Category Archives: October 2009 @ Norge

lalalallalalalala…:-)

…busy @ studying for the last couple of days. Had norsk-kurs twice this week, so a lot to learn… But I really enjoy it! Learning a foreign language and being able to use it straight away is really cool… Yesterday Sarah, another Austrian friend of mine arrived. Very nice to receive so many visitors and being able to show them around!

Yesterday I got my written english essay back – wow, can’t believe it, a B-. That’s pretty good for me, at least I’m happy with it;-) There is sooooo much to read for English, so I’m happy…

After our swimming lesson (I forgot my swimsuit and had to watch;-(… sometimes I’m just soooo stupid;-), or let’s say forgetful-yep, I’m getting old;-)…) I went to pick up Sarah @ Asker near Oslo. As I had school until late yesterday, I couldn’t manage to pick her up in Gardemoen but it was no problem for her to take the train and meet me there… We went for some shopping @ Sandvika storsenter, a huge shopping center in the outskirts of Oslo and got back to Horten pretty late…

Another beautiful day today… Had swimming lesson and Volleyball. Oh my god, after swimming, me and Henriette stayed @ the swimming pool to try out some summersaults… Well, on the trampolin no problem, first time in the water since ages – landed on my back – hihiii… – auuuutsch;-) – completely reddish on my back – Henriette and me couldn’t stop laughing…;-) Norwegian class in the late afternoon… Sarah joined in and she enjoyed it… Bye-bye Party for Stine, as she is leaving tomorrow…:-)…

I’m off for the weekend, we’re gonna go to the Naturepark tomorrow and the day after to Oslo…

So have a great weekend!!!! Ha det bra!!!!

…back to reality…

hei, hei!

…have been quite lazy or well actually I didn’t have time to update my blog… so I’m doin’ that now…

Well, it’s been a while… Had my friend and skibuddy Sandra on visit for the weekend. Was really nice and great to see her as we’ve just been chatting with each other for the past two month…

So last week I was busy with studying, apart from that I was trying to find out some cool things to do when Sandy would be here. Of course within a weekend you are limited in things to do… and also the weather didn’t promise to be good – actually rain was reported for the whole weekend… Not the best circumstances if my visit wants to see the mountains…

Before Sandra arrived from Austria… Thursday evening we went out to the “studentskro”, the students party in Tonsberg. We took the nightbus to Tonsberg and I just couldn’t believe how many people got on the bus… We got the childrens tariff (the bus driver realized that we were over 16 but I guess he didn’t care and was so kind…) …had the coolest bus driver ever… A german guy playing his harmonica while driving the bus… It got to a party bus as soooo many drunk or lets say young and happy people got onto there… They were singing and having fun… and also we enjoyed ourselves and had a very nice evening…

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the girls with the norwegian gigolo...;-)

Friday I picked up Sandra from the airport, drove back on a scenic route to Horten, had a nice dinner with Stine, Anna and us two.

Saturday morning – packed the car – on the way to Oslo… Exploring Oslo city with the bikes…

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...Mr Multi-tasking...

In the afternoon we hit the road again – further north – way up to Lillehammer… Weather – well, it wasn’t raining but really grey in grey…

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...sheep posing for Sandy...

It turns already dark pretty soon, so at 6 p.m. it’s dark. Not easy to spot good places to stay but we found a cool place for the night to stay at the Mjosa-Lake near Lillehammer… Cosy night in the car, temperatures really pleasant…

It was raining during the night and the next morning wasn’t good too. We went further to Lillehammer, explored the former Olympic area, sneaked into one of the sportshall’s and into the men’s wardrobe, walked through “Ghost town” Lillehammer – Sunday, nooooo people there, went up to Birkebeiner alpine center, snow was greeting us, further to Havjell, lunch at this nice shelter, on the road again back to Gardemoen or at least close to there…

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...Olympic town Lillehammer - "nobody" there except for us...
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...lunchtime...

