Unlike in the US, Easter is a HUGE thing in Norway! The majority of my office had already taken off the entire week and headed to places in Spain, Bali, or their family cabins last Friday. Needless to say the office was very quiet this week. On Wednesday we had a half day, and when I got to work there wasn’t a single soul in there! By 2pm I was on a train with Rasmus headed to the mountainous central Norway where his family has a cabin.
The train ride was beautiful. We passed by rivers and Lake Mjosa, edged by quintessential Norwegian farm houses nestled on hill tops. At one point we actually went past two riders atop Friesian horses galloping up a hillside. Does it get any cooler than that?
After four hours on the train we arrived at Dovre. A well-known skiing area and national park in central Norway. My father in law, Gunnar, picked up us in his very cool Lexus and sped us up the mountainside. It was snowing lightly when we got off the train. As we wound up and up the steep hills the snow got thicker and the air colder. I could tell we were getting close to the cabin!
We pulled into the driveway and made our way inside. We were greeted joyfully by my mother in law Liv Guri. The house was warm, with the smell of a delicious dinner roasting. The cabin was well decorated as always and full of joy. As we made our way in we were greeted by Rasmus’s brother Lars-Kristian and his wife Caroline, as well as their two beautiful daughters.
The cabin is new and has all modern amenities like a full kitchen, full bathrooms, a sauna, heat, flat-screen tv, and wifi. The ambiance is much of what you dream a log cabin will be like, authentic wood carved furniture, thick wool fabrics, sheepskins laying about, many candles, rustic light fixtures, a wood burning stove, and traditional Scandinavian blue cabinets and doors. We unpacked our bags in the upstairs loft bedroom and met everyone downstairs for a candlelit dinner. When the kids went to sleep we all took part in a lively quiz game of Etterpåklok, which Rasmus won.
The next morning, Thursday, we woke up and headed downstairs for breakfast. Liv Guri had set the table with spreads of deli meats, cheeses, breads, and jucies, and Caroline helped her.
After breakfast, Rasmus and I went outside to begin our first ski. It was snowing quite heavily and the snow was fluffy, so several of the others stayed back. Rasmus and I had a great time, I brought knee pads this year to help break my falls (I was quite beaten up last Easter!), and they really helped. My skiing was going so well, I was gliding along and tackling many steep downhills, all which end with sharp turns. The thick snow was in my favor.
Rasmus and I stopped for lunch after skiing about 3.5k. We had packed ham and cheese sandwiches, and he brought along a thermos of water and hot cocoa packets. Hot cocoa, while sitting on skis in the snow? Perfect. It was so much fun. We then had a little snowball throwing contest and joked around a lot. I felt so great that I was redeeming myself of the skis this year!
When we got back to the cabin, after skiing 7k, I was exhausted. But it felt great. All of us sat outside around a fire and drank wine, ate hot dogs and other yummy snacks, and took some great photos. Lars-Kristian is an amazing photographer and sat with me for about an hour helping teach me the manual settings and techniques, he also helped me with some of the editing software showing me how to adjust lighting and things! Lars-Kristian is so cool and I loved spending time with him.
When we went inside I got to spend some quality time with my niece Nelia. She is an absolute angel and is so sweet. I was nervous about speaking English to her, because last year when she was younger she didn’t speak as much Norwegian – this year she’s fully fluent, and I was afraid I’d scare her with my language! But her parents explained to her that I spoke English, asked her to say some of her words in English, and she was so sweet about it. I ended up practicing a lot of Norwegian with her, and learning all about her dolls and TV shows. She didn’t care at all when I replied in English. It was so nice getting to spend more time with her. Supert!
That night for dinner we had our “Easter dinner” even though this would normally be on Saturday, Liv Guri wanted us all to celebrate together because the others would be leaving on Friday. She cooked two lamb roasts, a large variety of other things to go along with it, and lots of wine! We had an amazing meal, followed by the fun game of Ryktet går into the late evening.
Some iphone photos below of our first ski out! Me in my brand new gear 🙂 The photo of Rasmus and Lars-Kristian was taken with my Canon Rebel, and using Lars’s fancy flash.