Saturday, December 12, 2009

Black Death, Demand, and Supply

July 16, 2009

A result of the Black Death in Norway, which left half the population dead, was a housing over supply that lasted for 200 years. It left a lag in new historical architecture that persisted until what was to become the Renaissance began in Italy. I slept last night in the loft of the only period authentic Pilgrim’s farmstead refuge still in existence along the Olav’s Leden/Way. Its heavy timbers have been carbon dated to 1350 and there are only three similar structures remaining in central Norway. This was “Sygard’s Grytting”. I dropped a small fortune in this place to share wine, a delicious three course meal, and Kaffe with eight Norwegian guests. Breakfast in the morning was equally spectacular starting with fresh pan fried trout. Stig Grytting, the owner had wisely counseled me, “I recommend that you save your money somewhere else.” Bodvar Schjelderup, a Norwegian pilgrim sage says, “A pilgrim wanders in service of memory.” I’ve wandered 24 more kilometers today to “Øvre Kjæstad”. Its owner Ole Kristian Rudland told me, “You are our first pilgrim.” He has given me the use of the beautiful, just refurbished main farm house for free. As I write, I’m overlooking the big bend in the Gudbrandsdal Valley where Nazi force broke heroic resistance at Kvam. Olav Haraldsson, who became the saint, was born on the neighboring property below me.

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