The weather was pretty good on Saturday. The temperatures hovered around freezing when we got up, but rose to a balmy 5 degrees by the time we set off. The cloud cover looked to be high enough not to be a concern, although lower clouds did seem to blow in and out at a rapid pace.
Lauvdalsbrea is the peak to the far left
We had to drive a bit to get to the foot of the mountain, and as we got out of the car, we realized just how windy the morning was. The cottage is somewhat sheltered from the elements, but out in the open the wind gusts were surprisingly strong.
Christopher, Joakim, Mike and I
My favourite picture of the day is the one below of Christopher and Joakim taking a break on the way up. I love their rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes. In the background you can see towards Hemsedal, a famous ski resort in Norway. This picture gives a good impression of just how cool the day was, and how barren and harsh the landscape is in the Norwegian mountains. And yes, the white stuff is snow.
We'd been taken aback by the windy conditions at the foot of the mountain, but were even more surprised by the gusts at the top. Here's my dad braving the elements, as the rest of us enjoyed our hot chocolate while taking shelter behind one of the cairns built to show the way.
Upon descending, we picked a slightly different route, and it turned out to be a fair bit rockier. I am not ashamed to admit I was down on all four occasionally, in order not to slip on the wet and icy rocks and break a limb.
Mike and Joakim on one of the larger rocks
Here I am in all my elegance...
...and can I just say it seemed a lot harder at the time than this picture indicates!
There is something innately serene and calming about walking in the mountains. I have to be vigilant and concentrate at all times, to not put a foot wrong and slip and possibly hurt myself. By focusing 100% on the present, I forget about those pesky little problems that often seem to be nagging at the back of my mind.
I look around at the mountains and marvel that they've been there for centuries, and will be there for centuries to come. My issues and anxieties become insignificant and melt away in the presence of such stoic tranquility. It is such a peaceful experience, with the added bonus of giving my body a bit of a workout.
Returning from the hike, I felt like I'd used my body and mind the way they were meant to be used. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.