travel diary [norwegian cabin trip 2009]

it's a calm 0c outside the bus. there's a blanket of mist creeping across the lake, whisping up into air, in some places right up the edge of the water to obscure the whole beautiful view into nothing but a glowing ball of yellow light just above the horizon. so no more endless pine trees and snow topped mountains off into the distance, just the gushing waterfall pushing fine droplets of water onto the bus's windows. the jagged cliff rushing by.

the cabin's colder inside than outside. western doors propper open to the warmth of the setting sun. we start the pump and have water until it starts backing up from the frozen drain, covering the bathroom floor. we melt snow on the hob, stoke the fire, put a pizza in the oven, fill the kitchen with wood smoke. cosy and snug, listening to motorpsycho.

the next morning it's 2c outside. it's not cold. yesterday was all piercing colours. melted into powder blue in the evening as the sun broke below the horizon, sometime around 3pm. this morning everything from the pinnacle of the sky to the ground beneath my feet is all one colour. a hundred shades of greyscale. we weren't expecting masses of snow up here. not this early in the year. walks up the mountain have become slightly more troublesome, will have to wait until a day with more promising weather.

now it's started to rain. julie is building a fire. backgammon and card games. foreign scrabble with impossible alphabet distributions, further hindered by the fact that danish and norwegian use many short words.

woolen ponchos infront of the open fire. homemade mulled wine. roast dinner.

julie on skies and me armed with snowshoes, we slide and trample our way upwards. the mountain will be conquered. too many times now has it gazed down on me and my feeble attempts in the snow. laughing a low rumble as i broke my arm at its feet. disdain as i struggle to stay in the ski tracks. today there's glorious sunshine on our side, a dark cloud menacing in the south that's not. we took the long route around the lake, saw a hare jumping through the snow. drank some hot chocolate. and the summit was europhoric. a screaming wind intent on removing everything from the peak, stealing your words as they leave your mouth. it was no picnic spot.

the last day and the last walk, shutting down the cabin and descending to the bus stop. views incredible. a wall of cloud resting in the valley. whisps of moisture cupped by air currents and temperature differentials. like a solid traversable block between us and the tips of the mountains across the void. i was excited at the prospect of going through it, memories of the last time we did this walk, having to resort to hitch-hiking, but as we descend we slip underneath it. rewarded with awesome views of the whole valley, the swollen river, frozen at the edges, and so many monochrome trees.

soon we're back on the bus to oslo, with less than a meter's distance between me and a terrifying drop down the jagged cliff into the gusing river below. flashbacks from morocco when i was nine years old, the day long bus ride to zagora through the anti-atlas mountain range. and now i remember why we always sit on the left side of the bus.

were not wasting paper [or grammar]
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