It was a great weekend, had fun and enjoyed the time with Sandy. She had high expectations for the weekend, being able to see the mountains and the beautiful fjords. The weather wasn’t on our side, it would have been pointless if we would have gone to the mountains having no visibility… TAKK Sandy for being here – I guess it wasn’t your last time here in Norway… Next time you will see the mountains, fjords and the sun…;-)

P.S.: More pictures will follow – I was to lazy to take pictures, so I will have to wait until Sandra sends me the other pics…

P.P.S.: Funny story;-): We stayed overnight near the airport, so we wouldn’t get stuck in Oslo and that would give Sandra enough time to be early enough. for her plane back to Munich. We both hadn’t noticed that the clocks had changed this weekend… So we got up at 7.30 a.m., still very dark outside but we didn’t really bother… Sandra’s flight was leaving at 10.40 a.m. – we were at the airport at 9 a.m. (our time), but actually it was 8 a.m.;-) Nobody of us realized that!;-) Sandra was waiting and waiting for the airplane – it didn’t come until a grandma told her that she was still early enough…;-) I realized the clock change when I was back home and turned on my laptop. This intelligent computer changed the time automatically, so I found out, well, one hour more to go…;-) Good for me;-)

Swimming lesson in the afternoon, working on technique in diving and leg pull… pretty cool…

Gaustatoppen…

Still overwhelmed from this great weekend!!! Wow, nature at its best!!!

…but – a little bit back… Friday, late evening – everything is packed and ready to go to Gaustatoppen. “Gaustatoppen, which many claim to be the most beautiful mountain in Norway, towers majestically above the town of Rjukan at an altitude of 1,883 metres. Around 30,000 people make the trip up to the summit every year to enjoy the fantastic views from the top. On a clear day, you can see all the way south to the coast and east to Sweden. You can see one sixth of Norway from here.” More info: www.visitrjukan.com
Christian told me that the lifts open @ Gaustablikk on Saturday, so I thought – well, I have enough space in the car, why not take them with me… Actually he wanted to join but had a seminar on Sunday, so he couldn’t.

I was prepared to leave early in the morning on Saturday but things turned out differently. Well, a party at the neighbours house caused that the leftover people from our house came back around 1.30 a.m. and started to play so loud music, that I was awake and thought, well, I won’t be able to sleep here, I don’t want to join the drunk people downstairs, okay, so I’m off… I started my trip @ 2 a.m. 3 hours later I got to Heddasvatn, starting point for the morning. On the way there, snow was greeting and the road conditions were icy – so perfect for my summer tyres…;-) – but the mountain road was “apent” and not STENGT;-)

I had a couple of hours sleep in my car (@ minus temperatures…) before I got “kissed” by the sun – the sun was rising…

good morning sunshine!!!
good morning sunshine!!!
quite icy...
quite icy...

What a cool view! After breakfast I started my hike to Gaustatoppen. The higher I got up to the peak the more the beautiful scenery opened up… 2 hours later I reached the top… Quite astonished that so many people were up there because I was one of the first ones who started from the parking lot. Just 2 mountainrunners overtook me… Later I found out that there is a cog railroad to the top… Also in winter – this mountain is great for off-piste skiing… Up at the top I was requited by this marvelous view!!!! 360° mountains and nature…

wow! what a panorama!
wow! what a panorama!
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up @ the mountain... picture was taken by a nice norwegian guy...;-)
up @ the mountain... picture was taken by a nice norwegian guy...;-)
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unskyld... snakker du engelsk... can u take a pic?;-)
unskyld... snakker du engelsk... can u take a pic?;-)

In the afternoon when I went down there was an “invasion” of people hiking up the mountain… “Kind und Kegel” was carried up to the top… You could see everything, from the perfectly equipped people to the ones in sneakers and jeans… Just like back home in the mountains – the variation of people who know and who don’t know how to manage getting up and down the mountain in a safe way…

