It’s been a while since I last blogged, and a lot as happened in that time, including travel. In the summer, we spent 3 weeks in Lombok and Sumbawa, my first experience of Indo and something I’m yet to write about; partly because whilst we were there, the area suffered 2 devastating earthquakes and it didn’t feel write to write about our luxurious stay, but I promise I will come back to that soon.
Once back in the UK, it was all change. Ollie’s new role has seen him move to Norway for the next 2 years, a fantastic opportunity but also a massive step change in our day to day lives which also saw me buy a house in Bristol – and anyone that’s been through that process will know it eats up a lot of your time and energy! We also spent a week in Portugal the week before Christmas; something that’s started to become a norm for us. However, having spent an awesome weekend exploring a new area of Norway, it’s time to start sharing again.
I’ve been out to visit a few times since September and we have so far managed to explore a number of areas local to Stavanger; the fourth largest city and metropolitan area in Norway, located on the south-west coast (about 8 hours from Oslo). It’s a popular expat city, home to a NATO base and many oil & gas companies, pulling in people from all over including the UK and USA.
The area is a-typical ‘postcard’ Norwegian. Home for the next 2 years is located on the crystal clear waters of a fjord, overlooked by local snow-capped mountains in the winter. And even if it’s wet and cold, there’s so much to explore.
This weekend, we joined a work organised day ski-trip to Sauda Ski centre. Up before the crack of dawn, we boarded the ‘skibat‘ ferry from Stavanger city-centre and enjoyed a 2 hour trip across the Fjord to Sauda. The Ferry trip alone was worth the journey, providing delightful views of the sun rising over the snowcapped mountains.
The windchill on the top deck however, was out of this world! No layers would keep you warm for long up there, with fingers turning to icicles trying to take photos with the phone.
After pulling alongside in Sauda, we hopped on a bus for a 10 minute trip up the snow-cleared mountain to the ski centre. Here, we both hired snowboards for the day (approximately £40 for board and boots for the day, and lift pass £30; which for Norway isn’t bad). The ski centre features 1 baby slope, 2 beginner runs with button lift, with the rest of the area accessed with a couple of long and steep T-bar lifts. There’s also plenty of cross-country ski routes for the hardy too.
Not brave enough to try the T-bar on a snowboard (button is hard enough!), we stuck to the lower slopes, which included a nice meandering slope allowing for some speedy carving and messing around.
On the slopes by 11, with an hour for lunch in the cafe (which also provides facilities to bring your own food), we had a decent 4-5 hours on the snow before jumping back on the bus to head home; a novelty to be able to ski for just a day. With the early start and exerting day, it was hard to not climb into bed before 9pm!
At the end of the month, we’re heading to Hovden for a week of snow activities, where we’ll also be learning to alpine and cross country ski. But for now, I’m going to go and rest my aching body!