Monday, 9 January 2006

fortnight in norway

I can't blog about recent items in good faith until I've done the holiday report.

I spent my Christmas and New Year's in the cold. On the Wednesday before Christmas I caught a bus to the station, a train to St Malo, a taxi to the airport at Pleurtuit, a RyanAir flight to Stanstead, another to Torp, and then a 2 hour bus-ride to Oslo central, where Lee met me. By 1am, I was safely arrived at Lee's little apartment. Pretty simple, really.

The next day we headed up to Lillehammer by train. We checked into our massive apartment, which normally sleeps 6, and then spent the afternoon wandering around exploring and buying supplies for the coming days. We had dinner that day, and indeed the next, with Jenny, from Lee's course, and a friend of hers. They were doing a whirlwind 2-week tour of northern Europe with 2 or 3 days in Lillehammer before going still further north for Christmas. Good company.

On day 2 of Lillehammer we started our cross-country skiing. We caught a late bus up to Sjusjøen to hire gear, and decided to ski back down to Lillehammer, a route of about 16 or 17km. I was shocking at the start. The flat sections were OK, but on the downhills I had absolutely no confidence, and fell about every 10 meters. The route wasn't the best choice in terms of terrain, either, since it started with what must have been 4km or so of downhills. Once we got down onto the flat it was OK; I started to get the rhythm for the flat parts, and gained a little more confidence on the gentle downhills. We started to run out of light, though, since the sun starts to disappear about 3pm, and is gone by 4pm, at that time of year. By the time we were a few km from Lillehammer it was dark, and we were both pretty tired. The scenery was really beautiful at times, with long sections through forests and past frozen lakes. Unfortunately, the last few km were, like the first few, downhill, and pretty twisty to boot. The fatigue and my general lack of ability saw me falling again a fair bit, culminating in a face plant at speed that my right knee objected to most strongly, to the point that I swear I heard it click at me. We took that as a sign and walked that last km or so back to the cabin, where a cold beer was well-earned.


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