Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Country of Trolls

In the land of short summer, long rains, and dark winters, one can live happily. At least, the Norwegians managed to do so. Of course, they needed patience, irony and beautiful legends! 

Trolltunga, Norway

Modern trolls are an important part of a tourist and souvenir industry. In less ancient fairy-tales, trolls are no longer scary giants – electricity and infrastructure shielded the Norwegians from the powers of nature. However, even today you can hear from a local: "Do you see a church and a huge stone nearby? Our troll was throwing stones to the constructors!" 

THE LEGENDS 

Curious enough that the legends depict trolls in various ways. They can be small like dwarfs or huge like mountains (because they are distant relatives of the titans who were born by rocks and fed on stones). The only thing where the legends do not contradict each other is the ugly appearance of trolls. Some may have two or three heads, others have only one eye, like cyclops, many has moss and even trees growing on their heads. 

Trolls, Norway

Despite the scary appearance, some trolls were kind, and all of them were so naïve and silly that even village children could outwit them. All trolls live inside the mountains or in the caves and get out a night, waiting for unlucky travelers under a bridge. They eat meat, steal cattle and people. The majority of them live more than 100 years, however sunlight is harmful for them and turns them into stones. 

Nevertheless, one can deal even with a troll. If one sets a riddle to a troll, the troll must guess it. If he does not, he will die. But if he does, he sets his own riddle – and it repeats until someone fails. In such a situation, it is important to engage the troll till dawn, because with first sunbeams he will turn into a stone. 

TOPONYMS 

Once the trolls went to a wedding at Møre og Romsdal. A procession stretched along the road, trolls were drinking mead and getting more merry and careless. They did not notice how the sun rose and turned them into stones, creating the mountain ridge of Trolltinda. Not far from Molde you can find Trollkirka (Troll Church) caves, Trolls Wegen (Troll's Wall) and the serpentine road Trollstigen (Troll's Road) leading from Andalsnes to Geiranger. 

Troll's Road, Norway

If you do not like hiking, take a walk around Lake Trollvann not far from Oslo. And if you do – climb up to the famous Trolltunga, a rock above the Hardangerfjord

Stone monoliths of Trollholmsund – according to the legend, these trolls were wandering around Finnmark with the chest of gold and turned into stones when the sun rose. 

Trollheimen (Home of the Trolls) is a famous mountain range in Norway with its highest peak – Trolla – reaching 1850 m! The area is rich of tourist routes and fishing opportunities. You can find there Mountain Trollhetta (Troll's Hat) and a hut – Trollhelmshytta (Hut in the Troll's Country).

Trollheimen, Norway

If in old days trolls used to eat people, now they just do small mean tricks like stealing keys or making a hole in a tire. But the Norwegians do not offend. Moreover, each one has a small troll at home who helps to deal with "evil spirits" like a tax officer. Even nowadays, the Norwegians respect trolls – because nobody knows when and where one can meet them. 


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