Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Home of the Giants

Driving out of Oslo early on Saturday morning, the city seem quiet...too quiet. I'm sure Saturday mornings are usually like that, but this particular day a sense of grief and mourning seemed to hang over the city and over those who we saw on the streets.


50 students and two young guides set off for Jotunheimen, a wilderness area several hours north of Oslo. The name translates as the Home of the Giants. During our hike I thought many times of the Big Friendly Giant created by Roald Dahl, who spent his childhood summers in Norway, emerging from the fog. The fog prevented us from seeing anything at the top, but made for a good hike nonetheless. On the way up and down we could see a network of small lakes with steep mountains on all sides. A few cabins and a herd of wild reindeer dotted the hills near the water. The only thing that could have possibly completed this picturesque scene would have been Ganldalf appearing over a hill in all of his glory.

We stayed at the Sjoa Rafting camp where a compound of teepees and grass-roofted buildings gave us a warm bed, delicious food cooked over an indoor grill, and a wood burning hot tub and sauna! We lived well on Saturday night!

Sunday was much of the same weather - fog, rain, cool temperatures. The rafting was absolutely incredible. The water was cold, but not unbearable and the guides let us jump out when it was calm and float down the river along side the boats. We stopped for lunch along the way and the guides had hot soup and bread for us. After lunch we went cliff jumping to get back down to the boats.

I'm not sure if this was covered in the release form

It was an incredibly relaxing weekend before returning to the final stretch of research, writing one lengthy paper/exam, and preparing for another.

This evening I interviewed over the phone with Keloland's Don Jorgenson about Norway's reaction to the events on Friday. Hopefully that interview will be online soon and imbedded on here. Tomorrow we meet with Barry White, US Ambassador to Norway.

To see pictures from our weekend in Jotunheimen, click here.

As usual, thanks for reading!

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