart of the Gudbrandsdal Valley. Established in 1838, Øyer's borders have remained virtually unchanged since then. Skiing, biking, hiking, hunting and fishing; Øyer has it all. Agriculture, forestry and tourism are the largest industries in the area as cows, trees and skiers are plentiful.

The Black Death was said to have wiped out nearly three fourths of the total population in the area; worse than any other town in Norway. It wasn't until the 17th century that the towns and farms in the area built themselves back up. Today Øyer is a thriving community with plenty to do and see, and places to stay.

Google Map Location:
Øyer kommune

Youtube Video:
Øyer kommune - "The best town to live in"
View of Øyer from Hotel Nermo

For further reading:
Øyer
Øyer kommune website

(Photo credit: Øyer town hall, courtesy of Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%C3%98yer_r%C3%A5dhus.JPG.)

 

Øyer Kirke

Records of the first church in Øyer date back 700 years ago. Since then the cemetery has been rebuilt several times and the church has undergone a few different restorations. After the stave church burned down in the early 1700s the current church was built and consecrated in 1725, being called, "Den Hellige Treenighets Tempel" ("The Holy Trinity Temple"). Vaulted ceilings, colorful decor and a large pipe organ fill the inside of the church that seats up to 300 congregants. Acanthus carvings by Bjørn Bjørnson Olstad can also be found in this traditional Norwegian church.

Google Map Location:
Øyer Kirke

For further reading:
Øyer kirke picture 
Øyer kirke - Kirkesøk

(Photo credit: Øyer Kirke, courtesy of Norway's National Pilgrim Website, www.pilegrimsleden.no.)

 

Tretten & Tretten Kirke

Heading north up the Lågen River pilgrims will happen upon the small town of Tretten in the Øyer municipality. The town of 900 people is quiet and quaint, but has experienced a number of newsworthy events. The farming village has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, however it was probably settled by Vikings much earlier than that. During WWII the British suffered great losses against German troops at the Tretten Gorge in 1940. On February 22, 1975 the worst train crash in Norway's history, involving a head on collision, took the lives of 27 people. The small town also suffered a terrible flood in 1995 that obliterated the entire downtown.

Prior to the Black Plague (1350) Tretten had its own parish. However, the village could not sustain a priest following the tragedy and since then Tretten and Øyer parishes have been merged. The current Tretten Kirke was built in 1728 after a smaller church built in the 1500's was torn down. The church was built just three years after the Øyer Church and has noticeable similarities. Both churches have Bjorn Bjornson Olstad decorative acanthus carvings, red pews, seating for 300 and prominent pulpits.

Many new churches were being built at this time in the early 1700s as the Pietism movement was spreading followed shortly by the Enlightenment. Because of structural issues in the late 20th century the tall spire was removed and set to the side. Since then, work has been underway to return the spire to the top of the church where it belongs.

Google Map Location:
Tretten kirke

Youtube Video:
Tretten Ulykken (The Tretten Accident) - på norsk
Flommen på Tretten (The Flood in Tretten) - på norsk

For further reading:
Tretten kirke - Kirkesøk 
Mageli Camping & Cabins
Invasion of Denmark & Norway
Tretten kirke restaureres (restoration)

(Photo credit: Tretten kirke, courtesy of riksantikvaren.no, photo taken by Kjell Andresen, http://www.riksantikvaren.no/?module=Articles;action=Article.publicShow;ID=134772.)

 


 

 

Glomstad Gjestehus (Overnight Location)

 

Address: Nord-Trettenveien 471, 2635 Tretten

Since 1943 Glomstad Guesthouse has been welcoming guests to dine, stay overnight and enjoy the views. The farm has been in the family since the 16th century and the oldest building still standing was built in the 18th century. This holiday resort is perfect for the active traveler. Glomstad is well known in the Gudbrandsdalen area for their homemade rømmegrøt and pleasant hospitality. 

Accredited and recommended by the National Pilgrim Center, pilgrims should be sure to stop at this historic, mountain getaway along St. Olav's path.

Google Map Location:
Glomstad Guesthouse

For further reading:
Glomstad Gjestehus AS
Glomstad Gjestehus - VisitNorway

(Photo credit: Glomstad Guesthouse in winter, courtesy of Norway's National Pilgrim website, www.pilegrimsleden.no.)

