Arriving at Oslo I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh air after being sat in the plane for a while. I had some free time at the airport to wait for my train, so I sat outside on a bench, taking in the vibes and the people of this new country. Once it was time for my train to depart, I got on, and found my seat. The people on the train were friendly, immediately trying to start a conversation, in Norwegian of course, but, once I told them I didn’t speak Norwegian we started speaking in English, they let me know where to look out the window so that I could see places of interest, what places to visit in Lillehammer, and so on. The view during the train ride was amazing, all nature, snow ice, water, green, I couldn’t really stop taking photos.
When I got to Lillehammer it was truly a winter wonderland covered in snow, I had time to grab a quick coffee and try something called Brown Cheese (on a waffle) before meeting up with the friends I was to be staying with. Brown Cheese is a caramel like cheese, unlike anything I’ve tried before, but if you know me, you’ve probably already guessed that I loved it… I mean cheese and caramel, rolled into one? That’s heaven on a plate.
My beautiful friend Kristin picked me up from the train station in a taxi and from there we headed to her girlfriend Silje’s house. A friend would later bring over a bed for me, which ended up in a trip to the grocery store for some dinner and a trip to his house to pick up some home made Rhubarb wine. I was excited and curious to try it, and I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. It was definitely one of my more favourite beverages during the trip.
The next day I went into town with Silje, the town centre already had some Christmas lights popping up, which added to the ‘Winter Wonderland’ atmosphere. We found a really nice place to grab a coffee called FIKA and after that, went shopping for an outfit for the dance party later that evening, I found a beautiful black dress, with see through detail and some bad ass boots then went with it perfectly.
I feel like there’s just so much else that I need to fit into this post that I apologise in advance for brevity but here’s a run down of some of the best of the rest of this trip:
Getting ready for the party involved a lot of fun, laughter, and girly chatter. It’s always enjoyable to spend that time with friends before a party.
At the party I got to try Akvavit, a traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner and was taught how to dance the Norwegian folk swing, which of course ended up with a lot more laughter as I tried to get my feet in the right place, I caught on fairly well after a while. But it was a lot of fun.
Hiking with Kristin and Silje in Lysgårdbakkene was incredible. We carried drinks and snacks with us in our pockets, and by the time we reached our stopping point, my drink was already turning into ice and the rice pudding I was carrying had a consistency of jelly. It really was that cold! But the view was breathtaking, especially as we reached the top at sunset!
I was taken on a trip to Maihaugen Museum which has an old world village and museum, it’s a look at Norway through the ages and most definitely worth a visit if you ever stop in the area. I took so many beautiful pictures of the village houses in the snow. You can even go inside the villages and sometimes they do reenactments!
A trip to the Felix Pub was an experience that will stay with me. It’s a cosy local pub where a lot of bands and musicians play and it’s got a bustling atmosphere. One thing I love about travelling and staying with locals (friends or otherwise), is that you get to find the local places that you’d otherwise overlook.
I was also lucky enough to get to experience some of the most amazing chocolate I’ve ever tasted at several places in Lillehammer. One worth mentioning is Ohlalla Sjokola & Kafe, the owner of which, it turns out, is Dutch! We ended up chatting in Dutch for a while and talking about life in Norway compared to The Netherlands. Another one is Atelier Kakao, where we stopped after spending the day in Maihaugen, the people there were extremely friendly and the chocolate was delicious! I ended up bringing Norwegian chocolate home with me, it didn’t last all that long though.
The geek in me loved the quiz at the Cafe Stift. Although I have to say it was interesting having the questions translated for me when I couldn’t understand them, but we did have one of the better teams, and it was a lot of fun.
On my last night in Lillehammer I went to the Christmas Lights ceremony where they lit the Christmas tree, and there was a parade through the city centre to the Square with Santa on a sleigh being pulled by horses. Kids in the parade were singing and carrying lights, oh AND all the stands from small business had free Glögg (the Norwegian mulled wine), although the non-alcoholic version, I love my mulled drinks! It was a fun evening and really cool experience filled with music! I even bought a bottle of Glögg home with me to share with friends over the Christmas period.
The trip was amazing, and I’d love to spend longer in Norway. Although next time, I think I’ll go in Summer, when I’m not dealing with weather that’s quite as cold. This Vixy Geek loves her sunshine and warmth, and -10C is not exactly warm, although there was some sun, and beautiful sunsets. It might’ve been cold in Norway but the people are incredibly warm. Always willing to lend a hand, give you a ride home, etc. definitely a trip that will stay with me for a long time.
Now on to the next adventure which will be nice and sunny, INDIA with Living Atman!