Long before I started to run marathons, I was first – and always – a mountain hiker. Few things in the world can compete with the soothing solitude, the vast valeys and views, and the fresh air in the Norwegian mountains. This summer 2013 came to contain a pack of the best of my beloved second country.
As written in my July posts in 2009, 2010 and 2012, this hotel Dalster and its surroundings is a very, very special place for me. This year I managed to climb a few of the peaks nearby (Ruten and Sprengpiggen) and also tried something new, namely to ride on horse through these marvelous landscapes, to cut it short an absolutely fantastic and breathtaking experience ! Even this very day of writing I miss my white companion, Dari, of Åsli Ridecenter. Below you find a collection of the finest impressions from the Dalseter days 2013, click each picture to see in larger scale (opens in a new window/tab). In the horisonts you have the mountain chains Jotunheimen and Rondane, I have hiked a lot in these areas when I was younger. Pure love.
Jotunheimen and Besseggen
The perhaps most renowed hike in Norway is the airy climb over Besseggen, a quite demanding trip but still no harder that both kids and elderly can manage it within 8-10 hours. You sure feel walking in the footprints of Peer Gynt and in companionship with the Norwegian “mountain” poets such as Aasmund Olavsson Vinje and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (Nobel Prize Laureate 1903). Toss in some tunes of Grieg and the norwegain experience is total ! The trip is often done by taking the ferry from the nice hut Gjendesheim and thereafter walking back from Memurubu.
The Old Strynefjell Mountain Road and Videseter
The next experience was mainly in the car. I know what you might think. However, I am talking about the trip from Gjendesheim to Videseter passing through on the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road and in very rough and remote landscapes.
Aurland, The Nærøy Fjord and Gudvangen
The danish writer Karen Blixen made the mysterious Nærøy Fjord known through her poetry. The fjord has in recent times been added to the list of UNESCO Heritage sites and the nature is indeed as breathtaking as the pictures you see. We took the car ferry boat from Flåm to Gudvangen – passing lovely Aurland [in proximity of the incredible Aurlandsdalen], probably the most scenic fjord trip in Norway, possibly the world. We were not too lukcy with the weather, though, however, we still enjoyed coffee at the Stalheim Hotel with the spectacular view onto the Gudvangen Valley.
Haukeliseter, Hardangervidda and the meaning of Life
The last part of the trip was spend at Haukeliseter on Hardangervidda, another of the larger norwegian mountain areas. The weather was phenomenal and we managed to climb yet another peak. I have hiked in the norwegian mountains since I was 4 and days and landscapes like these bring me back to the thoughts and feelings I have had since I was that little reflective kid in the vast Nature. The intuitive feeling of the shortness of a human life span. The recognition of Nature and Life itself being so much bigger, richer and outlasting than a single individual, a community, an era in the civilization, even a geological era. So what is a Life ? It is just the days passing by, the feelings you have, the stuff you do. A human life has no real extension or span after we die, and to have a real Legacy is first of all not LIFE and secondly entirely an artificial construct based on the willingness of the hereafter. Basically, we human individuals will be remembered through two or three generations – at best – and will most likely be entirely forgotten after just 20-30 years after we die. This may sound depressing but it leaves an important point for how to live our life: DO NOT CARE ! Do you feel this or that, do you do this or that, are you rich or poor, skinny or a fat ass, nobody really cares. The important thing is that YOU care.
Unfortunately, we live in times where the media and the Internet may seduce us to think that all kinds of crap is “important” and will have “lasting effects” and what not, however, this line of thinking and living is hysteric and completely out of proportions if you ask me. No, the mountions and the Nature teach and reconnects us to the profound wisdom of living: The important thing is that you just live and let the days pass by, hopefully in happyness and with your loved ones around you, doing stuff you like. It is that simple.