90 metres above the road lies a strange, 100-years old bulding. This is Bokkhuset, part of the Værdalske fortifications.
I’ve written about this special place before, and the dream of using it as a pilgrim shelter became real very fast. After having everyone involved agreeing this was a good idea, I let myself loose. After some planning and a few days of carrying heavy stuff uphill, Blokkhuset shelter was officially opened on Pilegrimsledens dag (Day of the St. Olav Ways) by myself and a journalist from the local newspaper.
Blokkhuset shelter is located on a hilltop above Vaterholmen, between Sul and Vuku. I’ve lost count of how many times you have to pass over the small stream on the way up from the road. But eventually, you’ll get to the top, 90 m above the road. After going through no less than three gates you enter Blokkhuset by the cellar. It is damp, dark and dirty. Upstairs is a lot nicer. And you can sleep there, if you dare… The beds are simple benches, part of the original furniture from the early 1900’s when the place was built. There’s sleeping benches ready for 6 persons, but plenty of additional floor space.
There is no electricity, no heating and no indoor water. But the water in the stream nearby is drinkable. For washing, there’s usually a pond of bog water right outside the fence. Inside, there’s benches and tables, and benches for sleeping. Bring a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad. There is also some instant food, coffee and tea (the last shop was at Åre…) for the hungry pilgrim. Food is made on the outdoor bonfire. There’s firewood, a coffee kettle and a soup casserole. There is also an old toilet – “utedo”.
The place is listed, so please don’t make any damage or alterations to it. This includes the barbed wire surrounding the building.
We hope that a lot of people, both pilgrims and locals, visit the place. It’s absolutely worth the trip. Places like this are part of our heritage, and can tell us interesting stories, both about past times and also about our lives today. When these places are used, like Blokkhuset, it’s lot easier to maintain and preserve them for future generations.