Day 147/365 - On Juvet hotel
The Juvet hotel , featured in the movie Ex Machina was our final destination after an initial 3-hour delay in JFK, a hectic run-through Oslo airport to make our transfer to Alesund, and a 2 hour car ride to Valldal. Words cannot describe the beauty of the scenery as well as the brilliant architecture of the aptly named Juvet landscape hotel. Set in a beautiful hilly forested greenery filled with edible leaves and wildflowers, with a burly river flowing around the bend, and with majestic snowy mountains (the peaks snowy even in the summertime!) in the backdrop, the oversized large clear glass windows of the modern wooden cabins fit right in. Some of the cabins are called ‘birdhouses’ because they are 2-levels, smaller, and even more minimalist, similar to the tinyhome designs. The architecture takes into account the natural slope and shape of the land and blends it seamlessly into its design. There is also a sauna with a scenic view from the steam room, and an outside jacuzzi to enjoy while on the property. We had the good fortune to meet the lead architect of Jensen & Skodvin - who built the hotel and is hoping to expand soon - at one of the dinners there.
The dining experience is a different subject altogether. There is a gourmet chef who prepares a lush dinner each day. The menu features exotic main course items such as reindeer, whale, or baby goat. The appetizers and garnishes consist of locally foraged vegetables and edible flowers, and usually a local fish freshly marinated and cured with spices. For dessert, an array of local berries are served in delicious sorbets, flans and other culinary concoctions. The portions are not large, but the tastes are larger than life! Each note is crisp and sharp on the tongue, and the experience is fully satiating. The dinner is made even better by delicious wine that pairs with the dish du jour, and great conversation among guests. The wine helps facilitate friendships among would-be strangers, who share a large rectangular table at the dinner. Most guests, we learned, come from Norway, although there are some foreigners that hail from all parts of the world as well. Regardless, all guests are treated with the same amount of respect and enjoy the peaceful beauty and freshness of the surrounding mountain air.