 

Fåvang and Fåvang Kirke

About seven miles north along the Gudbrandsdalslågen River is the small town of Fåvang within the Ringebu municipality. With a population of only 700 people, the small town of Fåvang welcomes year round tourists. In the warm months pilgrims are passing by and in September the town hosts the annual Fårikål Festival (Norway's national dish). In the winter months sports enthusiasts flock to nearby Kvitfjell ski hill. Tourists are seen snapping pictures next to the mammoth statue in downtown Fåvang where most Norwegian mammoth discoveries have been made in the tributary valleys nearby.

The Fåvang Church is called by some as the Fåvang Stave Church, however it was reconstructed from pieces of demolished stave churches in the area that dated back to the 12th century. Therefore it is not considered an official stave church. The church was built in 1627 and has been through several modifications. The dark brown wood contrasts well with the white steeple above. Inside a Renaissance style pulpit and altar sit in front of charming pews, a small balcony and a beautiful organ.



Google Map Location:
Fåvang Kirke

YouTube Video:
Driving by Fåvang Church in the fog

For further reading:
Fåvang Kirke - Kirkesøk 
Fåvang - Wikipedia 
Fårikålfestivalen - på norsk

(Photo credit: Fåvang Kirke, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%A5vang_stave_church#mediaviewer/File:F%C3%A5vang_kirke.JPG.)

 

Tromsa Bru (Bridge)

Just past Fåvang's downtown, on the Pilgrimage path is a hidden gem, the Tromsa Bru (Bridge). Mentioned in the famous Sagas written by Snorre Sturluson in the 13th century, the Tromsa Bridge has been walked on by many. English traveler and scientist, Edward Daniel Clarke writes about the "remarkable bridge over a terrifying ravine" in his diaries from 1791. The old bridge endured travelers, troops, Vikings and pilgrims throughout the years and eventually needed to be rebuilt. A new wooden bridge was finally rebuilt in 1997 as its stone indicates. The deep ravine and Tromsa River below are a chilling 28 meters down. Today pilgrims and travelers cross over this bridge on their various journeys onward.

Google Map Location:
Tromsa Bru (200 meter down the path)

For further reading:
Tromsa Bru - Geocaching - på norsk
Snorri Sturluson
Edward Daniel Clarke

(Photo credit: Tromsa Bru, courtesy of Norway's National Pilgrim website, www.pilegrimsleden.no.)

 

Kvitfjell

Kvitfjell, which literally translates to white mountain, is a ski resort in the mountains of Oppland County, Norway. Built to accommodate skiers for the 1994 winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Kvitfjell has since become one of the most popular ski resorts in Northern Europe. The downhill runs were created by Bernhard Russi to challenge skiers. The Downhill/Super G World Cup races have consistently taken place at Kvitfjell each March. The small resort community comes alive with people, activities and entertainment. Apartments, chalets, cabins and hotels can accommodate visitors of all kinds. The ski in/out Gudbrandsgard Hotel or "Mountain Castle" is considered one of Norway's finest.

In the summer hiking and biking trails are busy with active visitors. The Peer Gynt Trail, which is named so after Henrik Ibsen's play, based on a real person who lived in the area, can be hiked on along the western side of Gudbrandsdalen. Ibsen (1828-1906) was considered a scandalous playwright of his time and often set his plays in towns reminiscent of his birthplace in Skien, Telemark, Norway.

 

Google Map Location:
Kvitfjell Alpinanlegg AS

Youtube:
World Cup 2013 Kvitfjell - Life as a Downhill skier, GoPro HD

For further reading:
Kvitfjell.no 
Gudbrandsgard Hotell
World Cup Kvitfjell
Peer Gynt Trail - VisitNorway
Henrik Ibsen - Wikipedia

(Photo credit: Henrik Ibsen, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henrik_Ibsen_by_Gustav_Borgen_NFB-19778_restored.jpg.)


 

Ringebu

Established in 1838 and located in the heart of Gudbrandsdalen, Ringebu Municipality offers a variety of landscapes; farms, river valleys and prairies, canyons, waterfalls, mountains, hillsides and more. Ringebu village is also the municipality's administrative center. The quaint downtown is respectively referred to as Norway's smallest town. Traditionally an agricultural and forestry dominated area, Ringebu has expanded its travel and tourism industry with help from its nearby destination ski resorts and hiking trails.

