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Brian’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 01 Apr 2007

Location: Meldal, Norway

MapMeldal, Norway, just south of Trondheim, the land of Milk and Honey. No seriously, Ola's sister and brother in-law run a dairy farm and I got to drink unpasteurized milk right from the teet! Well, not the teet, but right after it was filtered and chilled. Delicious!

Almost every Norwegian family has their main home as well as a cottage to vacate to at all times of the year. But, there are no roads that lead to these cottages, nor are there any power lines. So, we drove into the mountains and met a snow mobile to take us up to the cottage. The snowmobile only had room for me and the driver which meant Ola had to be towed by a rope on cross country skis to the cottage. The only real way in is to hike or ski. Not everyone is allowed to own a snowmobile so you have to hire one like a taxi if you dont want to hike or ski. It was about 6km to the cottage which was absolutely silent. You could hear your heart beat while watching the sun set as you sit on the deck. Not even a bird or a slight breeze interrupted the tranquil mountainsides.

The next day we got up early and cross country skiied to a pond about 2km away for some ice fishing. Cross country skiing is infinitely more difficult than downhill skiing. I didn't so much ski as I did just fall over a lot. It was very hot on the ice with all the reflection from the sun and absolutely no breeze. Beautiful, but some how sitting in the snow with no shirt on was still too hot. We caught nothing. Not even so much as a bite, so we left the rods in the water overnight, skiied home and sledded down some 80 degree hills.

The next morning, even with the rods left in the pond overnight, we still caught nothing. It was time to head back down the 6km to the road at the base of the mountain. No snowmobile for they way home so we were skiing the whole way - well, Ola was skiing. I was busy falling continuously and leaving some blood on the ice. Basically, I had to point my skis and aim for a part of the mountain that started to slope back up, otherwise the only way I could stop was to fall over. Six kilometers never felt so long.

I feel like I got a true Norwegian experience eating four times a day (including eating some moose), tearing down trees with an axe, snowmobiling, 'skiing', and skeet shooting. I'm sure Ola and I were an interesting sight with his shotgun strapped to his back as the two of us tore up the side of a mountain to go shoot some clay pigeons. By the way, the only ones I hit were the ones that landed on the ground.

That is pretty much the end of it. I have a layover in Amsterdam and then I will be back in Atlanta. I will miss brown cheese and waffles.