We reached the Dalen Hotel in the early afternoon and found that its elegant reputation was not an exaggeration. This is the oldest wooden structure in all Norway, having been built in 1994. It has 99 beds because 100 was considered an unlucky number in that era. Several famous folks stayed there when it was young: King Leopold of Belgium (of infamous reputation in the Congo—read “Heart of Darkness” to find out why), Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, and the King and Queen of Norway during that period.
The architects for the hotel were evidently (in some way) influenced by the familiar “stave churches” of Norway for their designs. And while we had visited a couple of those still standing churches, we had trouble seeing the influence clearly for ourselves. To create a mysterious atmosphere, later architects and designers added such things as dragons and other mythological figures to the outside of the building. Inside, it definitely had the air of elegance and leisurely living. Comfortable places to sit in privacy quietude, a beautiful library, handsome bar, and the dining room has a charming gentility—so much so that we felt quite underdressed for have our evening meal there.
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