It finally snowed for the first time since I have been here and was just enough to do some skiing. This morning I set out with Rebecca (Danish roomie) to rent some skiis from the student association. They have many XC skiis, down hill skiis, snowboards and camping equipment for students to rent for a deposit that we get back. We went to “Folkenparken” (people-park), which is a 20-minute walk from where I live. It is a huge gorgeous municipal park with small lakes and several trails for skiing and walking. It is also near the Harstad Skiklubb where there is a huge Olympic sized ski jump and close to the horse race track. This was really the first time I spent in the outdoors since I have been here and it really made me feel like I was home in Canada; we had a fantastic day! We were outside skiing around a lake trail for about 2.5 + hours. The view was fantastic with mountains all around; at one point we could even see the ocean!
Before coming to Norway I had a limited view of what the country and its people were like; the one generalization I had was that Norwegians are a people of winter sports, especially cross country skiing. In Edmonton, I worked at a camping store and during the winters worked primarily in the ski shop, selling and maintaining XC skiis. Prior to that, I worked at a winter camp in Quebec teaching children to XC ski and most recently I did some skiing when I was living in PG. There was something about skiing today, in Norway, the birthplace of skiing that was surreal and more thrilling then skiing has been for me before. I really think that Ill be filling up my free time with XC skiing from now one because it is fantastic exercise, a great excuse to spend time outside, it is free and best of all, I feel great doing it! However, I know that tomorrow will be a painful day because today I used muscles that I hadn't used since last winter but it will have been well worth it! I have a free day tomorrow, so who knows, maybe Ill hit up the trails again!
Anyways, it was a fantastic day that ended with a delicious and well-deserved cup of hot chocolate.