Hiking to Kolsås

This past Monday, Diana and I went on another date where hiked to the wetop of Kolsåstoppen, a beautiful mountain about 15 minutes away from our house by bus, which gave us beautiful views of all of Bærum (our commune/county), and Oslo.

Here are some photos from our trip:

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We thought it was neat that this hike (or at least the sign) is sponsored by Kvikk Lunch, the Norwegian Kit Kat.
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This was also our first chance to test our the hiking poles I got for a Christmas present—they make such a difference, but I also felt deeply inadequate as 70 year old Norwegians in tennis shoes just seemed to dance by us in the steeper sections of the hike.
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Our apartment is generally in this direction. You can see the Oslofjord in the background, too.
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Here’s a beautiful mountain lake we came to on the hike. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the water was crystal clear.
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Another view of the lake, with Nodre Kolsas in the background.
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Closer to the top of of Søndre Kolsas.
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Our view for lunch.
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A Hytta along on the trip back. This one serves waffles on Sundays. Too bad we were climbing on a Monday.
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A really cool mushroom we saw along the trail.
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There were a number of electric fence crossings near the end of the trail, but at each point, with these little step ladders to help facilitate the crossing.

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And today, our DNT cabin key arrived. I’m still pretty amazed that if you pay about 100 kroner, the DNT will send you a key that will open any of the hundreds of cabins all across Norway, and trust you to just leave money for any food you eat (in the cabins that are stocked with food) or to pay when you spend the night.

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First Family Hike in Norway: Sæteren Gård

After checking out Stæteren Gård on on Friday, we were excited to share take Maddie and Ada on the same hike. But we were also nervous; though they’ve gotten much better at walking long distances in the past month, hiking isn’t something that I would say is a top five thing they wanted to do on a weekend.

We told them about the giant chest of toys that awaited them at the cabin and the end of the hike, and asked them what it would take to get them up the hill. Their consensus—candy, specifically, lollipops and chocolate.

Ada decided that candy gave her energy, and it made for a pretty entertaining hike. Here she is taking off after a couple of licks of her lolly pop.

Later in the day, Ada discovered that a pretty red rock gave her energy too. So, she put a rock in her mouth and ran up the hill to our cabin.

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But in the end, Ada’s energy ran out, and as was to be expected, we ended up with a toddler on our shoulders.

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Still, the whole hike took just over an hour, and we arrived at Sæteren Gård in plenty of time to get some ice cream sandwiches before the cafe closed, and then took to exploring the cabin.

Here were are opening the giant toy chest:

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And checking out the sleeping loft.
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Right outside the cabin was a wonderful low ropes course, which Ada and Maddie enjoyed tremendously (Ada more than Maddie).

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Soon it was time to start dinner, and so we lit some candles

The name of our cabin is Envetyrhytta, which translates to Adventure Lodge.

The toy box had all the major fairy tales covered. Here are the Billy Goats Gruff, with hand carved goats, and an adorable troll with button eyes.

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Red riding hood and the big bad wolf are deep in conversation.

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If you’re interested, here’s an outtake from the Red Riding Hood puppet show Ada and Maddie put on.

The Princess and the Pea. The pea was a rock Ada found outside the cabin.

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Again, I’m amazed by how much Norway seems to understand the needs of children and accommodates their needs. I’m sure there are nice huts to be found in New Zealand, and even along the Appalacian Trail, but I don’t think any of them would be stocked with half a dozen fairy tales’ worth of dolls and puppets.

Though our cabin didn’t have running water or electricity, it had a ton of charm, one cute troll, and six bird houses on the front, including one very large owl house. Here are a few more photos.

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Maddie swears this owl coat hook was in her classroom in last year.

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This whimsical mural was on the wall.
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Maddie’s entry in the guest book

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The next day, Ada went back to play a bit more on the ropes course.

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And then it was time to make our way back home.

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Here’s to camping out at many more hyttes this year, and seeing what they are like in the winter.

A day without kids—a perfect time for a hike

Friday was the first day that both Maddie and Ada had school all day, and so it was the first day I can really remember that Diana and I had a day completely to ourselves. We decided to make the most of it and go on a hike that is just a few kilometers from our house.

Sætereren Gård is a farm owned by DNT, the Norwegian Trekking association, a gentle 2km uphill hike from a bus stop that is 4 stops away from our apartment.

Here are some photos from the hike—it was a near perfect day for a hike.

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Some scenery on the way to our hike.

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The arboretum at the start of our hike.
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It turns out that there are cabins (Hytter) available for rental all over Norway. Here is a poster of all the DNT cottages available for rental in the area.
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We liked this walk so much that we decided we would bring the girls back here on the following day, so we rented this cabin for Saturday night.

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Lunch!
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A lovely waterfall we saw on the way back.
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A huge slug in the middle of the trail.

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You can see almost all the way to fjord from the trail.
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