I tightened my hands on the steering wheel; we were going through another one of the 1000+ tunnels that dot the landscape of Norway. My friend, Lindsay, was asleep in the passenger seat.
When we started this adventure we knew nothing of what would come. We were searching for the gravesite of Lindsay's grandfather.
Once Lindsay's mother found out that we were traveling to Norway she made Lindsay promise that she would try to find her grandfather's resting place in the small town of Feda,
a lovely village of 400 people, only two hours from where we were staying.
We drove through a tunnel, then over a bridge, then through another tunnel, then another bridge, and then down a long, winding mountain road.
I wish I could write that the sun streamed down upon us and we found Lindsay’s grandfather with ease, however that was not the case.
Stepping out of the car was shocking, breathing the cold air paradoxically left me breathless. It was very cold and heavily raining.
The entire village and all 400 people were engulfed in a cloud. It was impossible to see the top of the fjord that surrounded us.
We were soaking wet after just a few minutes of searching through the graveyard.
We were making our third round through the cemetery.
We had found Lindsay's great-grandparents, but there was no sign of the grandfather's gravesite for which Lindsay's mother wanted a photograph.
We drove all this way and we surely weren't leaving without a photo of the grave.
We were about to give up. I was making a final pass and reexamining each headstone, some that were many hundreds of years old, to find any clue of where her grandfather was buried.
I turned around and saw Lindsay approaching an older couple outside the church.
She spoke softly, "Hi, I'm looking for a grave. Do you know where Jahn Svindland is buried?"
The woman appeared shocked and said, "Yes, he was my uncle."
I tried to explain in my broken Norwegian that Jahn was Lindsay's grandfather, making the two women first cousins once removed.
We spent the rest of the afternoon with the Svindland family, even Facetiming Lindsay's mom so she had the chance to meet her relatives.
We walked to the house where her grandfather grew up and they took a family photo. We soon parted ways, with Lindsay adding her extended relatives on Facebook and promising to keep in touch.
Oddly enough, Lindsay's grandfather wasn't even buried in Feda but we can surely say that the trip was more rewarding than we expected.