As a British girl used to a city-based university lifestyle, this trip was much of a novelty to me. Just looking out of my bedroom window to a view of mountains and the ocean is something I am still getting used to, let alone spending three (or four, as one of the lucky ones) days surrounded by nothing but magnificent peaks and slopes.
The first challenge, even before we started the climb, was quickly apparent: the lack of internet signal. My phone rendered useless, with zero chance of contacting friends or family at home, I was left to accept that I needed to throw myself fully into the trip.
As we arrived at the picturesque cabin in Standal, I was surprised at actually how quite lovely it was. Having prepared myself for some sort of empty, cold shack in the wilderness, setting my bags down on a comfy bed in a log-cabin inspired room was a pleasant relief.
There was no time to relax, though. Half an hour after arriving, walking boots laced and backpack on, we were heading out onto a ‘walk’. Now, I have to say I lost a little faith at this point when the journey we went on was described as a ‘walk’. My idea of a walk is a nice, gentle stroll around a pond and home in time for the next tea round. A Norwegian idea of a ‘walk’, however, involves a two hour hike up a mountain (some places steep enough to require hands and knees) to a plateau to spend the next four hours in workshops surrounded by waterfalls, rivers and rocks.
Enjoyable nonetheless, I was now feeling a lot more nervous about tomorrow’s actual hike, if today was considered merely a casual ‘walk’.
The next day we were up bright and early to begin the day’s hike. While the nerves were still quite apparent, I was determined to take full part and make it through the day, whatever ounce of energy, determination and sheer stubbornness that took!
The hike was indeed difficult, as someone who is very not used to climbing mountains. However once we got past the first leg (definitely the worst, and steepest, bit) and I’d gotten into the swing of things (small steps of the sole is the key to success) I was much more confident that I could do it.
We reached the summit around 2:30pm and the views were incredible, making the whole exhausting climb worthwhile.
I even found myself volunteering for an extra climb (with only a slight influence of peer pressure) to get an even better view of the valley.
The journey back down took a significantly shorter time, however the steep incline and uneven terrain created its own challenges. About half way down, and after many jokes of tempting fate, the inevitable happened. Black ice on a steeply slanting piece of rock led me to falling smack on my hip bone (I’ve still got a nice bruise over a week later to prove it). Much against my body’s will I forced myself to carry on to avoid it stiffening up before I could get back.
I’ve never enjoyed pasta more than I did that night.
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