Sunday, Sep. 16, 2007 - Norway - Drive with Einar & Anne Nora to the Vats & Sauda areas

After another great breakfast on the Slogvik farm, Einar & Anne Nora take us on a drive so that Keith could see a little more of the area where he has ancestral roots. We would cross eastward at Skjoldastraumen, then north up about 8 km on the east side of Skjoldafjorden.  About half way up we left Tysvær kommune & entered the Vindafjord kommune.  Then traveling over the mountains eastward we would come to several farms around the Vats fjord.  This is the Vats Parish area where many of Keith's distant ancestors once lived.  From this area we would continue east and northeast through some other parish areas in Vindafjord.  Our most distant point on this trip would be the town of Sauda in the Sauda kommune. At the end of the day it would be time to head down to a more southern part of Rogaland fylke to spend time with other close friends.  


Our last day in Tysvær kommune.  We are touched by this Norsk symbol of hospitality at Einar and Anne Nora's. However the weather report does not bode well for this day.

It became obvious that the weather was not going to provide us with good visibility on this day despite our long-held wish to see the Vats & Sauda area. After crossing some mountains eastward from Skjoldafjorden, we get our first glimpse of Vatsfjorden.

Traveling south down the fjord we come to the end of the road where some major off-shore oil platform work was done in the past. Much much further in the past, say early 1600's, Keith's ancestors moved here to the Raudnes/Raunes farm.

This nearby farm house is probably more likely on or near the site of that old family farm.

Driving back north up the Vats fjord, this is probably the Eikanes farm where Keith's 8th great granduncle lived after being born & raised on Raunes.

Trying to zoom through the mist to the other side of the fjord, this is probably the Stokka/Stokkaland area where some of Keith's known ancestors lived in the 17th and 18th century.

Rain continuing, we drive through the community of Ohm/Åm (yes, another ancestral place), on north to the southern tip of Vats Lake & to the Vats Church. 

It was early Sunday morning & one of our quests was to find & photograph parish churches in this area.  Part of the fun for Peg was trying to get a photo from as many angles as possible; Keith checked the stones.  

Driving northeast from Vats we soon come to the community of Sandeid at the north end of Sandeidfjorden. Yes, the rain continued, but Keith doesn't know of any ancestors from here.

However driving down the east side of the fjord we found the Vikadal church where wet parishioners were arriving. Yes, Keith had ancestors from this parish area.

No, this is not the same church as last, but a little further east. Off the main road on the Vindafjord we find the small Imsland parish church. Again, Keith had distant ancestors from this parish area.

This one's for you Cyndi.  We've had a longstanding promise to send Cyndi any photos of Norwegian fjordings & Belgian horses. This fine fellow was happy to oblige, but would have liked an apple..

Nasty weather prevails, but warm conversation continues in the comfortable car. Here Einar tells us a great story about the short land distance between the east end of Vindafjord & the west bank of Sandsfjorden. Sorry, not enough room to tell this Ropeid tale here.

Just what we need - more moisture. Einar warns that we are approaching Svandalsfossenn which is quite a tourist attraction in dryer times, but with all this rain, just driving by on the highway will be wetter than going through a car wash! No more photos until the other side.

Stopping on the north side of the falls, Keith gets this photo of a "minor" water fall & tries to take a video of the huge spray & roar that we just passed through.

We soon enter the wet city of Sauda, the home of the huge old Smelteverk, (smelters), with this old Pelton wheel mounted on the city street. Why did this water wheel catch our eye?  Because it was probably manufactured in California & for years we generated electricity from a small one on our place in California.

With a slight break in the rain, Keith gets a chance to photograph the church in the center of Sauda. After seeing a little more of the town through wet auto windows, we start driving back the way we came.

Just a short distance south of Sauda along the west bank of Saudafjorden, Einar stops the car & we all walk up an almost hidden trail.

Anne Nora has a summer home here.  We were told there was a fine view of the Sauda fjord from here, but weather was in the way this day.  

With mist & rain outside, the inside was quite cozy & pleasant for our picnic lunch & fun conversation.  

Heading back toward the Slogvik farm via a different route, we swing by the new Skjold parish church. This one replaced the old historic church that burned. While not this building, this church site played a prominent role in Keith's family's history many years ago.

Ever fond of bauta (would plural be Bautii?) (probably bautasteiner) we took a brief stop at these famous stones at Grinde, Tysvær. Keith had driven by here many times, but had never had time to stop & examine these ancient stones.

Soon we were back at Slogvik & packed up. Anne Nora & Einar wish us a good bye as we shuffle into Sonja's little car for the ride south of Stavanger to Kleppe.  There's more room in the inside than shows from the outside. Goodbyes are always difficult for us & this was no exception.

Before we leave Tysvær, we stop at the cemetery to pay our respects to the person whose friendship & personality we feel was largely responsible for  making our lives so rich through these  friends & their good will. Our online tribute to Rotraud.

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