While somewhere they already talk about the spring – look how much snow there is in the forest around Oslo! On Friday night I wrote a post about thriving in Norway – on Saturday I had a chance to practice what I preach 🙂
The past weekend we had visitors from Barcelona: the nephew of Carles and his girlfriend. A young couple of 19 year-olds, eager for the Nordic experience. So we took them to the woods. Or, wait a second, to that very famous Norwegian wood 🙂 We started from the frozen lake Sognsvann where you can walk on in winter and walked up the hill, in the snow, along the ski trails. The skiers of all ages were passing us by, while we were the only ones walking there. Add to this – talking in Spanish and Catalan, video calls from the grandmother in Barcelona, kids stopping all the time to take pictures and selfies – and this is how you get a totally non-Norwegian day in the woods :))
But anyway, I was proud of our little group using almost two hours to get up to Ullevålseter, an old farm, now a cabin where you can make a stop and buy some food and a warm drink. The skis were parked in front of the house, the big room was filled with good energy and many chatting voices. Suddenly Norwegians were showing their social side, eagerly talking to each other. They are also more smiley when you meet them in the woods than on the streets of the city 🙂
The way down was easier because it was downhill. The small kids were swooshing on our sides, some little ones, already tired, were lying in the snow and making a scene, some hooked up at their father’s ski pole and giggled along. They say that Norwegians are born with the skis on their feet, and we saw a lot of proof to that 🙂 Totally we walked 13 km in the snow, which is a very very good exercise on a Saturday afternoon. I am glad I dragged myself to this walk. I was so tired after a bad sleep, low on energy and wishing to sit under the blanket rather than walk in the snow. But being outside in the nature, moving my body and airing my head woke me up, gave me energy and shifted my focus to a more positive one. This is why I wanted to share this story as a follow-up to my previous post “Thriving in Norway”.
In order to like Norway you have to like the winter, someone said. Totally agree. If you hate winter and just wait it over, you will have a hard time waiting. Because winter is never ending and the other seasons are short and unpredictable. Unfortunately, I do not ski, and sometimes I wish I did, but mostly I don’t :)) But I understand why it is so good to be skiing on a weekend. You move in the fresh air, the body gets warm, the brain gets dopamine from the exercise, that important feel-good hormone that we miss without the sun. And after you come home, it feels so good to enjoy a glass of red wine and the meal. It is, maybe, kind of protestant mentality that you have to earn your pleasure – but I must admit, we all felt it in our bodies after we got home that day 🙂 And we slept like babies that night.
No more words, just photos. They look pretty empty, but it is because I didn’t take pictures of people. Which were many on our way, all of them skiing. I didn’t edit the photos, just swiped the filter (by the name “Oslo”) over some of them – those I shared on Instagram stories (yes, I did it while walking. I had to. While waiting for our kids making their photo sessions :)). That’s why many images are kind of dark with a lot of grey sky. But this is very realistic then. That was the true daylight, and reflecting from the snow it was light enough 🙂
In the last two shots we are standing on the frozen lake. To be honest, I didn’t want to walk there, I am so easy to get scared, especially when Carles gave a little warning speech: “If you fall through, look for the black hole”. Well well, no one could fall through, the ice was so think, and people were skiing over. But he likes to make fun of our fears, and he managed to provoke mine 🙂 Anyway. Still staying in the spirit of exploring, just like my blog’s name says. Wishing you the same!