Norway. A land renowned for its fjords, beautiful landscapes and skies that light up with stunning colours, but lesser known (or at least reported to me) are the massive array of ski slopes available for people of all skill levels. And I mean all levels. In January of this year, I received a message from a friend “want to come to my friend’s cabin on the slopes in Fidjeland for the weekend”. Now, I’m not the kind of person to pass up an opportunity and I’d never even seen snow before so this was an offer I was not willing to say no to. A few days later (I was already in Europe at this point so it’s not quite so radical as spontaneously flying from Australia) I board my Norwegian Oslo-bound flight and start psyching myself up for a weekend of very, very, very cold weather.
Fidjeland is about a 3-hour drive east from Stavanger, with an absolutely stunning countryside, those three hours won’t go amiss, that said, after an eight hour train ride, I slept through the drive there.
Having never even seen snow before, I probably looked like a slightly-crazed, wild-eyed child who had been given way too many sweets (speaking of sweets, the Norwegians have a type of cheese that is infused with Caramel and it is delicious).
The cabin we stayed in was so quintessentially Scandinavian, a pine cabin, covered in snow overlooking the mountains.
So now you’ve got a little bit of a back story. Time for the actual skiing! After you do all your equipment hiring it can definitely get quite expensive, fortunately, again, my friend came to the rescue with assorted ski apparel so all I needed to hire were boots and the skis, after that, it was about AU$50 for a half day pass and then you’re on the slopes. Being a complete novice, I was relegated (along with my friend’s sympathetic boyfriend) to the baby slope, where I competed with overly proficient toddlers for skiing space whilst the others rocketed down what may as well have been a vertical drop. Despite being on the baby slope, you do actually gain quite a lot of speed, and the feeling is exhilarating, zipping across the snow, the world feeling like it’s bending around you. It was a very addictive experience, one that pushed me into moving onto the intermediate hill (no more toddlers for me!). After my first attempt, in which I very nearly popped my knee out of its socket, I SUCCEEDED. Zipping side to side to manage your speed, the snow spraying from under you and just the velocity you reach on your descent. I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again. It’s a very addictive feeling.
Skiing is one of those things that people in Australia hear about but rarely get to actually experience, but after this, I would recommend that every single person reading this books a ticket to the nearest slope or at the very least puts it on their bucket list.