The white stripe is the open ski slope @ Gaustablikk...
The white stripe is the open ski slope @ Gaustablikk...
view from Gaustablikk to Gaustatoppen...
view from Gaustablikk to Gaustatoppen...
My next destination – Gaustablikk. Got there in the late afternoon, another short hike and inspected the ski slope… For the next day I had planned to hike up there and ski down…
first open lift - opened 17th October!!! ...snow depth 30 cm...
first open lift - opened 17th October!!! ...snow depth 30 cm...
I had a hard time finding a good parking spot where I could stay overnight. As nearly everything in this area is private property, I had several tries before I found this nice spot…
another sunny day...
another sunny day...
Brrrhhh, it was really cold that night… But again a sunny day, time to go for a hike and go skiing…
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view from the top of the skiresort...
view from the top of the skiresort...
spring conditions in October...
spring conditions in October...
motivated Norwegians 4 skiing...
motivated Norwegians 4 skiing...
It felt good to be back on skis, just had one run but that was enough. It was spring skiing in October… Big smile:-) After skiing I went for a bike trip in the area… It’s still early in the season and I will need some more time for strengthening my body, especially my right leg as I’m still not painfree… But I guess it’s not a matter of how strong my muscles get (as they are already in good shape…), it’s just the way it is… I have to live with that… Back in Austria we already received tons of snow… In November we are planning to go up to Hemsedal, looking 4ward to that…
along the road, on the way back to Horten...
along the road, on the way back to Horten...
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Orienteering – last run…

Last time orienteering – we had our “Fertighetsprove” today, last run and being tested in a completely new area. So I went there with Esther, as she lives near my place…

Well, I always did pretty good in finding the posts in the forrest, most of the time though, I’ve been running with Henriette, so we could always check on each other, if we were right or wrong…

This time all by myself, I could have cheated as some of the students were -just waiting for the others at the first post but I tried to manage alone. Within 2,4 km and some hm we had to find 7 posts, hidden somewhere in the forrest – time limit 1,5 hours. First two posts were no problem but then I got somehow in the wrong area, could manage the way back, found the 3rd post and after some while also the 4th. But I already lost quite some time searching for the 3rd and 4th post… And then I just got completely lost, luckily after some time – actually first I found two walkers, asking them the way and then some more students appeared… But most of them were on the most difficult route, so not my route – I had chosen the golden middle… There was also Benjamin, completely lost too, so we ran together, he left out already two posts cause he just couldn’t find them… Soooo happy, that I wasn’t by myself anymore, we ran together, back and forward, still lost in the forrest;-) We managed to be over the time limit, so our goal was just to find our way back to the starting point… Then a man appeared and we were asking him for the way… He was a local, so we walked back with him and his dog, very nice and he was happy to speak German to me…

Some other students also failed but as everybody had done so well on the first orienteering test, it doesn’t really matter… Happen’s, also to the good one’s…;-)

I’m leaving to the mountains tomorrow in the early morning – hope I can sleep because there is another party going on in the house… It’s just really anoying sleeping with such loud music, nearly day by day… I’m soooo tired, so I won’t join… Looking forward to go to Gaustatoppen… www.nasjonalparkrute.no I also packed in the skis, there is already some snow… So will see if I will need them…;-)

Have a great weekend!!!! I’m off….

Back @ school…

Studying abroad means taking a lot of new challenges. The most difficult part that I’m confronted with is – socializing with our sportsstudents. That might sound weird but it’s really hard. There are a few, I have a good relationship to, but most of them seem to be very reserved when it comes to getting to know a foreign student, in that case – me. Today in swimming we had to get together in pairs and I didn’t get a partner. Well, happens though it was a very obvious situation and even Trine, our sportsteacher recognized that. So after the swimming lesson, Trine asked if I’m doing fine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing fine here but I just don’t get it. Is it me, is it a language barrier, why – what is it? Me and Trine were discussing that and she was very helpful, trying to find an answer. Well, there are a lot of young students, just got out of gymnasium, never been out there travelling, still living with their parents.. Is that the reason? I’m a bit older;-), so the age difference is quite big… Another reason?

Nevertheless, I take the positive of it – know I gained insight into being a foreigner/outsider. I never thought about it or was in that situation before. In a few years I will teach and work with children and I think it’s the most important thing, that people get integrated, that they socialize and aren’t left out… But we will work on that “problem” and as I said – it’s another challenge…:-) It’s all about the right communication…

The funny thing is that back here @ the students house where also Norwegians live – they are being open, like to socialize – also in the English class there are some and @ the “Klaettre gruppe” – so it’s just really interesting to experience…

Yesterday it was the second time, we had our Norwegian course. I really like it!!! It’s soooo cool to learn a new language! As I know German and English, I got an advantage of learning it, as there are a lot of similar words… We are around 20 international students, half of them – Vietnamese students. One of them always brings her little daughter, about 6 years (I have to find out her name and the age…) into the course and that’s ever very amusing. When we were enumerating the ABC, that little girl was shouting out with us, being the best…;-) She is really cute!!!