The northern mountains (Ringebufjellet) are home to Venabygdsfjellet mountain plateau, which is the entryway to Norway's renowned Rondane National Park. Located in Ringebu's northwestern town of Venabu, Venabygdsfjellet's most well-known hike is to the top of Muen. Muen's characteristic shape and "easy" classified hike to the summit delivers some pretty fantastic views at 3,500 feet. Ringebu's natural beauty has a lot to offer.

Google Map Location:
Ringebu Municipality, Norway

Youtube:
17. mai in Ringebu

For further reading:
Ringebu - Wikipedia
Ringebu webpage 
Muen - VisitNorway
Muen Summit - Panoramic view

(Photo credit: Gudbrandsdalen, courtesy of L. Rotegard images, Pilgrimage 2013. Ringebu town hall, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ringebu_r%C3%A5dhus.JPG.)

 

Ringebu Stavkirke

Did you know that stave churches are built without using any nails? All the wood is tapped tightly into place making for a rigid construction method. The main posts rest on large rocks instead of in holes in the earth. This prevents rot and damage to the wood and explains why stave churches have lasted so long.

There are 28 Norwegian stave churches still in existence and Ringebu Stavkirke is one of the largest and most beautiful. Approximately 1,000 stave churches were built following the Christianization of Norway between the Middle Ages until 1537 when the Lutheran Reformation started. Ringebu's stave church was built in approximately 1220 and was rebuilt in 1630 by Werner Olsen. The church's interior and exterior were updated but its original nave has remained. At one point the church was painted all white but was changed in 1921 when it returned to its original colors. Archeological digs have found old coins buried under the church dating back to the medieval times in the mid-13th century. It's not hard to spot this beautiful church as its red steeple stands out from afar.

Google Map Location:
Ringebu stave church

Youtube:
Ringebu Stavkirke

For further reading:
Ringebu Stave Church
Ringebu.com
Ringebu Stave Church - Wikipedia

(Photo credit: Ringebu stave church, courtesy of L. Rotegard images, Pilgrimage 2013.)

 

Ringebu Prestegård (Parsonage)

The path from the Ringebu Stave Church will take pilgrims directly to the nearby Ringebu Prestegård, a designated cultural heritage site in Norway. Built in 1743, the Parsonage once housed the local clergymen from nearby Ringebu Stave Church. The Prestegård served as a residence for the local priest until 1991 when it was transformed into a gallery.

Today the buildings are used as museums for art exhibitions featuring a variety of artists; most notably Jakob Weidermann's work. Weidermann (1923-2001) is regarded as one of Norway's most famous and important artists of post-war Modernism. His work is featured at the Ringebu Prestegård and is open for viewers from June to September. Pilgrims should be sure to walk through the old garden on the grounds of the parsonage before continuing their journey.

 

 

Google Map Location:
Ringebu Prestegard

For further reading:
Ringebu Prestegard website - på norsk
Jakob Weidemann - Wikipedia
Jakob Weidemann - GoNorway
Jakob Weidemann's art - artnet

(Photo credit: Ringebu Prestegård, courtesy of Norway's National Pilgrim website, www.pilegrimsleden.no. Jakob Weidermann, 1966, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jakob_Weidemann.jpg.)

 

 

Dale-Gudbrands Gård Pilgrim Center

 

Address: Hundorpgjeilen 12, 2647 Sør-Fron

The Dale-Gudbrand Farm is an official National Pilgrim Center in Hundorp that also functions as an event space offering basic hostel accommodations and self-catering capabilities. The center is an informational resource center for passing pilgrims and also maintains the pilgrimage paths in the area.

The farm is named after Dale-Gudbrand, a man who was once king in the valley of Gudbrand (Gudbrandsdalen) in the 11th century. According to Snorri Sturluson's Sagas, Heimskringla, King Olav Haraldson (St. Olav) met with Dale-Gudbrand during his Christianization journey across Norway. He had a meeting with Dale-Gudbrand's and the other farmers in the region and obligated them to renounce their God, Thor, accept Christianity and build a church. Since then the farm has been a very important estate in the region.

