Of course I woke up at 4 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. I could tell I was getting a cold and it was affecting my sleep along with the jetlag. Marc managed to sleep in until 7:00. We got ready and went to find breakfast in town. On our way to town I sent to Marc that he had seemed irritated the day before and he said he is feeling terrible because of his jetlag. We agreed to not be snippy with each other and we also agreed we need to get more calories and should stop skipping meals just because we are too tired to go get food. This would be our last argument of the trip. We found a nice restaurant in the hotel serving a breakfast buffet for $20 per person. What a bargain! I had scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, a croissant, pickled herring, smoked salmon, meatballs, fruit, and 2 cups of coffee with cream and sugar. I felt myself really relaxing for the first time. The views from the restaurant were lovely. A huge cruise ship was in the harbor and we could see it from the restaurant. We enjoyed our nice leisurely breakfast and stuffed ourselves with the much-needed, delicious food.
It was about a 10 minute walk to the “car rental,” which was a woman who owns a hotel who rents out her car. We got a brand-new Prius! Like Marc wasn’t already worried about driving! Maria gave us directions to the places we wanted to see, and we set out to the Borgund Stave Church. We got to a tunnel and Marc freaked out because he had sunglasses on and he couldn’t figure out how to turn on the car lights. He also seemed weirded out by how narrow the roads were. But we made it to the church OK. There is a really cool interpretive center and museum with the gift shop and coffee and desserts and a mini exhibit on the church. The sky was blue and the sun was shining. We spent an hour at the church just sitting and taking pictures and admiring the views. They were baby lambs in a field behind the church and we sat on a bench for a long time just taking it all in. There were several people putting bags around the flowers on the graves in the cemetery because it was unusually cold. A momma lamb and her babies came up to us near the bench. So cute and a really loud male was making a lot of noise in another field.
We went back to the center and I had a piece of homemade apple cake and Marc looked through the exhibit. We bought a Christmas ornament and I got a neat T-shirt. The guy working the counter said we could get lunch in Laerdal. But when we got to the town everything was closed! Even the supermarket! It was 1:30 and Marc was starving. I drove so he could navigate even though he had agreed to drive to help me conserve my ankle strength… We eventually found a 7-Eleven type place and he got a roller burger which was basically a hot dog shaped hamburger on a hot dog bun. I refused to eat anything there. “Roller burger” would be a term we would use throughout the trip… For example, “I need to roller burger, can we find a bathroom?” We got some gas which took some figuring out how to pump and pay, and then set off for the Stegastein viewpoint. On the way we came across a 1-2-3 which had a café so I had a baguette sandwich with lox, cucumber, tomato, and a coffee. Marc was impressed with the Tesla charging station.
We started the drive up the windy road to Stegastein. On the way we saw some lambs right near the road so we stopped to take pictures. The fjords were behind them in the photo ops were amazing. One little lamb had poked his head through the chicken wire type fencing and with a sense of horror we realized he was stuck! He was trying to pull his head back through the fence and couldn’t get it out. He twisted it left to right but his ears were keeping him from pulling his head back. He would alternate with trying to eat some grass in front of him and trying to get out. All of the grass in front of him had been chewed down and I wondered how long the poor baby had been there. His mama stood by and glared at me when I approached her baby. I didn’t know what to do! There were no farm houses near where we were.
I tested the fence and another section to see how pliable it was. I could bend it but it took a lot of effort. I knew I couldn’t leave until we had done something to help. I didn’t know if the mom would freak out if I tried helping her baby. Finally she looked at me and wandered away and we decided if we were going to try to help, now was the time to do so. I bent down next to him and he immediately started pulling hard to get away from me. I was so afraid his little ear was going to tear right off of his head in his terror of having me so close! Finally I bent down next to him and slipped my fingers into the wires around his neck. I pulled up on the thicker wire on the back of his neck with all of my might. He moved his head back-and-forth trying to escape. After like a minute we eventually found the right combo of my pulling and his tugging, and I felt his little ears brush by my fingers and his head popped free! Feelings of relief and elation washed over me. Marc hugged me and I began to cry with happiness and relief. He ran to his mommy and immediately got some milk. Poor hungry baby! How long would he have stayed like that if we hadn’t come along? Other people had stopped there and left. I felt like I was meant to be in that place at that time so I could be that lamb’s guardian angel mama and free him. All of my worries that had been leading up to this trip seems so insignificant. I was so thankful that I got to experience this moment in this place.
The excitement of the moment fueled our way up to the viewpoint. We stopped to take pictures of a black-and-white cat that I thought was going to jump right from the embankment on to our car! The view from the top was of course amazing. Marc was nervous to go out on the walkway. There were some rowdy tourists horsing around but eventually they left and we had the whole deck to ourselves. We took some amazing pictures and admired the awesome views. Then we went back to Flam.
We got to Aegir Brewery at 5:30 but Marc was worried about turning the car in late even though we had it for the entire day. I was worried about not having a reservation for dinner. But we took the car back anyway and walked 10 min. back to the restaurant. When we got to Maria’s I couldn’t find my credit card. I retraced my steps in my head and was wondering if I had left it at the gas station or the 1-2-3. Maria was very helpful looking up the phone numbers for the places that we had been. Turns out the card was in Marc’s pocket from when he had pumped gas.
We went back to the brewery and of course it was a long wait for dinner. We ordered beers, an Oyster Stout and a Sumbel Porter. I tried not to think about how expensive they were…
We sat around the communal fireplace enjoying the ambiance.
We finally got a table for dinner and were sharing a 4-top with another couple who turned out to be from California, the guy was an attorney in Ventura and is retired and they are on a world tour. For dinner I had gravlax (270 kroner), a local delicacy. It was cooked when normally it is raw, and it just tasted like really salty salmon. It had a creamy mustard vinaigrette that was quite delicious. There were potatoes that were half-mashed, half-scalloped, very creamy with dill, they were amazing. It came with a small green salad. Marc had a seafood tomato-based soup (230 kroner) with crusty bread that was very yummy. We appreciated that the menu had allergen info because Marc can’t eat dairy. Back to the hostel for another attempt at a decent night’s sleep.