I am an environmentalist, that doesn’t mean I have to actually like every single environment in existence. I can appreciate the environment and it’s biodiversity but I am far from loving the tropical jungle and all itsy bitsy tiny creepy crawlers. Also, if I had to choose my favorite place in the world, it would always be close to the ocean and far from the mountains.This being said, Lillehammer is definitely a mountain place and one of these places that I will not revisit soon again. Don’t get me wrong, my trip was fun and the memories made were great but other than that, I definitely see no need for me to return, ever.
My master studies class and I went on a three day trip to Lillehammer, where we could learn about the local history and politics and what ever else there was to see and learn about. So, there is tons to see in Lillehammer, for instance Maihaugen. An outdoor museum where you get to see what mountain life was like some odd 200 years ago. Maihaugen was quite impressive, because it felt almost like walking back in history, quite astonishing indeed.
After Maihaugen we listened to a most singular presentation about why hunters in Norway should be allowed to eradicate all the wolves in the area. This presentation went on far too long for my taste, not only because the thought of this left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth but also because the clock was ticking way past 10 o’clock and if I am anything, I am an early sleeper (by this I mean 8 pm) and an early riser (by this I mean 5 am).
It is just part of my routine. Although I got to bed uber late for my standard, I still managed to get up at 5 am the next morning, while everyone (literally everyone in the entire city) was still asleep. And what to do, when you are somewhere in Lillehammer and everything is quiet? Why, you go for a walk in the woods.
And what does someone do, that is alone in the woods? And left their phone on the counter because they simply didn’t think of it. Oh why yes, get lost! (And yes, that’s what it looked like to me).
I’m not saying that one cannot get disorientated in the ocean, but somehow getting lost in the woods to me is a personal hell. It took me about 45 minutes to find my way back and I only found my way back because I followed the river stream downhill (thank you Bear Grylls for all your survival tips and tricks…).
By the time I made it back to the hotel, most of my classmates were still asleep. So I sat down at the breakfast table and tried to inhale as much caffeine as possible. On the plan for this day in Lillehammer was a trip to the national park, a mountain farm, a hike through the woods and then back to the hotel. I wish I could remember some important facts and figures but truth to be told, I was so tired, I barely could keep my eyes open during all kinds of presentation. But I did take some pictures…
Now, I must have not been the only person being sleep deprived because during our hike our group got split up in two and somehow the group I was in ended up being lost (and I swear I was not leading the group, I was in the back trying to convince myself that this hike was actually fun). We walked around aimlessly for quite a bit (not without taking obligatory group pictures) and tried calling the other group but the phone service was horrible and we only got busy signals.
But again, we followed Bear Grylls advice and followed the stream down to civilization (well, actually we just walked back the way we came until we eventually reached the bus, same thing).
The next morning was spend listening about wolf-politics in Norway (less talking about killing wolves and more talking about how to protect sheep) and although this subject sparked an interesting discussion within the group, we came to no further conclusion. Now, we couldn’t just walk around getting lost in the woods and learn about farmers and sheep and wolves and politics, we also how waste in this area of the country was managed. So that was our next stop.
The stench is still in my nose. But the tour was quite interesting. Not only because I watched hundreds of birds flock around the compost area wondering how many mice and rats they probably saw from high above.
After the waste management stopover we moved on to an energy farm where we learnt a lot about biodegradable energy resources and how we all could benefit more from keeping fossil fuel in the ground (if you want to find out more about that, I advice you to read this http://www.theguardian.com/environment/series/keep-it-in-the-ground).
So, yes. This was just a short story about things to do in Lillehammer, if you ever are in the area. I for one am going to use this weekend now to catch up on hours and hours of sleep and not getting lost. I think I got enough lost in the woods this week. And yes, this is me at 5 am in the morning, taking a selfie close to the woods.