Friday afternoon we packed the kids into the car and headed north. The DVD player was at the ready, but the boys only managed one episode of SpongeBob before B boy had had enough and asked to have it turned off. Worried that he might be getting car sick again, I climbed into the back of the car (no easy feat in a small Golf!) and squeezed in between the boys. Benjamin put his head on my shoulder and promptly fell asleep.
The trip to the cottage can take anywhere from 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 and a half hours. On these single lane roads, a lot depends on sheer luck. Getting stuck behind a trailer or, worse, a farm vehicle, can easily add 30 minutes to your journey. Not a big deal, but with Benjamin's motion sickness, the less time in the car, the better.
Fortunately for us, the drive up was amazingly smooth. No traffic to speak of, and with both boys in a state of dozing-to-snoring, it was peaceful, too. The trip is just long enough to feel that you are really getting away from it all, and the views passing by outside the window never fail to entertain. The landscape changes gradually from rolling green hills to more mountainous terrain, from lush fields with grazing animals to rugged and rocky peaks which only the most agile mountain goat can climb. This time around, the fall colours added beautiful splashes of orange, red and brown to the vistas surrounding us.
Arriving in another car just 10 minutes later were my parents and the boys' cousins. The boys love spending time with their cousins, and were excited at the prospect of a whole weekend together.
The weather was markedly cooler in the mountains, so we dug out our fall clothes and made our way across the marsh to the fire pit we built a few years ago when the boys were much younger. This is Standard Operating Procedure at the cottage. The fire pit is not a long walk walk from our cottage, and if the kids had their way, we would have all our meals there. They love it, because they get to help light the fire, look for sticks to use to grill whatever food we may have at the ready, and generally play around jumping from rock to rock.
Nightfall comes quickly in Norway these days, and Friday was no exception. From our altitude, however, it was a spectacular sunset, as we watched the sun set behind peaks of snow-clad mountains in the distance. My little nephew commented that it looked as if the world was on fire. It truly did.