This blog is a continuation of my blog from April 8, 2019 on our crosscountry skiing holiday in Norway following the Peer Gynt Vegen
Day 4 – A short stage
This day, we went off for a short stage of 11 km, but what a track it was!
First a challenging downhill area, which Pøyl preferred to walk instead of skiing, and which I survived in the old and trusted pizza. Unfortunately, I lost control twice. Once this happened because I saw a tree with a sign on it saying: ‘DANGER!’
And dangerous it was; in trying to avoid this dangerous tree I fell down hitting the icy snow really hard.
Towards the end of the stage we had to follow a blue route in a downhill ski arena. So you think: ‘This will again be challenging downhill’, but no, this time we had to climb the mountain. After falling down ten times in just fifteen minutes, I made the only wise decision there was to make: take of the skis and climb the mountain.
A little later, we understood from some serious cross country skiers that we should have rewaxed our skis. In the afternoon, the snow was too warm for the wax we used in the morning. Cross country skiing is more difficult than you think it is.
Currently, we are in the Wahdal Høyfjellshotell, another big Eastern-European-like hotel, but here are other guests as well, in the previous hotel only a few Americans and we were residing at the time.
The Americans follow the same route as we do. For convenience reasons, we are all put together at one dining table. They are an attraction because there were very few Americans on this track, and not a single one this season. Well, this is what was said by the hotel staff.
The photo shows a tool used by the strong men of the region to show their brutal Norwegian male forces. The number two of Norway works in last night’s hotel. He was called in, and a giant bear of a guy appeared, he was at least two meters long and one meter wide. Even a moose would turn around frightened as hell encountering this guy, who was very friendly by the way.
The Americans are Trump haters. They are with two brothers, Ed and Pøyl and a sister named Barty and Ed’s wife, named Betsy. They are very likable, and we learn a lot of new words from them.
Barty lives in Hanover, Germany, with her German husband, Pøyl lives with his wife Nina in greater New York and Ed and Betsy live near Boston. This September the whole family will gather again because Ed’s oldest son will get married. Finally. He’s 33 years old now.
Tomorrow we will have a resting day, and we’ll hear more about the Americans.
Day 5 – Resting day
This morning started with a walk on a vintergangvegen to an utsikstpunkt. Norwegian still is easy.
At the end of the afternoon we raged in the gym. Pøyl on the spinning bike, and I on a stepping machine on which I burned 400 calories in 2 x 20 minutes of stepping.
Very boring, yet a lot of fun.
Soon we’re at the Norwegian buffet again, together with the Americans. We drink a beer on it, which costs us only 12 euros each. 😳
Day 6 – The longest stage
Today, the longest stage of the tour: 28.5 km in varying weather conditions: first cloudy, then sunny and quite warm, and in the afternoon cloudy and considerably colder.
The last miles were … really last miles: they were the longest. My feet are still tingling.
Our arrival was heart-warming, the Americans welcomed us as if we had been friends for 30 years, we got hugs, shoulder pads and I didn’t have to wear my skis the last part because they were carried by Pøyl (Warren, not Dijkstra), and immediately after arrival he treated us on a beer, which costs an arm and a leg over here (as you already read before).
Afterwards, we enjoyed a delicious dinner. Norwegians cook better than we expected.
Tomorrow we’ll have the last skiing day. 20 km to Skeikampen. Easypeacy.
We will do the first part with the chairlift. Double easypeacy.
Are we having a good time? Yes, it’s awesome.
Day 7 – the last day
Yesterday, I said ‘easy’ about today’s stage … Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong than that.
Today was very, very tough. The temperature was freezing, it was a lot of climbing and descending, we were not amused by the thick fog on the highest part of the stage, and it was no less than 21.5 km.
Luckily, we went out with the Americans, which was great, because one of them is skiing so well that he was constantly skiing back and forth to tell how steep it was or that the terrain was even for a while.
Barty injured her shoulder on day 2, so she and Betsy skipped the third day. This last day the whole family was happily together again. Some weeks after the holiday, Barty informed us she fractured a bone near the shoulder joint on the second day, so she skied this day with a seriously injured shoulder, which is an amazing achievement!
This day, I fell down very hard several times and so did Pøyl. We both had to ice our injured body parts after arrival in the last Høyfjellshotell.
We hiked large parts because our waxing skis were too slippery for the steep terrain. It went down awfully fast when the terrain was descending, and while climbing we were sliding back all the time. Both is really tiring.
By the end of the day, hiking was all we could do. To my best estimation we’ve hiked about seven to eight kilometers today. As a result, the skis and poles had to be lifted all the time, which resulted in my back being completely ruined.
And still, it was really great to have experienced this adventure!
Overall, we’ve skied a little less than 100 km. Not bad for a first cross country skiing time!
After saying a very warm goodbye to the Warren family, Ed, Betsy, Pøyl and Barty, we travelled back to Utrecht, where the temperature appeared to be 20°C.
From the snow to the beach, if running wasn’t calling us; this Sunday is PanbosCross-day again.
The story of our cross country skiing adventure, including lots of pictures, is also published in Dutch in Polarsteps, an awesome app for travelers.
19 mei 2019