We met Espen Håkonsen, when he was taking a great picture of the elk at night, with the lights of the passing cars giving it a special touch. We got talking and the next day we decided to explore his hometown Hamar together.
This route is known for elks often crossing the road. The colourful antlers at the trees are warning the drivers. We would have loved to meet one of this big animals at least once, but during the nearly 3 month we spent in Scandinavia, not even a tiny one was crossing our way, quite disappointing! Another reason to come again!!
Espen guided us to a parking directly at the lake (60.801593, 11.026187). From there we took a walk along the shore and past historic buildings which are part of an open air museum.
The cathedral of Hamar was completed in the middle of the 13th century. It was originally built in the Romanesque architectural style and later converted to Gothic.
In the aftermath of the Reformation in Norway, the building became the residence of the local sheriff and soon fell into disrepair, which culminated in the attempted demolition by the Swedish army in 1567.
Today the distinctive arches of the cathedral ruins are protected by a metal and glass construction which make the ruins a great venue for weddings and concerts.
This building from 1922 played an important role in the history of Hamar. In 1940, when the city became the country’s capital, both the king, the Storting (supreme legislature of Norway) and the government on the run from German troops held important meetings in this building, which afterwards was used for years as Hamar’s town hall. Later it housed the theatre and then the cinema Festiviteten. Now it is a bar and a concert hall. We chose the restaurant at the corner for a brake.
To give you a better impression of the lovely town of Hamar, Espen allowed us to use some of his pictures. Look him up at Instagram: @espen_haakonsen
The Vikingskipet (“The Viking Ship”) or Hamar Olympic Hall was built as the speed skating rink for the 1994 Winter Olympics. Hamar was the venue of three sports during the 1994 Winter Olympics: figure skating, shorttrack and speed skating. (Some of you might know that we have a connection to shorttrack 😉
We also came past this modern diving platform floating at the lake, which might have been a pricy project for the town, but is now a special feature at the lake.
Sunset at Lake Mjøsa with a special bell tower standing in the lake which plays different melodies every hour.
The glass covered ruins of the cathedral in front of the green sky of the Northern Lights is the last impression of Hamar, a lovely town with a great mixture of old and new.
Next we will pick up our snow chains and head to Sweden, finally a different country again! We had spent 2 month in Norway and still left with a long list what we want to do next time we come here.