With the heavy snowfall late last week, it seemed like a good time for a Christmas pilgrimage. And so we made our way, by bus and train to Egersund, to join the Egersund monks in their annual Gløg Festival.
This is where the bus dropped us off by the harbour. It was truly a beautiful day, though perhaps not the best weather for sitting down to admire the scenery.
Then we walked across into the market.
The Christmas tree was the first thing that caught the eye. It was beautifully decorated in red and gold, then nature had added the best touch of all with snow that sparkled in the winter sunshine. The stall is selling ris grøt – a kind of rice pudding eaten with cinnamon and sugar and sometimes butter or cream.
We paid our first visit to the gløg shrine at this point. Gløg, for the uninitiated, is Norway’s version of mulled wine. It’s sweeter than the more familiar beverage, and improved with the addition of nuts and raisins. All in all, it’s very welcome on a cold day in December.There’s an alcohol free version for children and anyone driving home. The bottles at the front of the picture are of Norway’s other traditional Christmas drink, Julebrus.
There were traditional toys.
All kinds of sweets.
And more decorations.
We went for a wander through the main shopping street where they were setting up trees for a tree decoration competition
Still too cold to sit down, but in the picture, the tree is garnished with a bundle of straw. I’ve seen many of these in the city, often tied with attractive red ribbons. This tradition began as a way to provide food for birds.
But we were drawn back by the singing monks.
Who kindly replenished the huge copper containing the gløg so we could have another cup.
Some Thai street food followed, then back for another walk round the market as the sun sank lower.
We returned to the harbour to catch the bus back to the station. The sky was beginning to turn pink, but the fjord was still bright with the reflected light.
It was dark by the time we got off the train and tramped through the snow towards home…
…where we lit the second of our advent candles: a peaceful end to a beautiful day.