For two days we have been on the road, or more correct, one day on the ocean, one day on the road. The theme for the days has been "staff development"
Through talks, discussions, group work, RPG, meals, common experiences. Starting with the Coastal Express from Trondheim to Molde (a whole day), meeting up with other colleages in Molde, going back home by buss, we have strengthened the ties between us.
One of the many challenges and questions we have worked with is
what is most imposrtant, man or nature
The question has many answers.
I have many answers, and I also have many new questions.
One woman said - humans of course, if I am in Oslo and have to chose between plane and train to get back home I will always chose the plane, to reach home to my kids before bedtime
Then the next one asked - but what if all our traveling by planes destroy the nature for your kids?
One man said - man can not live without nature, but nature can live without man
The next one replied - are you sure, what is nature without man, is there a nature without man
And I can go on like this, asking a question which leads to, not an answer, but a new question.
What has followed me today though is that
we are part of God´s creation, we are in The Creator´s plan, both human and nature, and as a woman I have a responsibility to care, and to love.
All photos are from The Atlantic Road, where we stopped on our way from Molde back to Trondheim
I had some time in Jyväskylä, before flying to Tallinn. "I can show you the best places for shopping" I was told. But I was not interessted in shopping. Ok, I am a woman, but may be not a typical one. Anyway, not when it comes to killing time with shopping. I was not at all interested. May be if it had been a huge bookstore, like Foyles. But I was sure there would be no huge bookstores in Jyväskylä, and if I would happen to find one, most of the books would be in Finish anyway, and I know only seven words in Finish, the numbers from one to seven!
When I was a little girl grandma Olga taught me a nursery rhyme which was supposed to be in Finish. I still know the rhyme by heart, but when I said it aloud to me Finish friends they all laughed. "No, these words are not Finish. We have no idea, it sounds Samien to us". So now I must try it on my Samien friends.
But I am talking myself away from the point. What to do with a few hours in Finland when neither me, not my colleague who was there with me, were interested in shopping.?
The woman who at first suggested shopping took the point, and next day she came with a brochure from Jyväskylä. And then it didn´t take me long to know what I wanted to do!
I wanted to visit the Alvar Aalto museum.
Alvar Aalto, born in 1898, grew up in Jyväskylä (why is it so difficult to write the name of this city correct?). An internatinal famous architect, known in my heart because of the most beautiful tulip vase ever. The Alvar Aalto Tulip Vase.
My mother bought me one many, many, many years ago. And when it broke many, many years ago, she bought me another one. Which I still have.
Architect, glass artist, furniture carpenter. Aalto was a man of many talents.
And, as I have discovered so many times before (take a look here, and here) he also was a man who knew whom to chose for his wife.
Almost a week ago I flew to Finland. Three flights from Trondheim, via Oslo and Tallinn. On the small plane from Oslo to Tallinn I had a window seat, and as we flew low over Tallinn before landing, I could see a high, green spire. I had never been to Tallinn, and was on my way to Jyväskylä in Finland, but knew that I saw the church spire of an "old friend", the St.Olav Church, or Oleviste Kirik as they say in Estonia.
An old legend tells the tale of a stranger coming to Tallinn being asked by the noblemen there if he could build the highest church in the world. The stranger asked more money that the city could pay, but agreed to decrease the price if they managed to guess his name. According to the story this was almost an impossible task, but in the end someone managed to find the place where the stranger came from. There a young woman was singing for her baby: "Sleep my baby, sleep. Olaf will soon come home and bring us gold for the entire life"
The true story is that the church was built buy Scandinavian seafarers some 800 years ago. The Norwegian King Olav II Haraldson, (Nidaros cathedral was originally built on his grave, you all know that, don´t you.....) later St. Olav, was the patron saint of seafarers, so they gave the church his name.
Once, the church tower with its spire was the highest building in the world.
High enough to attract lightning and set into fire several times. Today the spire is lower than it once was, though still it is an impressing building in the old town of Tallinn.
When we passed the church on Saturday, it was closed due to a wedding. But we decided to go back this morning, before the service.
At first we were unable to find any signs of St.Olav, our dear, old friend, in the church, which is today owned by the Lutheran congregation in Tallinn. We almost gave up, but on our way out we found a little pamflet about the church, and inside we found what we were looking for; a tiny little photo of King Olav with the text: "A bay of vaults contains a sculptured relief of St.Olav after whom the church has been named"
In we walked again. Preparations were being done for the upcoming service. We found one of the church guards and tried to ask him about St.Olav. He spoke no English, but when we showed him the photo in the panflet a broad smile spread in his face. "Come with me" he said.......with a wave with his hand. And there, high up behind the altar I found my friend.
Unfortunately we were not able to take part in the service. We had to head back to the hotel, only stopping for cappuccinos and a huge Josephine cake (will be another blog post), to finish packing, and then fly back to Norway.
The flight from Tallinn to Trondheim is only a little over an hour (I had no idea), so we are now back home, ready for a new week.
Every town and city has its own history, its own legends, its own tales.
What a joy to seek out, to explore them.
It didn´t take long to awaken out curiosity in Tallinn. Who was Old Thomas?
At a corner in the Old Town we found a bookstall where they sold "The Legend of Old Thomas"
Thoms, the son of a fisherman who died on the sea while Thomas was a small boy, a fishmonger wife who always took Thomas with her when she walked up to the town to sell her fish. Thomas, who grew up and became a master with his crossbow. Thomas who became a city guardian for life. Thomas who loved the children of the city and was missed by them when he died.
Old Thomas is immortalised as a weather vane on top of the Old Town House.
Here is a link to where you can read more about the legend of Old Thomas and other estonian legends.
I am too busy to write more right now. More Tallinn exploring is waiting.
All texts and photos by Britt-Arnhild Wigum Lindland
I am living in a red house surrounded by a blue garden near Trondheim, Norway. I love everydays and post about my steps through life. Britt-Arnhild's House in the Woods is open to everybody. Welcome over!