“I guess you could do cross-country skiing for a day” is a sentence we heard a lot during our time in Norway. Followed by, “ummm, I don’t know what else you could do. You really should have come in the summer.”
Every Norwegian we met could not believe we had chosen to visit their country when the weather was harsh and the daylight was short. I get it, they’ve spent months in the cold, snowy weather and were totally over it, but we came from middle of summer in Australia. We wanted white skies and cold snow. But, apparently, we had missed the last of that too. “Norway in March is just gray and bland, not too cold and not too hot.”
We got lucky one day though. On this day, we visited Budor, a ski center known for having the best sledding facilities in Norway. I’m not talking amateur sledding here, I’m talking about a sledding track that kept going and going and going.
The most magical thing happened after we got out sledding gear together.
A snowstorm erupted as we were being pulled up the ski lift. I had to concentrate on keeping my sled straight, but I couldn’t stop looking around me. The only thing I could see clearly was the person in front of me, everything else was foggy. The trees I knew surrounded the track slowly disappeared. Jack was missing behind me, but I could hear him laughing. It was snowing hard and it felt so good.
As I sled down the track, I tried to open my eyes but the white light emitting from the surroundings was too bright. My eyes would tear and I would laugh. The snow made it hard to keep my eyes open, so I would laugh harder and hope I wouldn’t run into anything. My lips were dry and chapped, but I couldn’t stop my mouth from forming into a smile. I’ve never eaten so much snow; I felt so hydrated and alive. I opened my eyes again just long enough to see a sign with a red cross. I giggled some more and steered the other way. I never wanted the ride to end.
I felt like Elsa from Frozen, on her good days.
Later, we found ourselves a small viking hut with a communal fire in the center and had some Pølser med lompe. That is a typical Norwegian meal of a grilled hot dog rolled in a thin wrap made of potatoes. Add a little ketchup and/or mustard and you, sir, are Norwegian as the letter O with a line through it: Ø.
That is why we came to Norway in the winter.