If somebody would like to come to Norway to give me a foot massage, you would be my best friend. I’ll even let you stay with me for free.
Everything hurts today, but my knees and ankles especially. I’m confident both knees will be completely covered in bruises tomorrow, but oh well.
You know why I don’t care? Because I went on a magical skiing adventure today, and it was an absolute blast. Completely worth all the bruises, aches, and pains.
First, let’s start with yesterday. I had class until 2, then I went out skiing. Near where I live, there are a bunch of ski trails. I have been on two general areas of trails–one area is lit, so you can ski on the trail at night, and it’s basically just a single trail going up the mountain. The other area is not lit, so you can only ski on it during the day unless you have inhuman eyes and can see extraordinarily well in the dark, and it basically is an entire network of trails that make their way all over the countryside of Oslo. The other day I finally went on the non-lit area of trails, and I absolutely loved it. For one thing, there are far fewer people on these trails than on the lit trail, and I love having options of where to go. The only problem is that I can only ski here during the day.
So anyways, here it gets dark around 4:30 PM. As soon as I got back from class I went outside, in order to have as much time to ski as possible.
Dear person above me:
Stop stomping around like an elephant or else I’m going to come up there to have a word with you.
Sincerely, your not pleased neighbor
Anyways, sorry for that interlude.
OKAY, AND NOW YOU’RE HAMMERING?! KNOCK IT OFF! SERIOUSLY.
Yesterday’s ski adventure was not that epic because I didn’t ski very far. I spent most of my time skiing (which was around 2 hours) going down some gentle slopes to practice how to steer and slow down while skiing downhill.
And, I figured it out.
I’m still not very good at the whole turning thing though–most of the time, I can only get one ski to cooperate, so that’s a bit of an issue. But at least I understand how to do it.
At the end of my practicing, I decided to ski down this steep hill (though it wasn’t a very long hill) which had previously scared the bejeezus out of me since it was steep and had a sharp turn at the bottom. I skiied down it, braking as hard as I could, and at the bottom managed to turn.
I DID IT.
I wanted to scream that out and throw my hands up into the air, but I was afraid any dramatic movements would send me crashing to the ground.
Still, an epic moment in the history of my life.
It was a little ruined by my nose taking that opportunity to relieve itself of all of its contents in the form of a dripping nose, but oh well. Not trying to win any beauty pageants here.
Then today was simply epic.
I started on a trail that led to Frognerseteren, which is on the top of the mountain and where I previously went sledging. I had to ski my way up the mountain which was fine, but I was a bit concerned about having to go back down it. Once I got to the top of the slope (I wasn’t all the way to Frognersetern yet, only to the top of one giant slope), I saw a little path leading towards Gaustad. I decided to head that way.
New favorite trail.
Seriously, it was basically off-road XC skiing without technically being off-road.
Huh? you ask.
Okay well, groomed XC ski trails have ski tracks cut into the snow. These are parallel grooves, one for each ski, that you put your skis in and ski on. It makes it a lot easier since you don’t need to worry about steering your skis, and plus you don’t have to try and forge your way through snow, which is very difficult. Most of the trails around here have wonderful ski tracks (although downhills don’t always have them, which is where things get very tricky since you actually need to be able to steer then).
However, the trail to Gaustad didn’t have ski tracks. There was a trail in the sense that the snow was packed down, you could see where to go, and it was obvious people had been walking/skiing along it. But there were no ski tracks. So, technically not off-road since it wasn’t like I had to forge my way through snow, but off-road in the sense that I had no ski tracks to use. Off-ski-track? Whatever.
That was one aspect of the trail that made it fun. It was also narrow and there was absolutely nobody on it. Plus there were mogul-like bumps all over the trail, which were absolutely hilarious to go over when going downhill. Terrifying yes, but so much fun. And man, were there a lot of downhill sections. Luckily they were the kind of downhill sections I like–a little steep, but not too long, so it’s not like you gain a terrifying amount of speed while going down.
I turned around when I reached a downhill section that looked a bit steep to me and made my way back to the trail at the top of the slope I had skiied up earlier. Luckily on this long downhill section there were tracks for almost the whole entirety of the slope. However, I didn’t use both of the tracks. See, it’s easiest to ski downhill when you can put one ski in a track (thus ensuring you won’t go flying off the side of the mountain) and keep one ski not in a track, which allows you to the turn the ski and brake with it. I did this, and only managed to fall four times! Three of those times were intentional falls to slow myself down since I was picking up too much speed. Intentional falls don’t hurt since you can just sit back and nicely fall onto your skis or on your side. The fourth time was unintentional though, and that one did hurt a bit.
It was funny though cause I went down the mountain fairly slowly, and a few Norwegians went flying past me. Show-offs.
I skiied around for a bit more, then practiced going downhill on the very bottom part of the mountain, since that part has no tracks and is hence more difficult to go down. The first two times I went down it without a hitch, but the third ended badly. On my third descent, I was at the bottom of the slope when I accidentally crossed my skis. I lost my balance and to try to catch myself, put my ski poles in front of me. I didn’t stop myself from falling though and fell quite dramatically, landing on top of my ski poles and twisting my skis under me. That one hurt. That one hurt a lot. The worst was that my knee and shin firmly connected with my ski pole, so they’ll be a lovely shade of purple tomorrow.
After that fall I decided I was going to quit the downhill sections for the day, so I just skiied on another path I hadn’t tried before then worked a bit on my skate skiing technique.
In total, I skiied today for three hours and fell thirteen times. The tenth fall, the one where I fell on my ski poles, was definitely the worst. But I can still walk, and that’s what is important.
Also, today I bought something called Kvikk Lunsj. It’s basically a Norwegian Kit Kat. It was quite delicious! It’s funny too because the chocolate has birds stamped into it. I first I thought they were flamingos, and I was like, what does a flamingo have to do with Norway…? A Google search told me that the birds are actually storks, which is the logo of Freia (Norwegian chocolate company which produces Kvikk Lunsj, they make FANTASTIC hot chocolate too by the way). The next time I eat one I’ll take a picture of the storks. I’ll also take a picture of my knees once they turn pretty colors.