Manic Mondays 3-Way Challenge – The Ice Witch of Norway.

I thought it was time to repost this short story I wrote a couple of years ago on returning from a trip to Norway. The Word of the Day is Horrific, so I hope this story fits the bill.


This story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s challenge. See Link:

You may also wish to read my previous entry for the 3-way challenge:


The Ice Witch of Norway

There was a Witch who lived in a simple hut in the mountains of the far north of Norway.

The Winters were long and harsh and ravaged the land between October and early May.

During the Winter months, the people huddled together in their wooden houses around the fire and prayed for the Spring.

The Witch lived alone in the hill and seemed to delight in the snow, dancing and capering on all but the most terrible snow storms.

People started to believe that this woman was responsible for bringing the winter that she seemed to enjoy so much.

It was her fault that the Winters were so harsh. It was her fault that the lambs and kids born early would perish in the late winter frosts.

After one particularly bad blizzard, the menfolk gathered in the beer house drinking the last of their precious brew.

“Something has got to be done!” Cried Olav Harkensson.

“She was out dancing again last night,” agreed Nils Thorssen, “There were lights flashing in the sky, bright greens. She was casting a spell. Bringing this storm down upon us, no doubt”.

As the menfolk talked and drank, they began to grow braver and more stupid. They no longer feared the magic that the Witch could bring down upon them. This winter had been particularly bad, it was nearly May and it was still not showing signs of departing. Eventually, they grabbed torches and pitchforks and went to find the witch.

The blizzard had passed but it was still snowing lightly as they climbed up the mountain path onto the high plateau where the Witch lived. Her hut was built near the steep side of a mountain, near a frozen waterfall and the snow-covered meadow that she danced in.

She must have sensed their presence because the door opened and she strode out, tall and proud to meet them.

Her long red hair caught in the wind and flapped around her white face. Her dark wool cloak also flapped like a banner in the cold icy air.

Defiantly she stood in front of her simple hut.

“What do you want?” She shouted in a clear voice that carried and echoed around the valley.

Olav Harkensson, who was the self-appointed leader of the group, stepped forward.

“Leave this place, you foul Witch and take this accursed Winter away with you!”

The Witch threw back her head and laughed.

“And what if I fail to acquiesce to your request? What will you do then?”

The angry mob drew back from the glare of her eyes. Some people made the sign of the cross across their fur-clad chests. A young firebrand by the name of Magnus Vigmir ran forward, either braver than the rest or drunker and threw his flaming torch at the Witch’s hut.

Despite the snow, the timber caught alight quickly and within a short moment, the hut was ablaze.

Boldened by this move, the men rushed forward brandishing their pitchforks.

Before they could reach her, the Witch wrapped her black cloak around her and transformed into an enormous raven.

The mob shouted in horror and clung to each other in fear like little boys.

The raven flew around them and the Witches voice called out.

“Fools, You Fools! It was not I who brought the Winter. The Winter clings hard to all the lands this far north, but I summoned the Spring every year followed by the Summer. I could only do this for a few months before Winter returned to claim what is rightfully hers. Now I will leave to find somewhere else to call home.”

The Raven flew away to the west and was never seen again. The Spring never came that year and the people either perished or moved further south and closer to the sea. To this day, that valley in the far north of Norway is known as the Valley of Eternal Winter.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 16/October/2018


Bergen and a visit to Trollhaugen – home of the composer Edvard Grieg.

I was very lucky with the weather in Norway. Call me prophetic but I happened to choose the one week in October when temperatures remained in the high teens (in Centigrade or low 60’s in Fahrenheit) and rather than a Blizzard, we had sunshine for the most part, apart from when we went to Flam (previous photos) where it rained all day.

Bergen is known for being the second largest city in Norway after its capital Oslo. It also has milder winter temperatures but rains for 270 days a year! We were lucky because, although it rained in the morning, we had a lovely sunny afternoon.


This part of Bergen is known as Bryggen and is the oldest part of the harbour. The wooden buildings here were rebuilt after the war but recreate the original harbour that dates back to medieval times. The City was one of the key outposts of the Hanseatic League, a trading union similar to the Single Market or the European Union, which operated in Northern Europe in the middle ages.


