Today we went off the beaten path to a tiny Norwegian village of just 100 people (and 400 goats!). It was hard to find anything in the guidebooks about Undredal – even in Lonely Planet. But the local ferry stopped there, so we decided to get off and explore.
Our other ferry passengers (day-trippers just aboard for a fjord ride) looked a little shocked when we disembarked in this little town – and admittedly, the crew did, too! They explained that the ferry does not stop automatically at Undredal because it is so small. We have to flip a switch on the side of the building to call them back.
We puzzled on this for a few minutes – and wondered as the ferry pulled away if this was a good idea.
But what a charming place!
The town only had a couple of streets going up into the mountain, but was so picturesque.
They had a little school (“skule”) with a playground.
And a store featuring local goat cheese, for which they are famous.
But the highlight was a tiny stave church at the top of the town.
The Undredal church (“kirke”) is the oldest continuing church in Norway, built in 1147. It seats just 40 congregants. For 50 kroner ($6), we could go in.
My great-grandfather’s family was from Norway, and I could just picture them worshipping somewhere just like this.
We ended the day back on the dock at the local café with the best salmon we’ve had so far – followed by crepes filled with local goat cheese.
And then we saw the ferry rounding the bend.
I ran over and switched on the yellow flashing light.
Sure enough, the ferry stopped (and I turned off the light before I jumped onboard).
We left Undredal behind and settled in for a beautiful sunny ride back up the fjord.
We will miss this place.