Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 21, 2019

Summer Adventure 2019 part 2

Arriving in Oslo, we headed for the railway station , which is only along the quayside from the ferry port. My knee continued to hurt – not when cycling but at rest – so we caught a local train up to Gjovik. We knew you are supposed to book in advance but had no problem getting on this local train. They don’t have as much room as a German train but still superior to the British trains we have used. After  two hours, with many stops but glorious scenery we arrived and were met by out lovely friend Kj who had ridden down to meet us.

Now when I say down, I mean quite literally down the hill, as all the houses are ont he hillside and the town is on the shores of lake Mjosa. When we arrived at what is becoming to feel like home, G already had the table laid for a delicious lunch.

Wednesday  19th June 2019

It was decided that the  three of us would have a short ride .  Kj explained that he is fine cycling but isnt now able to sleep in a tent and has to exercise every morning as he found out he has developed arthritis in his hips and lower spine. Let me let you, it certainly doesn’t slow him down once in the saddle!!

We rode up to lake Skumsjoen  which is about 925 feet above the town and when Kj got out of the saddle , I went into tour mode to keep up with him. What a beautiful, peaceful place. We boiled a kettle and had a drink , then fed the swans. Kj wanted to go back through the forest, but I couldn’t manage the rocks and tree roots , so we had to turn back and zoomed back down the road, past a quarry.

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After lunch , it was a visit to Eiktunet, a local heritage park so that we could eat waffles with jam and sour cream, a Norwegian favourite.

Thursday 20th June 2019

Kj had a meeting that morning , so despite a gloomy weather forecast , DH and I decided to go and explore ourselves. In town , we bought a local cycle map and followed it along the lake shore but it turned into an awful track , so we got off it at the first opportunity. We followed the way up to Brastad church, climbing all the way but the weather was quite miserable by now.

P1020917We followed a gravel road and then came to  a surfaced road which was surprisingly level and flattish for about 7 miles.

At Glaestad lake , we saw swimming places but on a day like today, we didn’t want to linger as the rain increased.

P1020913Here we turned left onto a beautiful new road that led us along to Vardal church which I recognised from our visit a couple of years ago, even though there is a new roundabout. Then a fast descent down to Eiktunet and the heritage park. I feel we need to support small places so of course we had to stop for apple cake and hot chocolate.

In the evening , we had a walk up to the local cemetery to see the grave of Harald, a friend of Kj’s who we have met a few times. He had lived with cancer for thirty years. It was a nice walk as the weather had faired up.

Friday 21st June 2019

We set off south out of Gjovik initially on cycle tracks no better than British ones but once out of town , they improved considerably and then we had a steep climb on a very minor road with stunning views.P1020941

 

 

We could see across to the island of Helgoya  with its bridge connecting to the mainland, and then down to Lena where we have been before. Kj then led us to Bilitt with its superb ice-cream shop. There were lots of school children there as a treat with their teachers, as it was the last day of the school year. They were very well behaved for small children.

Some had cycled there ( helmets on)  and they set off up the hill, and we passed some of them walking a bit later.

Saturday and Sunday were non-cycling days  but with plenty of socialising  and good food. I went swimming in the nearby open air swimming pool which is heated by the sun. there werent many actually in the water and a lady told me I was very brave and strong.

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We also went to a community concert with brass bands from as far away as Tronheim and there were 3 young ladies singing songs from the 1940’s and 50’s which were really good. I have to say the school brass bands were mostly impressive. What heartened me more was their support of each other – great “sportsmanship” if I can say that of bands.

 

On Sunday , they celebrated mid-summer with a bonfire and community  picnic up at Eiktunnet and it was all great fun.

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The bonfire was on a raft on the lake and as there was no alcohol , it was not rowdy. The Norwegians can only buy alcohol in special shops and it is very expensive, so it makes for much better family experiences.

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So we came to the end of our first week in Norway and had such a wonderful time.  Will write up the next part as soon as I can but things are really busy here at present. Taking 5 weeks away from work, makes things pile up.

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. That looks like a really good midsummer celebration. Several brass bands on the same day is a treat.


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