This is Haakon’s Hall, named after the Norwegian King Haakon. This is a post-war reconstruction of what the original building would have looked like.IMG_2634IMG_2654

This is a statue of the Composer, Edvard Grieg. On the left is the new concert hall which gives small concerts and piano recitals of Grieg’s music. His music from the Peer Gynt suite is particularly famous, including Morning, The Hall of the Mountain King and Anitra’s dance, to name but a few.


This wooden house is called Trollhaugen, (Home of the Trolls) and was named by Grieg’s wife Nina. The house was built in 1885/6 and they lived here only in the summer months. It was built in a very traditional style and had no electricity or running water (despite being available at the time) because Edvard Grieg was ultra conservative. IMG_2666

This is a photograph of the Composer (on the right) entertaining with friends. His wife is in the centre of the picture. Nina was a soprano and most of Edvard’s music for the voice was written for her. They had lots of friends, including the composers Lizst and also Tchaikovsky.


Edvard Grieg demanded absolute silence when he was composing and he found his house was too noisy so he built himself a wooden cabin on the edge of the lake in which he did most of his work.IMG_2708

This stone in the cliff marks the grave of Edvard Grieg who lived from 1843 to 1907. His wife, Nina is also buried here. She lived from 1845 to 1935. The grave is pointing eastwards over the lake because Grieg wanted them to always face the rising sun.


This is a photo taken through the window into Grieg’s private hut where he wrote his music.


I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the photographs of my truly magical journey to Norway. I loved the country and the scenery and am now saving up so I can visit Oslo in a few years time.



Flam, Sognefjord and more waterfalls.

I recently went exploring the wonders of Norway, well not all of them, just a taster.

I wanted to share some of my photos with you.


This is Vossvangen lake. The Town of Voss is situated on this lake and is an excellent base for the area. If you are interested in Sport, this area is famous for is Skiing in the Winter and its fishing in the summer.


This photo was taken from the Flam railway which provides fantastic views on its trip from Flam on the Sognefjord up to the town of Myrdal. On the left of the picture is a famous Zigzag road which provides quite a harrowing journey for tourists, but thankfully they close the road from the 1st of October, so we went back to Flam a different way. 🙂


There had been so much rain in the previous weeks that this waterfall had become much large than usual and the stream had burst its banks. I didn’t linger too long.


The turf-roofed houses here are part of the Gudvangen Viking village. Well worth a visit, apparently.

This was actually the only day we had where it rained all day. It made the waterfalls extra impressive though.

Hardangerfjord, The Voringfossen waterfall and the Fossli Hotel – Some Photos of my Trip to Norway.


Hardangervidda is a large area of land most of which is now a national park. It is inland from the Hardangerfjord that was once the only access to this part of the area. There are roads but they spend a good part of the year covered in snow and ice.


This picture above is a typical mountain home that many Norwegians keep up in the mountains as a place of their own for vacations, to enjoy the outdoors. They are not normally lived in all year round. This area is covered in Snow in the Winter and is an area with many ski slopes. The first snows normally arrive at the end of October.


This is the Fossli Hotel, built out of timber (most of the houses are) in the late 1800’s. It was built here because of its fantastic views of the Voringfossen waterfall. The area is also good skiing country in the Winter.


This is the Voringfossen waterfall. The photos do not give justice to the beauty of the scenery. Nor does it demonstrate how deep that valley is, the drop is 182 metres or 597 feet.


This is the Sysen Dam, you may be able to make out a couple of people walking across the top.


We were very lucky with the weather. Autumn doesn’t last long in Norway and they told me that Winter usually arrived at the end of October. There is snow on the tops of the mountains, but that normally is there all year round. We had two sunny days and one rainy day in Norway with temperatures about 15 degrees centigrade (about 60 Fahrenheit) which was milder than I was expecting. I packed for the Arctic, but it wasn’t that bad at all. The air was so clean and fresh and the scenery was Amazing.

I will definitely be going back to Norway at some point, It was so lovely, but I will have to start saving up, it is not a cheap place to visit.


Well I’m Off Now

It will be a trial for me to leave WordPress and my blogging pals for just over a week.

I looked up the weather where I am going, in Bergen, Norway and it is a chilly Ten Degrees Centigrade! which is quite a bit colder than where I am in the UK right now, but I am still looking forward to the fresh air and wonderful scenery.

Aufwedersehn, Au Revoir and as they apparently say in Norway “ha det bra, ser deg snart”

Goodbye and See you Soon.