The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Our Son’s Guest Post on Norway

11

A Bridge of Stone in Norway

by Robert Klopp

As my father turns 75 this week, I felt compelled to finally fulfill a promise to make a contribution to his Blog with a personal narrative, touching on some of his favorite themes: history, heritage, and family.

Fjord

Several months ago I received an invitation to visit Norway to attend a conference. I usually would not attend such things, but I had some vacation to use up and going would give me an opportunity to meet up with a school friend that I hadn’t seen in almost exactly 20 years. So I registered and when the time came, I headed north.

Travelling in Norway can be strange sensation if you have grown up or travelled in British Columbia, as there are times you would swear you have just been teleported there.   (There are of course many areas that are uniquely Norwegian.)   Having visited the city of Stavanger, I was now driving east to Oslo where I had to be at the end of the week. The weather was what it should be near the beginning of spring, grey and rainy bordering on snow, so I was considering leaving the country roads I was on and getting on the main highway to drive through to Oslo, to spend an extra day there.

Norway1

For some reason, shortly before getting to the highway, I decided to stop at a geographic tourist information point. The map contained many geologic points of interest of the area. I gave it a quick look and was about to go when something caught my eye: a place named “Terland klopp” and it wasn’t far from where I was.

Norway2

So off I drove, curious to what I might find. As I headed inland, the landscape quickly changed. I crossed the main highway and the road became smaller and traffic almost disappeared. Thinking I had missed the location of which was likely to be only a small historic site; I was already looking for an opportunity to turn around. Fortunately this was not possible due to the road improvement work that was in progress.

Just then, over the river to my right, a stone pedestrian bridge appeared. Impressed at this beautiful simple structure in the middle of nowhere, I stopped in the only space available and got out. A sign, in three languages, provided some information. Terland klopp was built about 200 years ago – the longest bridge of its kind in Norway.   There was no information on who built it – but I figured it could have been named after the builder, or perhaps one of the main users.

Bridge

After having photographed it from as many vantage points as possible, I explored a bit more. Heading further up this valley, the dark granite walls on either side continued to rise and became steeper.   I soon reached a pair of lakes.   These mirrored the extreme calmness I felt around me. I stopped to take it in as everything, the lakes, mountains and fog blended into each other, part of each other.

Regular readers of this blog will know that my father lives in a fairly sparsely populated area of British Columbia. And while this particular region of Norway is more like the coastal areas of British Columbia, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps there would be something here that would explain the deep attachment of my parents to the place which they eventually made their home.

Egersund, which is the nearest major town to the bridge, is an ancient port on one of Norway’s best natural harbors. It was named after an Oak forest that used to exist there.   Historically people have lived here since several hundred years BC.   As a historical reference marker typical of Europe, the first church is mentioned in 1292. The ancient Norwegians (aka the Vikings) had travelled extensively and had been known to cross and settle in Northern Europe – perhaps there was some ancient link?

Ship

I finally got on the highway to Oslo.   Later in the week, I hit the internet trying to find further potential links to this region, either through language, person, or history. It took some time. With some careful research over the next days the mystery was solved.

As it turns out, the key was located right next to the bridge.

Map

Across the 42 “Sidalsveien” road I was travelling on is a smaller one called “Terlandsveien” that leads up a hill to some farms.   In Norwegien, “-veien” is fairly common suffix that translates to –you guessed it- , road. So if “Terland” is the name of the road, it was also the name of the bridge. But Bridge in modern Norwegian is “Bro” and “Bru” in ancient Norwegian, so what exactly did the klopp mean?   Again the solution lay nearby, a small group of houses named “Kloppa”.   This translates to small bridge. Further searching also led me to “Kloppen”, which means footbridge in Norwegian.   So, with slight bitter-sweetness, I had found the explanation.

Epilogue: As I was shutting down my computer, I found a reference for a small community incorporated into Tønsberg, not far from Olso. Tønsberg is generally regarded as the oldest town in Norway. In the late medieval period it served as one of three Hanseatic trading posts in Norway, with ties to Northern Germany. Tønsberg is a part of Vestfold, which is mostly dominated by lowland and is among the best agricultural areas of Norway. And that community is called Klopp. And there is not bridge anywhere in the vicinity….

