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asked for, and laughed a great deal at our accident.
The way appeared very long, and I was getting exceedingly tired, when, from the top of a most laborious hill, I saw a pretty scene before me ironworks in a pleasant valley, a handsome mansion, a river and bridge; but by far the prettiest sight was the Professor, just in the act of crossing the bridge with a nice phaeton. And so in the carriage of Baron W. we got at last to Ringerige.
We stopped at the wretched little inn of Krogleven. What an inn would have been built up here if this spot were on English soil! Yet the owner's name is actually John Bull; he has been in England too, and speaks English. But what a wild, dirty, viewless place this is, as a place of resort for tourists in search of the beautiful and picturesque ! It has often struck me that such inns, both in Norway and Sweden, seem built purposely to exclude a view.
Fortunately we are foremost of three parties, which arrived almost simultaneously, in order to see the sun rise to-morrow from Krogleven. There are just two bed-rooms, and one eating-room; we have secured all to ourselves, but somehow the other travellers appear quite easy. The communication
between the clay passage by which we enter, and the two upper rooms, is made by means of a rough and nearly perpendicular ladder. The fare, which is spread out immediately upon our table, seems to be very good, and to get it immediately is still better; but the Professor will not let me taste it; I am hungry, tired, wounded, and very cross ; but I must ascend Krogleven, I must see the sun go down
"Ascend it on foot ? Is not this Krogleven usually called Ringerige, which the wife of a civil engineer told me she had the hardihood to ascend on horseback, with an artilleryman to attend her ?»
“Yes, they call it all Ringerige; but Ringerige, you know, means Ring's kingdom, the dominions of old King Ring, who took Ingeborg the Fair from Frithiof, and gave her back to him before he died. All the plain, which you will see from the top of Krogleven, is Ringerige."
I thanked the Professor for historical and geographical information, and set forth for the ascent of Krogleven, with misgivings as to its accomplishment, after an upset, a walk, and without a pony or artilleryman. But as a substitute for both, my feet were immersed in a pair of real brogues, borrowed from the sturdy girl at the inn. The substitution proved sufficient, for the only difficulty of the walk lay in its being exceedingly swampy. The miserable inn is built on the mountain, or great hill; there is a better one at its foot. We walked down there and up again the next day; but after a Pyrenean or Alpine promenade, Krogleven appears a very small ascent. The top presents a view which is the most admired in Norway, and concerning which a traveller there is sure to be asked if he meets a Norwegian in any other country. It is not, howeyer, such a view as elicits a cry of wonder or delight as it bursts upon you; it grows in interest and beauty as you gaze upon its features, which are extensive, but neither grand nor strikingly diversified. For my part, when triumphantly led to the point called Kongen's Udsigt, or the King's View, I felt the torment of having previously seen too much, wide and beautiful as it is.
A large, nearly circular valley lies beneath ; its lovely lakes were glistening in the declining sunlight, circled with mountains stretching away in the distance, among which the giant of Norway, the Gousta, is scantily visible with its peak of snow, though, I think, seventy English miles off.
“Do you wish to see the mountain Elf ?" asked the Professor.
“Of all things. Yes, to see a real Norse-fairysuch as the fairy-hunter was in search ofis precisely my desire.”
“There it is,” said the Professor, pointing to a rock with a sort of figure apparently traced upon it.
“You are very disagreeable !"
"Nay, have you never heard of the Hulder ? Well, I will tell you how it happened. When our great saint and warrior, our first Christian king, St. Olof, would make a road over this mountain for his soldiers, forth stepped the mountain Elf, and demanded why he would destroy her rock, threatening him if he did so with defeat in battle. 'For this speech,' said the King, “thou shalt remain in thy rock while I conquer the pagans; yea, and till the day of judgment. So there she has been fast enough ever since the days of King Olof, the saint of Norway; for the pagans conquered him that time; and, as no one will ever break the rock, there she must remain till the day of doom."
“Poor elf! tyrannical saint; stupid idea. Shall we go back to supper ?”
The next morning we set off to Hönne-fos. I had risen early and descended the ladder, and
opened the door of the eating-room, expecting to see breakfast laid as if I had been in England. Instead of that, I saw the floor covered over with cloaks, bags, cushions, and a vast number of baskets and flask bottles, with other things, which gave one a very palpable idea that the two other parties who had arrived at Krogleven Inn had made the said eating-room their chamber of repose. Men, women, and children, provisions, pipes and bottles, seemed all to be jumbled together. I went over the dirty yard in search of some place from whence a view could be had, for I knew I was in the neighbourhood of views though I could see none. I turned into a green field, and strolled on till I saw the Professor sitting on a stile, not even smoking,—doing nothing. I hastened forward, for he did not rise, even to bow; only pulling his hat in the Norse mode, straight down from his head, and clapping it on again. He sat there till I came quite up to the stile; and then a cry of delighted surprise burst from my lips, and repaid the expectant Professor.
This spot was Dronnings Udsigt, or Queen's View; and seen thus under a morning sun, and without any fatiguing preparation, it pleased me more than the King's, which is grander perhaps,- at least more extensive.