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“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.”
Henry David Thoreau

[ RECENT POSTS ]

Narrow roads anybody?

I found a few more video gems from our Norway trip. Despite being used to European-style driving, the narrow roads and especially tunnels in Norway did take a lot of concentration! Check out this video of a typical tunnel on a secondary road (some bigger ones do have lights and actually space for two cars!) – yep you just have to pray nobody is coming around the corner fast :)

This second video shows the descent on the famous Trollstigen. Not a lot of room but surprisingly, no accidents or even scrapes. We even saw road bikers and a tour bus navigating this!

The big trip to Norway

Cabin on Ringvassoya

Cabin on Ringvassoya

Apologies it has taken a while to get all the Norway photos online. It was a big trip, created many memories and many many photos. A selection of the best is now online in the Gallery!

Hike near Tromso

Hike near Tromso

We had an amazing time! Our first week in Tromso – where the sun never sets – was amazing (check out this video from the Midnight Sun Marathon there, taken approximately 11:30pm on June 21). Stine and Otto, our new friends, were wonderful hosts who shared their cooking skills and cabin on an outer island with us. I just wish I could have spent the whole summer at this “cabin” (I am using this word loosely as it is more of a supernice home than a cabin in the Canadian sense!).

Copenhagen

Nyhavn – Copenhagen

After short stopovers in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, we started exploring the fjords and mountains of Norway. It was wonderful to have my parents join us for a week, first in a royal vacation rental in Beitostolen (I think we counted 20 beds in 5 bedrooms and with 3 big bathrooms) and then in Bergen for two days. When they left for home, we continued with hikes and exploration all over central Norway. We learned that Norwegians don’t think much of actual hiking trails … they just paint red “T’s” on rocks and scramble straight up any mountain. Hiking highlights were the popular Besseggen Ridge Trail, the hike up Saksaklepp with nobody else around, and our hike with Stine and Otto near Tromso. We also took the Flamsbana from Flåm to Myrdal and back.

View over Lofthus/Ullensvang

View of Lofthus

While some fjords get a lot of cruise ship traffic, we enjoyed the smaller and lonelier experiences. For example, relaxation comes easy in Bjørke, a small village at the end of the road. The scenery was gorgeous everywhere but the Sognefjellet, Norangsdal valley and Hardangervidda stand out (check out the pictures). We also had a great time catching up with Sissel and Scott in Oslo. What a perfect city for xc ski enthusiasts! Everywhere we went, the far advanced bike culture in Europe was evident (maybe most of all in Malmø on our last day, on a city tour with Steve).

 

If you get a chance, go to Norway.

Reindeer

Reindeer

Planning 2014

I realize we are well into 2014 already. The first few months were spent mainly in the snow, with lots of skate skiing, skinning and snowshoeing. There isn’t much that can beat hiking up to the top of a mountain in fresh powder at the break of dawn, then skiing or snowshoeing down to a hot coffee. I was lucky to spend 3 weeks in Winthrop and 2 weeks in Canmore, exploring the snowy landscapes there.

Early sun at Big White

Early sun at Big White

This year will see one destination crossed off the bucket list: Norway! We will be admiring the Midnight Sun in Tromso and then touring the country (with stops in Copenhagen and Stockholm). No doubt, many pictures and trip reports will follow! I am also finally adding my own experience to all the books and reports I have read, and will hike the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) for two weeks. It’s a very short introduction to what would be a 5 month trip when doing a thru hike. Who knows, maybe one day in my life it will be possible!

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