I recently came back from a short trip to Norway. I’d never been before (as became apparent when, much to the dismay of all surrounding me (ok, so yes – I moaned a tiny bit, once or twice..) I failed miserably to pack anything warm / pracical / any of the above), so it was pretty exciting.
We weren’t there for long, but managed to cram an unfeasibly large quantitiy of activities into what was essentially a day and a bit (our hotel was so remote, it took a whole day to get there. I’m not joking – I left the flat at 4am..)
The entire culture in the area (I can’t say town – the nearest.. centre, I guess was an hours drive away) was astonishingly different to what I’m used to. As in, people genuinely use skis and sledges as a means of transportation (you see them skating along by the side of the road), and there seemed to be a general lack of interest in the usual mod-cons. We ate dinner in a teepee and a candle-lit lodge, and lunch in what I can only describe as a sheet-less teepee. Kind of like a giant wigwam (if your mother’s into gardening, you’ll know what I mean).
As a result, I tried lots of things I’d never done before. I ate reindeer and elk (sorry, Rudolf), drove a husky sleigh, and survived two nights in a row without bedside Twitter updates.
Our second encounter of eating reindeer was probably the most magical. We’d been driving our two-man husky sleighs for a couple of hours when we reached a clearing with a massive fire (somehow built into the snow. Genius) surrounded by the aforementioned giant wigwam. On the fire was a series of foil parcels, each with a massive chunk of meat and smattering of “vegetables” (potatoes and onions). After the bitter chill of our -22 surroundings, I’d genuinely never tasted anything better. Then, our guide poured an entire packet of instant coffee into a giant iron kettle and made us all a steaming mug.
All this time, the huskies busied themselves with napping and generally lolling about. One of them got chilly so climbed into our reindeer skin-lined sleighs to bed down. Very cute. As soon as they got wind that it was time to move, the dogs began their usual chorus of barks and howls. Its quite unlike any sound I’ve ever heard – kind of breathtakingly noisy, but somehow reasurring.
We weren’t naturals at driving the sleighs, and actually I blame every Scandinavian / Christmas film I’ve ever sene for inspiring in me such misplaced confidence: sleigh-driving is hard.
And so it followed that for about the first hour of our trip, my partner and I spent much of our time intermittantly being throw sideways off and out of the sleigh as our newly-emptied vessel carrierd off toward our guide. Oops.
Anyway. It was impossible to be annoyed with our lovely dogs, so we we loosely blamed the sleigh, the conditions, ourselves..
I was pretty sad to say goodbye, although secretly chuffed to be getting back onto our warm coach with all it’s creature comforts. Never before have my mini toiletries seemed so indulgent..!
Love, Laugh, Liverty x