2012/05/13

going up a hill, coming down a mountain (7 random facts about me, nr 3)

Did anybody ever see that movie about an English map surveillor (or something of that kind) travelling to Wales to measure whether their mountain was indeed a mountain, or just a hill? I wonder if there really is an official limit for what is or isn't a mountain? And if there is, is it the same in every country? I'm wondering this because recently, my life has been all about mountains, it seems; for a while there, wherever I turned, I simply could not get away from them.  Contrary to my sister, who likes to put a mountain in everything she creates,
In Dreams We Are All Birds







 I have never been much into them. But, I never realised it until I came to Spain - here we are surrounded by them, beautiful, misty blue against the skyline, and yet, they don't move me at all. I'm not saying I dislike them, just that I don't really think about them, or even notice them. In fact, I feel a bit cruel ingoring them the way I do (I'm the kind of person that feels sorry for the bruised bit of the apple that nobdy wants, so I sometimes force myself to eat that too, even though I find the texture really gross ...), but what I can do - I look at them and all I can say is ":..well ... they are pretty."


Example of pretty, Spanish mountains.

What I do like are the "mountains" we have in Stockholm, and I use the " " because I'm not sure they actually are mountains. Officially, I mean. What we do have are hills and ridges and valleys created by the ice age; lots and lots of tiny lakes or larger, dried up ones now used as crop fields surrounded by tree covered hills - there's no such thing as flat land. And that's the kind of mountain I  like - the kind you can walk up, not climb, the kind where you're just ambling along and suddenly, you're at the crest, and a view over a quiet forest lake, like a treasure found.

But then, if we don't have proper mountains, why do so many of Stockholm's metro/train stations have the word mountain (berg) in them. I often pass a station sign and wonder about the origins of that name. By the time I'm home I've of course forgotten all about it (again, I haven't got a mobile, so I can't look it up then and there) but today I made an effort:
Some places, like Kristineberg, Axelsberg, Jakobsberg, Abrahamsberg, are obviously named after the people that lived there.
 . Then there are names like Blackeberg, which has no meaning in modern language, but googling suggests it might've meant "light yellow mountain". By now I'm starting to think that "berg" can't actually be translated straight off as "mountain" because (as I use it anyway) it also carries the meaning of any kind of height with a rock surface. If this is so, those names would make more sense. 
My favourite name, though, has to be Hallonbergen = Raspberry Hills.
Images from the Hallonbergen underground station (notice the pink - raspberry coloured? - barrier at the far end):

image source:Wikipedia





 And to finish things off, here's me trying to come up with something for the endless mountain themed weeks we had in class. No matter what I tried, I just couldn't get any results - much like the video itself:






2 comments:

  1. It was fascinating watching you paint. I wish I could see the end result. I have always loved mountains. I grew up near a mountain in California and now that I live in Canada I don't feel I would ever want to live anywhere without mountains. Even my sisters lived at the foothills of mountains in Nevada in the desert. The mountains were what made the desert beautiful to me.

    The Spanish hills or mountains are lovely in that photo. One sister used to live in Florida where it was flat for miles and miles. I didn't like it at all. :)

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  2. ick, no, I've tried flat land too - too windy ;)

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