Easter may have just become my favorite holiday. Here in Norway we have several days off from work, it is expected that people go skiing, and chocolate is plentiful! From my observations, Easter in Norway isn’t all the much about the religious holiday, but instead about spending time with family and out in nature (many Norwegians travel to their cabins for the long Easter weekend).
My official Easter holiday (paid holiday time) was from noon on Wednesday through Monday, but since there were no classes that entire week before Easter, I (as well as many others) took the first half of the week off too. That meant 10 glorious days of vacation!
The original plan was to spend Easter in skiing in Lofoten, but when the weather forecast looked a bit iffy in Lofoten and brilliantly sunny in mid-Norway, we decided to have a change of plan and head to the Sunnfjord region. It was a really great decision, not only because the weather, but because the avalanche danger in Lofoten ended up being very high all week.
The first half of our trip was based out of Skei in Sogn og Fjordane. I managed to knock out 3 ski tours in the 4 days that we were there (others did a 4th tour while I took a rest day). As forecasted, the weather was incredible, and the snow wasn’t half bad either.
Blåfjellet, take 1
Our first tour was up Blåfjellet, one of many Blåfjellets in Norway (seriously, we found over 10 mountains of the same name on one map!).
From the top we had a view of Sognefjord, Norway’s biggest fjord (and the 3rd biggest fjord in the world). And mountains all around. It was a great tour to kick off the trip.
Tour #2 was actually a bit of a bust. It was flat, flat, and more flat. At least the sun was out – not a cloud in sight!
Then there was some up. But half of our group decided to bail (my half) – being unsure about the terrain and conditions. We got to ski a few really great turns on the way back down, and then back to the flats… But the others who continued on found some less than stellar snow conditions so it isn’t like we missed much.
Blåfjellet, take 2
On ski trip 3 our group split. I wasn’t too keen on more flats to reach an area that I wasn’t quite sure about so I went back to Blåfjellet. During the few days that had passed since out last visit there had obviously been quite a few skiers out on the mountain. But we were still able to get some great snow on the way down. Undoubtedly the best of the trip.
It was a leisurely tour. We went up the same way as the time before, took a nap in the sun during out lunch break (only thing that beats out sun on a ski tour is sun and no wind!), and then decided skip the actual summit of the mountain and head to a face that we had been eyeing last time.
It was really fun, rolling terrain. And there was plenty of deep, fresh snow. Another day of great skiing in the books!
Each evening after skiing we came home to cold beer and great food. One of the others on the trip manages a cafe and put her skills to work, planning out delicious and easy dinners for the whole trip.. Planning (and buying) meals for 8 people for 10 days isn’t easy and she did an incredible job!
On Wednesday we moved on from Skei and headed towards Stryn where we had a whole new set of mountains to enjoy – including my favorite tour of the whole trip!
Easter holiday 2013 to be continued…