NOREFJELL

Today is officially the second day of summer in Norway.

The sun is beating, folks are working in their yards, and children don ice creams galore. Who knew Norway could feel this tropical?

In fact, it´s so balmy I´m even….dare I say it….missing winter. Or maybe not missing it, but looking back on it nostalgically; an unusual notion in the mind of an Australian.

As such, today´s post is dedicated to our alpine trip to Norefjell in early March.

Norefjell is a popular ski resort in the Scandes Mountains region. Being relatively close to Oslo, it is easily accessible and provides an array of thrilling slopes to test for beginners and advanced skiers alike.

Cabins tucked away between tall pines, peek out to greet visitors on the way up the mountain and make for a cozy weekend stay.

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It was here that I had the opportunity to try skiing for the first time.

Having had many years of experience in figure skating, I was feeling optimistic about hitting the slopes. Thus with boots, skis and helmets in tow we made our way up to the ski centre.

Here we found the children´s slope, or ´barnebakken´. My incredibly patient boyfriend, Robin, suggested we practice here. In hindsight this was certainly a wise idea.

The scene was truly something out of a fairytale. A thick layer of evergreens steeped in fluffy white clouds waiting at the bottom of the slope; a perfect background for snowflakes twinkling in the sunlight. Everything had surpassed all my expectations…except for the skiing.

My first hour proved to be a difficult feat. Whining and moaning, I tirelessly attempted to copy Robin´s expert instructions. Many hours of slalom-trials later something just clicked. Somehow it all became easy and I rushed down the children´s slope, dodging obstacles at lightning speed. It was at this point that Robin suggested we try one of the more advanced slopes.

Entirely unprepared and feeling uneasy, I hopped onto the chair lift and endured what seemed like the longest ride up the mountain. We got to the top of one of the slopes. Upon seeing the steep drop, panic overtook logic and my eyes welled with tears. Seeing my fear, Robin suggested we go onwards to a more gradual course. It was only once I reached the top of this slope was I told that I would now have to ski down both the gradual and steep slopes to get back down to the carpark. Somehow I figured we could catch the chair lift down and avoid the sheer drop of the second slope.

Numb from fear, I took off down the slope. About 20 seconds into the course we realised we had taken the wrong slope and instead were accidentally on a black course, the most advanced. Luckily, the more gradual slope was within eye sight and simply required a small detour to reach. However, being off the course, this snow was light and fluffy rather than dense and compact, certainly not ideal skiing conditions.

Not even a minute into the long route back to the carpark and I was already on the ground with a twisted knee. If you´ve ever fallen while skiing, you know how difficult it is to get back up, but let me tell you…it is certainly something else with an injury. With shooting pains, I hobbled down the first slope alongside Robin. We reached the bottom and Robin alerted one of the ski staff members. Sitting in the snow, drenched and frozen to the core, I waited for the medic to arrive by snowmobile.

After much fuss, I was finally back in our cozy cabin with a mug of hot chocolate.

And such was our trip to Norefjell; a breathtaking winter wonderland with an unfortunate ending.

At least, this little fellow enjoyed himself…

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