We have a very early flight tomorrow, so I'll keep this short. But the windup of this trip deserves a few paragraphs. Yesterday, we visited the Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter, or Ship Preservation Center. Its story was told in the March issue of WoodenBoat this year, so it doens't need recapping here. The central point is this: The place was founded upon the rebuilding of a vessel called MATHILDE (right) in the early 1980s; it preserves the skill required to rebuild old vessels. It is a hybird of research institution, public museum, and boatbuilding school situated in the town fo Norheimsund--an idyllic location from which you can see green hills or glaciers, depending on which direction you look. Old ships, in various states of rejuvenation, lie all about. There's a small boat shop that specializes in Hardanger færings--the local small boat type.
We're capping things off in the lap of luxury: the Solstrand hotel in the town of Os. We chose this place because it's also home to the Oselvarverkstaden--the small boat shop featured in WB No. 165 that specializes in the construction of Oselvars--the local boat type here. You should be beginning to get the picture about Norwegian boats: historically, each region had its own boat type, and even those types varied within regions, depending on the fancies of the builders and the users. Oselvars are special. They consist of just three wide planks per side; the first is carved from 3"-thick stock to form a propeller-shaped piece--the garboard end, or hals. They row well; our hotel has a small livery, and I took one for a spin this afternoon (photo, right). At left is a shot of the verkstaden, with a new boat being rigged.
Farewell from Norway. If any missed details reveal themselves during unpacking, I'll report them later.