vrijdag 19 september 2014

Besseggen, beware to be photo spammed!

Flashforward to more recent events!

Last friday and saturday (12-13 september) My host mom, brother and me went on a hiking trip I don't think I'll ever forget. We went to a little (cough, cough) place called Besseggen.

We left on friday after school, and even though I was done with school at 11.25, I hadn't packed anything before my host mom came home from work. The main reason for that wasn't that I'm lazy, as most of you might think, but that I had absolutely no idea of what to take when you're going to the mountains. So from 11.25 to 16.00 I just sat at home, did nothing of any importance, watched "the sisterhood of the traveling pants" for the first time in my life (can you believe it?) together with the other exchange student at my school, Paola, who is automatically less awesome because she prefers Rotary over AFS... Pffffsstt... Haha, you know I'm kidding, Paola! :)

So, the main goal was to be able to leave at 16.30 - 17.00 so we would get at our cabin in time, and could enjoy the two and a half hour car ride with a nice view of the mountains. Of course, we left about an hour late, which is something that seems to run in the (host)family. And of course I almost forgot my toiletries and only remembered them the minute before we left, and of course I actually forgot my pajamas... Because that's just how I roll...

I took lots of pictures in the car, mainly of the first hour or so, and just enjoyed the view. We drove next to Mjøsa (my dearest lake) for quite a while and then followed some river until we arrived in Jotunheimen. That's one of the things I like most about Norway, there is water everywhere, and for some strange reason, water makes everything more beautiful...
(I'm sorry that most of the pictures are very blueish, I guess the car windows are tinted, haha)

My 'let's do this'-face

I'm going to Trondheim! Oh, no I'm not :(



more water

Mjøsa is so pretty :)

even more water

the sun is already setting! We just left!!

my favorite road picture :)

more water

I guess you kind of get it by now?

a mountain/hill! That's new! :)

Felt like I was driving through Hobbiton :)

After an hour and a half, we stopped and did some groceries for our hungry hungry stomaches, both for the evening and the next day. 
Norway! Yeah!

Kind of wondering what this tastes like. My host mom described it as something you drink when your tummy really want a muffin, but your head knows that you'll hate yourself after you do :) All of the flavor, none of the calories!

Hello calories!

So then we arrived at the cabin, we got settled, found out that the tv didn't work (I didn't expect there to be a tv at all, so it was fine by me) and played animal bingo. The thing about animal bingo is that you have to call out the names of the animals, though, you know, in Norwegian, the language I can't really speak... So my pronunciation suc- err... was very bad, and I lost big time... It was only when the game was over that we found the three missing animals on my bingo sheet hidden in the box full of games. Talk about unfair! Sondre ( my host brother) and I found a book with pictures of Norway in it, and looked it through, him recognizing names of things and places, me being very happy that there was also an english explanation added to the pictures (that were obviously gorgeous, as is most everything in Norway).  After that and eating a bit, we decided we needed our sleep and went to bed. Me in my barbie bedsheets, Astrid (my mom) in the Harry Potter ones, and my brother in Batman themed sheets... Yeah, I think I'm in the right family... :)

No moths allowed in this cabin!
Next morning, we woke up early to go over to the Besseggen starting location. The thing about this hike is, that you can do it in two directions, you either take a boat over the lake and walk all the way back to the car park, what we where going to do, or you walk first and take the boat back. Now, I had done some research, and I was quite happy with the direction we were going in. Most people go in our direction, you see, because there is one very steep part, and most people prefer to climb up instead of looking down into the abbys... Since I'm not very fond of heights, this sounded like a solid plan for me.
But then... When we arrived at the boat-leaving-place-thing (I don't even know a better word for it,  hahaha) there were SO many people there! You have no idea! I mean, not black friday many, but definitely Norwegian hiking trip many. So we waited in line for a couple of minutes, and my host mom decided to go and see when we would get on the boat. So it was soon decided, we weren't going to wait for one and a half hour for the boat, if we could just start in the other direction. My heart sunk into my shoes, but I didn't have a choice, now did I? No, I didn't. 

Such a beautiful day, though :)

a view on the big group of people waiting for the boat. According to the two car parks we had passed, most people where already walking. 

All set and ready to go

The boat to Memurubu is the one we would've taken... 


nice view to start with

usually, there are about 2 cars here...

Ready for take off.... Go!
So we walked, the first part was quite steep, and I was panting after about a minute, but after drinking some water, we moved on and kept going. The view started out nice, became nicer and nicer until it was out of sight, and there were only rock and hills to see. Hills I was going to have to climb. I still cringe when I think of that... God I hate walking uphill.

Sondre feeling confident about the hike

Jotunheimen, the mythological home of the giants!

Happy little campers

Happy birthday camper!

Some more happy campers

Mister camper making breakfast 
minister of the environment wishing us a good trip, how nice :)

A path with a view

A bit higher up that same path

Herregud! That's a nice view! 

I preferred looking backwards here,  because in front of me where only rocks...

Those colors though...

Everlasting snow! 

It was still very early, about 8 in the morning, the sun wasn't really up yet :)

There she is, though! 

Ok, this might be rocky, but it's so beautiful!

This must be where rockfans go to after they die... 

I'm so sorry about that joke, I've been spending the past 3 hours working on this, I need some humor at the moment, even if it's very bad...

mountains :)

Red T leading the way!

