Norsk 101: Bjerkebæk – Sigrid Undsets hjem

Language practice with Christie Ericson

Photo: Christie Ericson
The well-preserved home of Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian author Sigrid Undset is well worth a visit for travelers in the Lillehammer region of Norway.

I 2019 hadde jeg muligheten (In 2019, I had the opportunity) til å besøke (to visit) Lillehammer, vertsbyen for de 17. olympiske vinterleker i 1994 (the host city for the 17th Winter Olympics in 1994). Det var morsomt å utforske (It was fun to explore) de olympiske anleggene (the Olympic facilities), Maihaugen friluftsmuseum (Maihaugen open-air museum) og andre attraksjoner i området (and other attractions in the area), men jeg forelsket meg i (but I fell in love with) Bjerkebæk, Sigrid Undsets hjem på (home in) Lillehammer.

Forfatter og nobelprisvinner (Author and Nobel Prize winner) Sigrid Undset flyttet til (moved to) Bjerkebæk i 1919 og bodde der fram til sin død (and lived there until her death) i 1949. Hjemmet er i dag et museum (The home is today a museum) med utstillinger (with exhibitions), museumsbutikk (museum shop), foredragssal (lecture hall) og kafé (and café).

Bjerkebæk består av gamle tømmerhus (consists of old log houses) som var flyttet (that had been moved) fra to gårder i (from two farms in) Gudbrandsdalen. Undset renoverte disse bygningene (renovated these buildings) og skapte sitt eget hjem (and created her own home). For første gang (For the first time) fikk hun sitt eget kontor (she got her own office) der hun kunne arbeide uforstyrret (where she could work undisturbed). Her skrev Undset middelalderromanene om (Here Undset wrote the medieval novels about) Kristin Lavransdatter og Olav Audunssøn og i 1928 ble hun tildelt (she was awarded) Nobelprisen i litteratur (the Nobel Prize in Literature) for sitt arbeid (for her work).

Undset elsket blomster (loved flowers) og anla en vakker hage rundt hjemmet sitt (and laid out a beautiful garden around her home) med murer, trapper og grussti (with walls, stairs, and gravel paths). Eiendommen er om-gitt av bjørk (The property is surrounded by birch) og en liten bekk renner gjennom hagen (and a little stream runs through the garden). Det er et vakkert sted for en hagevandring (It’s a beautiful place for a garden walk).

Jeg elsket alle detaljene i huset (I loved all the details in the house) – geraniene i vinduene (the geraniums in the windows), bøkene i Undsets kontor (the books in Undset’s office) og til og med den blå døren (and even the blue door) som jeg alltid vil tenke på som (which I will always think of as) «Bjerkebæk» blå (blue). Dessverre skjente reiselederen på meg (Unfortunately the tour guide scolded me) for å ta for mange bilder (for taking too many photos). Beklager! Det er mitt drømmehus! (Sorry! It’s my dream house!)

This article originally appeared in the March 18, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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Christie Ericson

Christie Ericson is an academic librarian living in Anchorage, Alaska. She has a background in languages and linguistics and has been fulfilling her lifelong dream of learning the Norwegian language. She also serves as the cultural director and librarian at her local Sons of Norway lodge and is completely addicted to Selbu mitten knitting.

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