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       ( The valley of Are / Aredalen )

Steve Maxims report about the visit to Norway and Sweden 2001

Our trip to Norway and Sweden began 20 July 2001.   We departed Seattle, Washington and flew to Oslo via London.  My family has roots in Norway as well as Sweden, so we try to visit our families in both countries when we attend the Lalander Family reunions. Our group on this trip to Norway and Sweden included my mother Gladys Maxim, brother Glen Maxim his wife Lori and son Sean, sister Kathy Maxim Baze and daughters Courtney and Justine.  This was the largest group that we have assembled for the trip to Norway and Sweden.
We visited Oslo for 3 days and then departed by car from Olso to Halden, Norge to visit with our relatives Gunvor and Knute Braekke.  Our stay in Halden, Norge was short but we were able to visit Fredriksten Festing, the town of Poulsbo, Norge (the origin of my home in Poulsbo, Washington USA), and family relatives from the Prestebakke and Enningdal areas south of Halden.  We left on July 25 with Knute and Gunvor Braekke to visit the Norwegian family homestead in the mountains near Skabu (east of Vinstra, Norge).  This is where my great grand mother Kari Kampsaeter Odden was born and where Knute and Gunvor have their cabin. 
On the way to Skabu, Norge, we visited the farm near Vinstra, Norge, where my Grandmother Ingeborg Odden was raised before she immigrated to USA.  We stayed in the Braekke cabin one night and spent the next day (July 26) visitng area farms, churches, and just marvelling at the beauty of the scenery near Skabu, Norge.  One of our last stops in Skabu was the Krogenaes Furniture factory where they make traditional Norwegian furniture.  Unfortunately, we could not bring too much with us, so we had to settle for a couple of small items.
Our next stop in Norge, was Otta to visit other relatives.  We arrived in Otta on the evening of 26 July and stayed with our relatives for four days. We left Otta on July 30 with our cousin Sigmund Slaaen on a tour of western Norge on the Golden route.  We traveled Highway 15 from Otta, Norge through
Lom and Grotli and then traveled Highway 63 through Giranger, Valldal, and Andalsnes.  The fjords, mountains, and valleys were just beautiful.  We all were really impressed with the scenery.  We then traveled to Vestnes, Norge and spent the evening at Vestnes.  My cousin Sigmund lives near Vestnes and this is where we said Goodbye until our next trip to Norway.  We travelled by ferry from Vestnes to Molde, Norge on the way to Trondheim the next day.  We took highway 62 to Sunndalsora and then Highway 70 to Oppdal and then the final leg of the trip to Trondheim by Highway E6.
As with many citizens in our area of Washington State, our heritage is a mix of Norwegian and Swedish. Trondheim is the location of the immigrant monument (Leif Eriksson Statue) that recognizes immigrants to the USA.  My Norwegian grandmother and great uncles left Norway and never returned to their homeland and are listed here.  My mother Gladys is the driving force behind our Scandinavian heritage and this was really important to get their name listed on this monument.  We spent three days touring Trondheim and then left Trondheim on August 2 to travel to Åre, Sverige to meet with our dear cousins Arne, Birgit, Carl Arne, and Eija Nyström.
On our way into Sverige from Norge, we stopped at Storlien and the Caroliner monument at Handöl.  We were pleasantly surprised to have encountered a small herd of reindeer just east of Handöl.
We arrived in Åre on the afternoon of August 2.  The Nyströms have always treated us with open arms and graciously hosted us again at the family cabins in Vikböle while we participated in the Lalander Family Reunion. Shortly after we arrived, Jan Erik, Alf, and Lars Lalander arrived from Stockholm, which made for a very happy occasion.
My mother Gladys (Shold) Maxim and last attended the family reunion in July 1997, so we were looking forward to returning to Östersund and the Vikböle/Huså area to visit with our cousins Birgit, Arne, Carl Arne, and Eija Nyström. My sister Kathy and daughters Justine and Courtney also attended the Lalander Family reunion with Gladys Maxim and myself in 1995. We truly appreciate the efforts of the Lalander Family Association in bringing together our extended family and providing us an insight into our family history.
Our family participated in the boat trip aboard the Thomée to Verkö, tour of Jamtli Museum and the family meeting at the Hotel Gamla Teatern. As usual, the reunion activities where well planned.  We also had many expert guides such as Jan Erik Lalander, Carl Arne Nyström, Lars Lalander, John
Torstensson, and Anita Lalander.  We thank them from the bottom of our hearts. Our stay at Vikböle and Östersund as usual was
short and we left with heavy hearts on August 6 to travel to Stockholm and our return to the USA.
While in Stockholm, we stayed in Gamla Stan, which is close to the museums, shops, and palace.  We took as many sites as we could in 4 days and we left Stockholm on August 11 to return to Washington State via London. Unfortunately, we had some mechanical problems and we landed in Manchester England for repairs.  We left the next morning and arrived home in Seattle on August 12, 2002.
Steve Maxim, Jacob-grenen