So I’m quite busy in studying now, still focused on training and getting in shape for winter – not far away anymore – jipiiiihhh!!!!

crazy…;-)

…sometimes I like to go off the beaten tracks and do something completely different – that’s what I did the past days… After having had a really nice evening with the international students @ Peppes Pizza on Thursday – FREE Pizza for everybody!!!! (I ate ways tooooo much!!!! but free food in Norway??;-)… don’t ask twice…) – I decided to go back to Skrim N.P. where I’ve already been with the sportsstudents. So I knew where to go… It should be an active trip, so my mountainbike and hiking shoes came with me. You may think, I’m just having holidays here – well, I do have a lot of free time but I also need to study, that’s why my books came also with me… The weather was beautiful, blue sky but autumn temperatures… I knew my sleeping bag is not the best for these temperatures but I went for it and took some extra layers and of course my down jacket… (what would I do without it???) Started down in the valley and felt like a “burro” (Packesel;-) biking along and going further up the mountains – carrying a huge backpack with tent, sleeping bag, food, down jacket on my back… Felt like @ least 20 kg’s;-)…

...burro Mel;-)...
...burro Mel;-)...

2 hours later, earlier than I expected, I reached the top, a bit exhausted but happy I made it…

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I couldn’t bike further, as it’s just impossible – riding in really muddy conditions – not like back home… So I hided my bike in the forrest and hiked further… The ground was at some parts already frozen, at some not and of course I was so lucky that I got stuck in the mud;-) – 15cm’s with one shoe in the mud… Well… 😉 After an hour of hiking with all of the gear on my back I decided to search for a place to set up the tent… Found a nice place, set up the tent, had “dinner”, read outside until it got dark…

home sweet home...
home sweet home...

…continued to read the book inside – a bit warmer than outside… when I suddenly heard noise outside – somebody or something was near my tent – oh my god, I was scared to death;-) – was it a hunter, a murder, a fox or a moose???;-) Well, I was sitting in the tent not moving a milimeter waiting until this “thingi” went away… I’m sure I have seen too many Horror films…;-) So crazy!!! I could have gone outside to check but I felt more save in my home sweet home…;-) It was such a quiet and peaceful place, how could I loose my life here…;-)

Went to bed early, had all my clothes on as it was really cold, again and again it was rustling outside, I made up my mind that there were moose outside (no plan what it really was??? but quite curious..), so I had a bit of a sleep, ohhhh it was soooo cold, felt like lying in a fridge;-)… On/Off sleep – waking up all the time by rustling noise… Finally morning had broken, I got up – everything was frozen! My feet felt anyway like a fridge but my shoes got a bit wet the day before, so I had to put them in the icebox because they were frozen too… Outside it was quiet and peaceful again, the nearby lake was covered with ice… So a VERY COLD night… brrrrhhh…

Packed everything and hiked back to my bike. After about 10 min. finally my feet started to awake… Actually I had planned to go for a longer hike today but I decided to leave earlier than planned. Instead I went to the big mall near Oslo and bought a new sleeping bag…:-) For the next camping experience in the mountains…

definetely worth coming up here...
definetely worth coming up here...

Road trip… (Part III…)

Friday, 2nd October 2009 – Jondal – Röldal – Jörpeland/Strand, 290 km (excludes the 50 km’s we went for- and backward – wrong way…;-)…)

Good morning Austria! Another awesome day! Blue sky, cold, snow shining down from the mountains. Our destination for the morning: Sommarskisenter Folgefonna… Along the way we passed…

...the local pub...;-)
...the local pub...;-)
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…so some life was going on here… Although we didn’t see any people around but we still had to go further… Where were the skiers, were there any??? We went up there around 9 a.m. or even earlier but didn’t see any other cars driving up… Hmm??? Why;-)??? There was no sign were it said STENGT, so we drove up the mountain, passed the info board, went further and there it was again – a snowy road … The road was getting more and more slippery…

uijjuiiiijuiiii...
uijjuiiiijuiiii...

