After enjoying a good sleep in we had breakfast at the hotel – quite the experience given there are over 300 rooms and apparently quite popular with the coach tours.
We then made the short walk to the Maihaugen Museum. With close to 200 buildings, it is one of Northern Europe’s largest open-air museums and one of the largest cultural facilities in Norway.
Maihaugen tells the history of how people have been living in Norway from the Middle Ages until today. We spent most of our time exploring ‘The Rural Collection’, which focuses on the villages of Lillehammer during the period 1700–1850 but also houses dating back to the 15th century.
It’s an incredible place, set out around a number of lakes and rivers it feels very authentic.
Keith particularly enjoyed seeing how the traditional buildings were made. They were mostly log cabins with slate or earthen roofs. The earthen roofs were made by first covering the roof with wooden slats, then covering them in bark and then with grassy soil. This allowed the water to move through and off the roof, but at the same time hold the heat into the house and keep the cold out.
We saw an old method of fish trapping. As you can see below, the river runs openly into a box which then restricts the water flowing through. Any fish that are in the river then get trapped in the box and the farmer just needs to come along, open the box and get fresh fish!
There were also a number of different traditional farm animals including Bec’s favourite the East Norwegian Draught Horses (Dølahest).
Garmo Stave Church is one of the main attractions of the museum. In 1882, the church was disassembled and eventually sold to Anders Sandvig, the museums founder, who brought it to Lillehammer for reassembly in 1920. Apart from the clay stone baptismal font from the 1100s, all the furnishings in the Garmo Stave Church have come from other churches.
Another area of the museum we found interesting was the Norwegian Postal Museum, particularly the different vehicles that have been used.
We really enjoyed our time at the museum but were feeling a bit weary after walking around all day. Returning to the hotel we spent the rest of the evening enjoying the indoor pool.
Still no Moose!