Vann pause! (water break for the non-speakers)

back on our way

People like putting rocks on top of other rocks to make stacks of rocks and signify they've been there. I guess it's like checking in somewhere through Facebook? :)

So after this, it was basically a lot of walking, panting, cursing myself for doing this and a minute later blessing myself for seeing such amazing things. I surprisingly didn't really get tired while walking, but my feet did hurt quite a lot. There were a lot of pointy rocks you had to skip over or find your way through, and my foot soles aren't very used to that I guess...

Sondre peeking over the edge

I was SO proud of myself for making the top! It turned out not to be the top.  There was about 5 hours of walking left to do...

the boat that we didn't get on.

River ending into the lake.

Some mysterious cave that (I'm pretty sure) is where the giants hide during high season. You know, if they where small enough to get in there...  
Just having lunch on the top of a mountain, what did you do today?

looks like a dessert made out of rocks, at about 1600m high.

keep on going!

I'm a sucker for following trends, so yeah, I added my own rock to the stack. Did everyone get the notification that I was here?

Be safe, little friend. 

Ok, so maybe I just put it on the bottom, I climbed enough that day, I wasn't going to make my way to this top as well!

our silent guide, the red T

And now! The moment we've all been waiting for! (well, me at least, for the couple of hours I'd already been walking) The most magnificent place I've ever seen, so beautiful that I can't really describe it, and I'm afraid that the pictures won't even do it justice. This is what makes Besseggen one of the most popular hiking places in all of Norway. 
I honestly cannot believe this place is real.
Sondre posing for the picture
The water of the lake on the left (Gjende) is green, because of the clay in the glacier runoff (got this from Wikipedia, must be true) It's also 400 meters almost straight down... 

that's pretty steep if you ask me...
My feet totally ruin this picture! :)

It doesn't seem like it on this picture, but that hill we just came off of, was f***ing steep. This was the thing the website had warned me about, and they where absolutely right. The only thing is, that this is one of the main reasons that I'm sooooo happy that we did the walk in our direction. It was easier to come down the steep part, there were parts where you couldn't really put your feet down, so I've had to slide a couple of times. Ok, it was scary, but I think it would've been way worse having to climb up that horrible slope.

When one goes to Jotunheimen, there is only one brand of backpack you can bring!

A super cute dog resting from the trip.

Even the clouds where pretty up here!

A view on the rest of Jotunheimen

Do you see the white speck next to the river? Yeah, that's a rather big farm... I guess I was very high up here...

Mom sitting in a natural position, not posing at all... :D

feet and water

I wanna go back!

having lunch again. Chocolate chip cookies, bread, lefse and an apple we traded with a swiss girl who was playing 'ruiltocht' Sorry, don't know what that is in english. Haha

 So after our rest we continued our way, for what couldn't really be much longer now, right?

Goodbye Gjende!
and Hello Bessvatnet! 

Sondre waiting for us, because Astrid and I are damn slow :)


water running of the mountainside, into the Gjende, down below

There is the green beauty again!

The only thing I saw on this trip that I didn't like. #greensomething?

It was around here that I realized I had forgotten my regular shoes at the cabin, and that we would have to go and get them before I could take of these horrible hiking boots :'(

This gave me some sort of an amazonian feeling...

This place kept amazing me, from every angle

Just a little bit further...

We are almost at the end! 

Yes! Still going in the right direction ( I guess that when there aren't a dozen of people in front of you, leading the way, this must be so great to see, knowing you're not lost and all)

So close!
And we've passed the vegetation border! Not just rocks anymore!
I love these pretty flowers! 

Final one! 

I made it! The very last top!
The final slope downhill was actually pretty rough, and my legs started shaking uncontrollably whenever I stopped walking, so I just kept going. After all, it hurt, but it was definitely worth it!

My "omg I actually made it"-face

My "damn it, we just missed the boat back home"-face

The view from were we were relaxing. That's also the boat we just missed...

A looooot of people wanted to take the boat at the same time, but no one really wanted to stay and stand in line.

So we all just put our bags in a row, in the order we got there, as you can see, we were pretty much the first ones :)

We sat down on a couple of rocks next to the water

Took my shoes of anyway! Best. Feeling. Ever!

A closer view of the river I saw on the top of the mountain, I honestly thought this was a little stream... Whoops :)
Sadly, I didn't take any proper pictures on the boat, because we had to put our bags on the roof, and I only had time to grab my iPod.
After we got of the boat, we took the earliest bus to the parking lot and drove over to the cabin. "Yes ma'am, we have seen the shoes. Oh, no, we didn't put them in the lost and found, that's odd." It took them more than 15 minutes to find my shoes in some janitor shack and then we could finally go home. We encountered some cows who had found their way outside of the pasture, but got home safely. Then, I was very gross and went to bed without showering (eeeeeeww), postponing that to the next morning, because I was a wreck. I don't think I ever fell asleep that fast. But I also don't think I've ever spent a day that overwhelmed and exhausting. 
My shoes!! 

Cows on the loose :)

In the end, I can only say that this definitely made me feel Norwegian. 
that seems about right
Yeah, I feel upgraded to a viking now!

Herregud! This was one long post! But it had to be done, and it had to be done asap. So I did it. And I'm proud of myself. After all, I didn't have anything better to do.

Ha det, kjære lesere! 
Jori Van Goethem
exchange student and viking

1 opmerking:

  1. awesome! I'd love to go to Norway some day, nature is just so beautiful!
    Have you learned a lot of Norse over there or is everyone a english-pro?