Though it is February 28 winter clings to Saskatchewan. It was -20C this morning in Melfort. The snow still has a cold weather crunch when walking. Most winters Sharon and I would either be away in some warm locale at this time or able to go visit a spa or at least go somewhere in Canada a little warmer. Covid 19 continues to prevent travel. Vaccinations are proceeding but it will still be months before most Canadians are vaccinated. Thus I looked upon the internet for places to dream about visiting.
I came upon a pair of book towns in Norway that look and sound like magical places.
The first is Fjærland by the Sognefjord on the west coast of Norway. It is accessible by ferry from Bergen. There is road access from the interior.
The website www.visitnorway.com describes the town:
The first of Norway's two book towns saw the light
of day in 1995. Mundal, the centre of the small
village Fjærland by the Sognefjord, is home to about
four kilometres of books. Most are second-hand, and
the dozens of outlets are also based on reutilization -
here you'll find books in ferry waiting rooms,
stables, banks, an old post office, and a grocery
shop. The giant Tusund og ei natt is the only shop
built specifically to house books, while the small
and trusts you
to leave a
small amount of money in a box for every book you take.
The website culture trip says the village of Mundal in Fjærland with 280 people has about 150,000 used books for sale.
Prime book season is from May to September. The indoor stores are open in the winter. There are books for sale online year round.
There is a summer solstice book festival
The second community is Tvedestrand which is southeast of Oslo.
The visitnorway website says:
And, if that were not enough to entice a reader, the website describes an amazing hotel:
At the end of the day, you can check into Norway's
first book hotel. Bokhotellet Lyngørporten is æøidyllically located in Gjeving by the Lyngøfjord.
I am not sure what is happening at the hotel but it is now called the Hotel Lyngøporten.
Their Facebook page does have several posts about books and authors.
A few years ago Sharon and I were enchanted by Sidney, British Columbia. It is Canada’s only book town. Located on Vancouver Island there were 6 bookstores downtown. I visited every one of them. Links to my posts on Sidney are below this post.
I do not know if I will get back to Norway but should travels allow a return I will make every effort possible to visit the Norwegian book towns.