Norway – Skis & Snow Chains

Maybe you noticed all of the articles are written by John, so I decided to challenge myself and try to write one on my own. Hmmm, writing is not my thing, but to share some experiences is always nice. 🙂

Living in Denmark during the winter is not so cosy… I am actually not so sure if there are seasons in general, sometimes it seems that it is autumn all year round.

Snow? Not really common, and winter tires are almost not needed. So February was the time to visit a real winter in Norway (sometimes I really like my ‘job’ 🙂 ). We drove to Lillehammer, a city around 190km from Oslo in a northerly direction. Maybe some of you still remember it from the 1994 Olympic Games, an astonishing place nearby to a lake. And soon came the time to put chains on the tires and slowly go up the mountain. White all around and the sound of silence… Do you know that sound??? Ohhhh I love it, so peaceful and charming…

Of course John was a bit jealous after I sent some selfies with this amazing white view, but… It was my chance to combine work and leisure. 🙂 The place we stayed at is a very simple hotel, I would say it is aimed more at older people, not a party place, and is combined with a school which is focusing on development/travel/study/working projects. It does have a nice sauna and swimming pool though! It was actually also covered with 2 metres of snow on the roof because as we found out there was a storm just a few days before.

But which experience would I like to share with you?

Cross country skiing. Most people are really into downhill skiing and of course it is fun, the speed, the adrenaline… but now after watching the Winter Olympics I was thinking why not try cross country skiing. Just for the record I am not a winter sports person… Like REALLY NOT winter sports and in general not a winter person. I tried some snowboarding before and even though I am bad at it, I did enjoy it a lot. Now skiing, ohhh not just one thing, but four of them!!!! To find the right shoes, skis, poles… but with some help I was ready in 20 minutes.

Up and down

I still have memories from childhood of smacking the snow with my face, and falling, falling… But this time I am in Norway, with amazing views, sunshine and I know, or at least am hoping, that it is going to be an amazing experience. I was so happy to have some funny and crazy company! Especially Greta, we stuck together and started on our track. Slowly trying to improvise and remembering Youtube videos we managed to move by trying different ‘techniques’ (invented by us). Surprisingly we actually did very well!!! Up and down, up and down, we were going faster and faster with smiles and short stops for taking pictures and just enjoying the moment. Oh if you could see our faces, so proud of ourselves!!! It was like – challenge accepted and challenge completed!!! We made 10 km!!! and of course everyone around knew how all of our team without skiing experiences made it!

A bit of history: ‘Skiing or traveling over snow on skis, has a history of at least eight millennia. The earliest archaeological examples of skis were found in Russia and date to 6000 BCE. Although modern skiing has evolved from beginnings in Scandinavia, 10,000-year-old wall paintings suggest use of skis in the Xinjiang region of what is now China. Originally purely utilitarian, starting in the mid-1800s skiing became a popular recreational activity and sport, becoming practiced in snow-covered regions worldwide, and providing a market for the development of ski resorts and their related communities.’

Personally I would say that it is a high level physical activity and requires you to use many different muscles. I am not super sporty, but it was really amazing! Just imagine one week up the mountain with good company (even in the case of working), having some breaks outside with sunshine and taking in the view of the shining frosty landscape in amazing silence, hearing just your heartbeats… then after some time in a hot sauna and swimming pool… an incredible winter experience. And whoever said that cross country skiing is boring? No, it is challenging and exciting and damn hard up the hill, so anyone who says it is boring maybe they are just a little bit lazy!!!

Or can you imagine making a tour and sleeping outside and making ice-cream from snow with condensed milk and sleeping in an igloo you made yourself? I definitely recommend it. John, let’s do it next winter? 😀

Happy in the snow