Filed under: travel
I vowed before going to Norway that if there was no snow, I was giving up snow sports for good. After a disappointing lack of snow during trips to the French and Australian Alps recently, I decided that if Norway didn’t have powder in peak season, climate change had beaten me, and I would have to give up.
Norway has given me new inspiration. It was incredible. The conditions were perfect – dry sunshine on the Friday, consistent snowfall on the Saturday. We went to Hafjell, near Lillehammer, which is a lovely little resort; it reminded me of Sunshine, my regular resort in Canada.
Also it was surprisingly affordable. I’d been cringing in anticipation of the Norwegian krone, which is a currency even more devastating to the Australian dollar than the English pound. Though the food was expensive (which is understandable due to the climate), the ski rental was much cheaper than in Australia, France or Canada, and given that ski passes were included in our package, it was much cheaper to be on the slopes than in the pub!
This was the first trip I’d done in a while where I didn’t speak the language, which was no problem at all. All the Norwegians I met were so friendly and welcoming, most had flawless English, and those that didn’t were so apologetic it felt like they were in my country, not vice versa. After a day, during which I gave locals my usual barrage of language questions, I felt that if I were to live in Norway the language would be comprehensible within a few weeks. I don’t think it’s so different to other European languages.
On the Sunday we opted to stay in Lillehammer as we were flying out in the late afternoon. After a couple of evenings in the town we were somewhat familiar with it, and in any case Norway quaintly closes most shops on Sundays. So rather than wandering, the concierge recommended we visit Maihaugen, the nearby open air cultural museum and exhibition space. We did, which gave me an insight into Norwegian life, as much because of the activities going on as the artefacts. Sunday appears to be family day so there were Norwegians everywhere, bobsledding, skating, building snowmen, drinking varm saft and eating sausages in flat bred.
Between the fabulous skiing and the friendly Norwegian culture Ian and I found Norway magnificent, so much so that we started to talk about moving to Oslo in a couple of years… time will tell.
You can view more photos I took in Norway here.
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