Souvenir Keepsakes from Norway and Sweden
I love collecting souvenirs and little trinkets to remember our travels. While I did find a lot of great treasures on our recent trip to Norway and Sweden, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself bring back the perfect piece of Scandinavia, which took away from actually experiencing these beautiful places. In the future, I have to be more mindful and intentional with which shops I choose to enter and which ones I admire from the window.
I was a little obsessive over getting an “authentic” troll to bring back after I read souvenir finder post on trolls. I shopped around the different shops in Bergen and only found two kinds. One that seemed to be manufactured plastic and the other more expensive Mendel carving like Souvenir finder’s. I was a little disappointed to find that even these more “authentic” trolls seemed like mass produced carvings, instead of one-of-a-kind keep sakes, but after spending much time in different shops, I found that these were much more appealing and decided to take one home with me.
This Henning troll is hand carved in Norway. I love how jolly he is. I can’t wait to put him on my shelf.
After seeing what the typical plastic viking figurine looked like in most tourist shops, I wasn’t impressed. I did find a small viking god statue that now sits on my window sill in my office. I believe it is Thor and he will find a place amongst my other beloved treasures when Jeremy builds us a modular shelving unit. For now, he sits on my window sill along with a lot of my other trinkets.
Much like my quest for finding the perfectly authentic troll in Norway, I had an even more maddening search for an authentic Dala horse in Sweden. I knew that I would find the cute little horses in several sizes all over, but I couldn’t find any documentation on what the real “authentic ones” looked like. In the end, I bought two different kinds, hoping i would figure it out later.
My recommendation would be to visit the Dala horse museum in Gamlastan, Stockholm to make your purchase.
I found a small illustrated book in Norwegian about Trolls. I haven’t yet translated what it says, but the illustration style is beautiful. I hope to place it on our side table in our little reading nook so that someone may pick it up and delight in it as much as I do.
I also found a beautifully illustrated children’s book called Hemma in a shop called Design Torget in Stockholm. It’s a story about all different kinds of homes and it reminded me of a friend of mine who collects children’s books, so I picked up a copy for him. I loved it so much I bought one for myself too.
In flam, rather than buying a sheep skin rug, we decided to buy a small art print of a viking ship sailing down a fjord to remind us of our magical fjord ride. This will be my second art print in what I hope will become a small art gallery of places we’ve been. The first print came from our visit in Dingle, Ireland.
Hand-painted ornaments from Flam
As we were walking through the gift shop in Flam, I saw something I hadn’t seen anywhere else: hand painted ornaments. I figured they would be the perfect gift for my mom’s up-coming birthday and my Nana. I regret not picking one up for our Christmas tree, but I also know we’ve bought enough to remember our trips by.
Another collection that started in our last trip from Ireland, was collecting one stone from a place we hiked. While we didn’t remember to collect one on our hike in Bergen, probably because I spent the whole time whining in pain from sore feet, we did remember to find one on the still shores of flam while taking pictures and watching the sun set on the mountains.
We hope to write the date and the country that it came from, but so far we just have two rocks sitting on our mantle. Some day, I will find the time.