Hoff stone church
Ostre Toten, Norway
+47 61 16 59 10
Photo by Joshua Samuel Brown
An Afternoon's Wander Outside LenaWandering the hills outside of Lena on a snowy winter's afternoon, I came across the workshop of Mesterstuen Henning, a carver of wooden figures of characters from Norse mythology, including Thor, Odin, Loki and Freya, as well as trolls of both genders.
Having exhausted the day's discretionary budget on elk-jerky earlier, I made no purchases but instead walked over the hill and down again until I reached the Hoff Stone Church, which dates back to the Eleventh Century.
Though built originally as a house of prayer and quiet reflection, something else was afoot on the day of my visit, as there was a small band setting up for what they told me would be a performance later that evening. Whether they wound up incorporating the church's massive pipe organ in their act I never learned, as the sun was setting and it seemed prudent to mosey on to the home of my host family or risk freezing to death.
I never did come across the pile of rocks by the church that a student at the school in which I'd been brought to Norway to teach later told me had been hurled by trolls to prevent the church's construction.
I knew those trolls were up to no good!