Hiking St. Olavsleden : Vuku to Sticklestad

We started the morning with a wonderful breakfast made by Liv, where we got to sample fresh homemade smoked salmon from the river – I’m never going to be able to buy it from the supermarket again!

After saying our goodbyes to Liv, we were on our way to Stiklestad – a short walking day after yesterday’s long day, to rest the feet a little.

It was warm and mostly sunny as we meandered around farming land along the roads.

We met some fellow pilgrims walking in the opposite direction from Germany and exchanged tips about the directions we were heading in.

We eventually came to Stiklestad and found a monument dedicated to Olav who was killed here in battle by Norwegian farmers during his quest to Christianize Norway.

Once we reached the Stiklestad Hotel we were met by Arnstein who showed us around the traditional Viking long house on site, which is as close to the real thing as possible. He talked about the Pagan gods of fertility and of the history surrounding the times in which these long houses were around.

Next he showed us to the church which is built on the place where Olav is thought to have been killed. It has some fantastic art painted on the walls where the eyes and pointed fingers seem to follow you around the room. Behind the Alter there is also a stone which is thought to be the one Olavs head rested upon as he died.

In the evening we headed to the cosy warmth of the hotel restaurant and ordered some delicious food. I have been craving a burger like this since this trip began! Followed by a dessert of Belgian waffle.

We were lucky enough to be in Stiklestad on the night of its first outdoor cinema showing in the amphitheatre – a Norwegian film called Birkebeinerne (The Last King). We watched for as long as we could before it began to rain and we needed to head back to the hotel to do some work.

After a cosy hour or two in the lobby, we headed to our amazing Viking bunkhouse for a good nights sleep.

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