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"It is the sea itself, the North Sea broad and free, unbroken and unbent, endless..." | by Ranveig Marie Photography
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"It is the sea itself, the North Sea broad and free, unbroken and unbent, endless..."

~ Arne Garborg, in the opening chapter of the book Fred (“Peace”) in 1892 ~

  

For twelve years I’ve lived in the beautiful Norwegian region called Jæren – known for its flat lowland area and the long and beautiful sandy beaches (and some pebble beaches) along the coastline. But in only two weeks I’ll move back to the island I’m from, 2,5 hours by car from here. My feelings about this are really ambivalent.. Both places are so beautiful and I have so many good friends both places.

 

This summer the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation is sailing along the long coastline of Norway, making TV shows from the villages and towns where they stop. At daytime we can watch their ship’s journey on TV.

Today they sailed along the coast of Jæren, and I really felt in my stomach how I’ll miss this beautiful scenery where I love to spend time outside.

 

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MORE OF THIS TEXT BY ARNE GARBORG, in both English and Norwegian, describing this beautiful part of Norway (it’s a long but beautiful text):

 

“Outside in the west the sea breaks upon a low, sandy beach of more than forty miles. It is the sea itself, the North Sea broad and free, unbroken and unbent, endless. Black-green and briny it comes rolling in mighty waves from the Northern Ice and the English Channel, driving its white-maned horses of breakers forth from the ocean fog till they froth with rage, while it roars its deep, eternal organ note from the utmost abysses. Then it throws itself against the shore and is shattered into a white foam, with bumps and thumps and long, thundering crashes, dying at last in a dull boom.

 

Up from the low, sandy beach there stretches a poor, greyish land, with heather-brown hills and pale moors, strewn with mighty boulders, treeless and bare, barred towards the east by a long row of low ridges. Endless the naked heath seems to be. But here and there it is enlivened by the blue of a solitary tarn growing over with weeds, or by a great, still lake. Here the wind is soughing by day and by night. And the grey mist hangs low over the moor, where the hare flees from boulder to boulder, and all sorts of brown and speckled wild fowl lie in their hidden nests, winking and dozing.

 

Over everything the sky spans wide and gray, from the mountain farm to the ocean and that one barely sees - the only bright thing over the existence – one can see it wherever one goes. Full of clouds and storms it almost always hangs. Sometimes it drifts to the ground and sweeps the country in rain and mist like a tablecloth. And it rains and rains until the land floods.

 

Here and there on the hills and the slopes low houses huddle together, as if seeking shelter. In the misty air they half disappear as if by a spell, or wrap themselves in peat smoke and sea fog as in a dream; closed and still they lie along the waste like elfish abodes. Around the houses you may discern pale green patches of meadow and cornfield like islets in the vast heat; every bit and corner is enclosed and girdled with long dykes of stone.

In such homes do the people live.

 

They are a strong, heavy people, working their way through life by pondering and labour, delving the earth and searching the Scriptures, tormenting the sand until it yields grain and their dreams until they yield hope, putting their faith in the penny and their trust in God.”

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"Utanfor, i vest, bryt havet på mot ei sju milir lang låg sandstrand. Det er sjølve havet, Nordhavet, breidt og fritt, ukløyvt og utøymt, endelaust, svartgrønt og salt kjem det i veldig rulling veltande inn or dei vestlege himlar, drivi av storstormane frå Nordisen og Kanalen, køyrande sine fakskvite brimhestar fram or havskodda, so skumskavlen stend, durande sin djupe æveheims orgeltone frå dei ytste avgrunnar. So støyper det seg mot strandi og krasar seg sund i kvit foss, med dunk og dyn og lange brak, døyande burt i døyvt dunder.

 

Upp frå den låge sandstrandi tøygjer seg eit armt, grått land med lyngbrune bakkar og bleike myrar, yvi-sått med kampestein, trelaust og berrt, avstengt mot aust med en lang, låg fjellgard. Endelaus synest den nakne hei. Men her og der blånar ei ensleg tjønn, som ligg og gror att, eller eit stort, stilt vatn. Her susar vinden dag og natt. Og gråveret ligg lågt yvi viddi, der haren rømer frå stein til stein og allslags brun og spettut og vill fugl ligg i løynde reir og blinkar og blundar.

 

Yvi det heile spanar himilen seg vid og grå, frå fjellgarden til havs og so vidt ein ser - det einaste ljose yvi tilværet - den hev ein for augo kvar ein gjeng. Full av skyir og storm heng han mest alltid. Stundom sig han åt jordi og sveiper landet i regn og skodd som i ein duk. Og det regner og regner til landet fløymer.

 

Her og der uppetter bakkar og res kryp låge hus ihop i småkrullar som søkjande livd. I den tette lufti hildrar dei seg halvt burt, sveiper seg i torvrøyk og havdis som i ein draum, stengde og stille ligg dei burtetter viddine som tusseheimar. Rundt husi skimtar det fram bleike grøne flekkir av åker og eng som øyar i lyngviddi, kvar bite og kvar lepp er avstengd og innlødd med steingjerde som lange røysir.

I desse heimane bur folket.

 

Det er eit sterkt, tungt folk, som grev seg gjennom livet med gruvling og slit, putlar med jordi og granskar skrifti, piner korn av aur`en og von av sine draumar, trur på skillingen og trøyster seg til Gud."

 

My album of Jæren images here.

 

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Taken on June 19, 2015