We should have turned around by that time but know it was impossible. The road was getting steeper and steeper – no possibility to turn around. I had to give everything but at the steepest point my caddy said: NO – don’t go further… Well, we didn’t make it up that hill, were stuck! Good that Vroni had an expert training for driving in snowy conditions in NZL last year… We both had to keep cool… So we were stuck, in the middle of nowhere – only possibility – to put up chains on my summertyres (I know, you don’t drive up snowy mountains with summertyres!!!;-)…-I really know and wouldn’t do that back home…)… One problem: the tyres didn’t fit! They were the old ones from my VW-Polo, were a little to small – I’ve been told they would fit – but Mc Gyver Vroni was so clever and with the help of two expanders she fixed the chains… So now we were able to go up the hill, turn around and go back into the valley. Slowly, very slowly I was driving down the road – no crash barrier would stop us if the car decided to not follow our strongest wish – get back down the mountain safely! We were quite “stupid” that we went that far… It happened but all went good…

improvisation is everything...
improvisation is everything...
Vroni with the broken expander...
Vroni with the broken expander...
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…got back down safely – were requited with that gorgeous view…

…back on the road again… Breakfast along Hardangerfjord – again beautiful!!!

Hardangerfjord...
Hardangerfjord...

Next destination: Röldal – well known for the Freeride Comp @ the end of the winter season… I really wanted to go there, so we went for a hike up the mountain, viewing some skiable lines…;-)

Röldal Ski area...
Röldal Ski area...
I had to climb up there...:-)
I had to climb up there...:-)
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…went into the wrong direction – had to drive back all together around 50 km’s… well, no worries…;-) Night stop near Stavanger – plan for the next day – hike up Preikestolen…

Saturday, 3rd October 2009 – Jörpeland/Strand – Preikestolhytta – Sirdal – Evje – Svenes, 275 km

It was raining that morning, so not the best circumstances to go hiking. We were both suffering from a cold, feeling not 100%. First we went to Jörpeland, to the tourist office – checking out the weather for this and the next days… Well not good for today and the next day… It turned out to be a shopping morning as the weather forecast predicted a bit better weather around noon. It was not right – it was raining cats and dogs! We drove up to Preikestolhytta to check the situation there – we really wanted to go up Preikestolen – it must be so cool up there – of course much cooler when the weather is fine… Preikestolen is known for it’s beautiful view over the Lysefjord, a lot of Basejumpers are coming here because it drops 600 m’s straight down… More info about that: www.visitnorway.com / Stavanger area…

We went into the Hytta, two people came just down, were soaking wet and said the conditions are just horrible… I kind of still wanted to go up but the weather was really bad, me and Vroni were both not healthy and the view would have not been good…

Lysefjord... somewhere in the fog - Preikestolen...
Lysefjord... somewhere in the fog - Preikestolen...

…back on the road again – the next ferry just waited for us;-) – we came there, had to stand in line for 5 min. before it took of… sooo lucky!!!

looks really cool...
looks really cool...

As we didn’t go up Preikestolen, we decided to drive all the way back to Horten – we would be home around midnight… but the plan changed again… The weather turned out to get better – so one more night on the road – this time in tent @ a really nice place…

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Sunday, 4th October 2009 – Svenes – Heddal – Kongsberg – Horten, 285 km

Last day on the road – drove through again beautiful scenery – Telemark – stopped at Heddal and yes – we met an Austrian guy there. On the parking lot. He saw our car – came to us and asked what we are doing here? He was sooo happy to talk to some Austrians, was a nice talk… He started to work in Oslo two weeks ago and well again – was really happy to talk to some Austrians!!!

Telemark region...
Telemark region...
Heddal stavkirke...
Heddal stavkirke...

…back to Horten – my place – a nice long shower – dinner with Vroni and Stine – went to bed early – next morning – had to take Vroni to the airport – traffic jam in Oslo – we were both sitting on needles – but happily we made it an hour before her flight – so, all in all A HAPPY END!!!!

IT WAS A GREAT TRIP!!!!! Thxxxx Vroni for coming up!!!! WAS REALLY COOL!!!!