11 thoughts on “Our Son’s Guest Post on Norway

  1. Dina

    This is overwhelming for me. ❤ What a wonderful report from my home country. So many interesting details and history unbeknown to me! I have never heard of kloppen oder kloppa…. 🙂 I grew up in Fredrikstad, Østfold, across the river from Vestfold, but I know Tønsberg quite well. Thank you so much for sharing this, this is most interesting not only for me, but for Klausbernd as well as, a preparation for our tour of Norway in app 2 years. A very belated Happy Birthday from the four of us, dear Peter. 🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹 And a big thank you to your son. 🙂 🌹
    Best regards, Dina 🇳🇴

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you for your enthusiastic response to our son’s guest post on your home country, Dina! I was also overwhelmed by Robert’s surprise gift for my birthday. He loves to travel and often looks for connections to our family history. Quite a few years ago he went to see my birth place (now being part of Poland) and took pictures of the house, where my family used to live. Thank you again for your kind comment!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

GenTraveling

Collecting stories from family historians who are climbing their family trees and planning trips to where their ancestors actually lived!

Creative Huntress' Journey

Story, Photography, and Lifestyle

Educated Unemployed Indian

Trying to benefit from education & (a little) from unemployment!

tanja britton

Lives and writes at the foot of Pikes Peak

Applegate Genealogy

Helping others discover their roots

Poetry and Prose

From soul to soul

Little Fears

Tales of humour, whimsy and courgettes

DaleDucatte.com

"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag

Deepa Kadavakat

Celebrate the ordinary & beautiful self

Susan Rushton

Celebrating gardens, nature, photography and a creative life

Backyard Photographer

Spark creativity by capturing the world around you one photo at a time

PETER GRAARUP WESTERGAARD

Independent blog about literature, philosophy and society in words and images

Floresphotographic

Photography & Nature

The Hejhej blog

Another blog that you dont need

The Flowers of Art

In the kingdom of life, with the strokes of the brush, the bow and the pen, artists have sowed their hearts to contrive, fields rivalling in beauty the Garden of Eden.

The Timeless Treasure

A Sneak Peek of My Life !!!

Theresa J. Barker

literary & science fiction writer

Jupp Kappius

Zur Erinnerung an Josef "Jupp" Kappius

Calmgrove

Exploring the world of ideas through books

Sophie und ihre Welt

Bücher - Fotos - Kurze Zeilen - Literaturkunde - Malen - Momentaufnahmen - Musik - Ohrensessel-Gedanken - Philosophie - Tagesfreuden - Werken - Worte - Zitate

A Walk to Stressfree Life

be thankful for this blessed life!!!

Karolina Górska & Piotr Jurkiewicz

fotografia z naszej perspektywy

Melissa Blue Fine Art

Celebrating the Healing Beauty of Nature

melissabluefineartblog.wordpress.com/

Celebrating the Healing Beauty of Nature

The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

The Back Road Chronicles

Curious soul...and it makes me wanna take the back roads!

MaritimeMac

Go Explore

Inspire me

Love, Relationship, Lifestyle, Purpose, Marriage & Family

Travelling around the world

Traveller, photography

Intrepid Venture

Exploring the realms of the arts, sciences and politics

sandsoftime10

A peek into Megha's mind

natureliteratureculturejournal

This is a journal about the things that inspire me: a beautiful landscape, a good book, a fascinating museum.

Candid Chicana

Chicano Culture, Self-Development & More

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

Plants and Beyond

Green Plants Based Living and Gardening

Zimmerbitch

age is just a (biggish) number

Think Ahead

Des' Online Journal

witlessdatingafterfifty

Relationships reveal our hearts.

Wondering and Wandering

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live! Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow..." --Henry David Thoreau, August 19, 1851

Frau Stich-Schlinge

handGemachtes & allerlei Tüddellütt

Stella, oh, Stella

Garten - Reisen - Lesen - Musik - Handarbeiten - Motorbike no more! - Wandern ...

My Fragmented Narrative

rants and ramblings freshly served

%d bloggers like this: