Category Archives: Norway

Stalheim and Surrounds

All images by Pepper Key Stacie
The original Stalheim hotel was built in 1885 but only a short decade later had expanded to accommodate up to 150 guests due to it’s immense popularity.   As one can see from the top photo, the view is unparalleled.  My favorite feature was the open air museum, a very peaceful place for an early morning walk.  This felt like stepping directly into the old Stalheim community; the coaching inn from 1750, the memorial stone to Emperor Wilhelm’s visits to Stalheim, the schoolhouse from 1881, and the manor house.  The interior of the hotel is also a virtual museum with it’s many artifacts, antiques, and art works, many of which feature Stalheim in it’s depictions.  The fireplaces were always ablaze by dinner time, an open invitation for all guests to congregate and socialize over coffee, hot tea, or a cocktail.  Our young crew were put to shame with the golden agers, who far outlasted us in the evenings.  While we were saying our good nights and heading to bed between 10 and 11pm (which always felt strange considering there was still plenty of daylight at those hours), they were just getting warmed up in their card games and conversations. 

 So while the evenings were spent in the cozy atmosphere of the above pictures, the days were spent working in some of the most incredible locations I have ever seen.   The photo shoot was for the performance line of ECCO, a global leader in innovative comfort footwear.  The company was founded in 1963 in Denmark by Karl Toosbuy who vowed that the foot should lead the shoe and that comfort should not be a luxury.  The small Danish company has now grown to the 7th largest shoe brand in the world but continues to stay true to it’s roots and admirable mission statement

Meet the crew:
Photographer Michael Dwornik
Video Director Scott Fredette of light-borne
Art Director Ron Pushkar
Photo Assistants Shane Mccauley and James Loveday
Producer Cindi Blair
Big thanks to everyone who made this shoot a success; Mogen, Patti, Rob, Pal, Christian, Erik, and Bernadette, everyone was great!

Norway Overview

These were my first views of Norway, flying into Bergen.  Moments earlier I had just finished the last page of Summer Light; A Walk Across Norway by Andrew Stevenson, which was a fantastic introduction to the country before my trip (thank you Siri!).  The book gave me a great deal of insight.  I discovered approximately 3% of Norway is cultivated, some 90% is gorgeous, untouched nature and only around a half percent is considered urban.   It is one of the most sparsely populated countries in all of Europe.  Interestingly there are as many Norwegians living in Norway as there are descendants of Norwegian immigrants living in North America, approximately four and a half million.  My ancestors migrated to the US in the 1860’s and 70’s, a small few amongst the 800,000 that made the journey between 1840 and 1923.  Visiting their homeland and learning about the many idealistic qualities and inherent nature of the people has given me a profound respect for my bloodlines.  In the book there is a reference to a journal entry where a traveler relays how Norway stayed in his great grandparents hearts long after they moved to America and now, for this family on their first visit, it will forever remain in theirs. My sentiments exactly;  though I left three days ago, I have dreamed of the majestic mountains and fjords every night since my departure.  The fitting words to the Norwegian national anthem:

JA, VI ELSKER DETTE LANDET (Yes, we love this country)

Ja, vi elsker dette landet, (Yes, we love this country)

som det stiger frem, (as it rises forth,)

furet, værbitt over vannet, (rugged, weathered, above the sea,)

med de tusen hjem. (with the thousands of homes.)

Elsker, elsker det og tenker (Love, love it and think)

på vår far og mor (of our father and mother)

og den saganatt som senker (and the saga night that sends)

drømmer på vår jord. (dreams to our earth.)

og den saganatt som senker (and the saga night that sends)

senker drømmer på vår jord. (sends dreams to our earth.)