Posted on Wed, 20-Sep-2023Tue, 03-Oct-2023 by pamAmla Bay and Urnes Stave Church – Norway 17/26 We are tucked into a cozy apartment on Amla Bay near Kaupanger (Sognejorden) for 5 nights. We are the middle small green building, second floor. Nedre Amla are 6 attached homes that resemble the old fishing villages. Our owner has created an apartment above his garage for his visiting family and to share with travelers like us. This is our view across the fjord towards Kaupanger from the dining/living room. Nice – more reflections! Should we do the high dive? Let’s just view the sunset for now… …Great end to a rainy day. Kaupanger has a nice Stave Church on a gorgeous site that was a pleasant 1.5 mile walk along Amla Bay from our apartment but there is a more famous one nearby. We took a 15 minute ferry just a bit north across the fjord to Urnes or Orneset on a clear morning. The Urnes Stave Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only Norwegian Stave Churches (28 out of 1,300) have survived so they are a unique contribution to world cultural heritage. We got a tour inside to see the original 1130 construction as well as some of the “drunken” modifications from 1662, which sawed off a main support stave (column) so these diagonals were placed to keep the building from collapsing. Medieval chandelier on left hangs from ceiling. Original carvings at the column capitals. The pulpit was added in 1690 by a wealthy benefactor. The chancel extension and decoration from around 1601. At the foot of Christ on the cross is a skull and crossbones which represent that Adam is dead as Christ is resurrected as the son of god. Mary and St John as the grieving witnesses – the scene of Golgotha. The wood siding and shingles are covered with a tar and coal mixture for waterproofing. It also gives the churches the characteristic black patina as well as makes them highly flammable – that’s why so few stave churches have survived through the ages. Looking out the front door, across the graveyard, and the fjord beyond – all now vivid with moisture.