Google Map Location:
Pilgrim Center Dale-Gudbrands Gård

For further reading:
Pilegrimssenter Dale-Gudbrand Gard - på norsk
Dale-Gudbrand - Wikipedia - på norsk

Dale-Gudbrand gard, Hundorp - på norsk

(Photo credit: Pilgrim center, courtesy of Norway's National Pilgrim website, www.pilegrimsleden.no. Pilgrims' mealtime, courtesy of Norway's National Pilgrim Center - Dale-Gudbrands Gard, http://gudbrandsdalen.pilegrimsleden.no/no/nyheter/pilegrimssenter-dale-gudbrand-med-langvandringen-2014.)

 

Sør-Fron Kirke

The Sør-Fron Church is known as the Gudbrandsdalsdomen(Gudbrandsdalen Cathedral) because of its location and unique shape and size. The Church is located in the town of Sør-Fron and was built in 1792. Architect Svend Aspaas, who also designed the Røros Kirke in 1784, designed the church in a colorful baroque style. Most churches in Norway were built with wood up until the 1850s but Sør-Fron Church is one of the few masonry built rural churches.

The octagonal church is unique to its time period and rural location because it was extremely expensive to build. Supposedly, wealthy German protestant families populated this area and wanted a bigger church to replace the medieval stave church that was once here. Today pilgrims and tourists alike are intrigued by this striking church in the middle of the remote countryside. A blessing or sending out service for passing pilgrims is typically performed by the minister, complete with a Hardanger fiddle, before they continue their journey.

Google Map Location:
The Church at Sør-Fron

YouTube Video:
Eric Øst "Myrstacken" Gia & Filip Gade

For further reading:
Sør-Fron Kirke - Kirkesøk
Sør-Fron Church - Wikipedia

Sør-Fron Municipality - Wikipedia

(Photo credit: Pilgrim blessing, courtesy of L. Rotegard images, Pilgrimage 2013. Sår-Fron kirke, courtesy of Wikipedia,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sorfronkirke.jpg.)

 

Pilgrim Passport

The pilgrimage route from Oslo to Trondheim is, as many call it, a "pathway" to the great outdoors. Like many foreign journeys, a passport is required. A passport, in any context, is a document that certifies an identity and provides protection across foreign lands. The Pilgrim Passport serves the same purpose. Dating back to the Middle Ages, pilgrim passports were created in order to prove that the strangers walking from town to town were pilgrims and not harmful strangers. They received stamps from various stops along the way and took pride in their expedition.

Today a passport can be bought from one of the various official Pilgrim Centers in Norway for a nominal fee of NOK 50 (approx. $9). Pilgrims can get stamped in nearly any town, accommodation, church, cafe and even gas station. Each stamp provides an incentive to keep trekking. The passports become a treasured keepsake for pilgrims as every stamp represents a memory and proof of where they walked.

 

For further reading:
Pilgrim's Passport and the Olav Letter - Pilgegrimsleden
Pilgrimage passport images

(Photo credit: Pilgrim blessing, courtesy of L. Rotegard images, Pilgrimage 2013. Sår-Fron kirke, courtesy of Wikipedia,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sorfronkirke.jpg.)

 

Hundorp

 

Hundorp was once the busiest and most central location in the Gudbrandsdal region, but today the town of 600 inhabitants is a quiet rural community that serves as the administrative center of Sør-Fron municipality. In fact the Sør-Fron Church is the only relic and tourist destination still left in the area. Hundorp was mentioned in the sagas as Hundorp, meaning powerful/rich farm, signifying that a king resided in this area. The king in the area was Dale-Gudbrand and his presence indicated that this stretch of the pilgrimage was once a prosperous settlement. Pilgrims take in the last views of the serene valley, enjoy a good night's sleep and a filling meal in order to energize themselves for the next leg of the pilgrimage; the mountains.

 

Google Map Location:
Hundorp, Norway

YouTube Video:
Pilgrimsleden på Hundorp - på norsk

For further reading:
Hundorp - Wikipedia - på norsk

(Photo credit: Pilgrims surveying the view, courtesy of Norway's National Pilgrim website,www.pilegrimsleden.no. Rest and mealtime, courtesy of L. Rotegard images, Pilgrimage 2013.)

 


The content of this web page is the intellectual property of Sons of Norway. The content is for Sons of Norway members only.  Reprinting of this content, in whole or in part, or dissemination of this content to non-members without prior approval from Sons of Norway Headquarters is strictly prohibited.