Last weekend I went on a longer road trip to visit a childhood friend of mine, who now lives in Western Norway. The hours on the road ran away and darkness fell, so I decided to stop along the way. I ended up spending the night at Haukeliseter mountain lodge.
It is about six hours to drive from where I live to my friend, with a stunningly gorgeous scenery along the way – everything from majestic mountains, the deep dark woods and not least several beautiful lakes and canals. Thus, it is perhaps not surprising that I took my time when I was driving. Longer journeys I see in general also as a form of therapy, I relax well and often comes the creative thoughts while I sit behind the wheel.
I arrived at Haukelister relatively late, it was 10 minutes left until the dinner buffet closed and almost no people to see any place. I’ve never been there before, so I spent some time trying to figure out where I was supposed to check in – I was often distracted by the incredibly beautiful starry sky that simply was not to avoid. Later I found out that they were undergoing renovations, or at least that the reception was, therefore, they used a smaller temporary cabin for check in. I also managed to get me some dinner – despite the fact that I was both slow and buzzing, the kind waitress had let the buffet stand a little longer so that I could get some food. I ate a lovely chicken soup while enjoying the cozy cabin atmosphere.
My room was cold. And I mean freezing cold. I slept with two woolen sweaters, trousers, wool socks, a woolen blanket and a duvet – yet I woke up several times. Unfortunately, the front desk had closed when I first realized how cold my room really was, therefore there was nothing I could do with the matter. It’s pretty bad when you know you’re going to catch a cold of lying there freezing – however when I opened the curtains the next day and saw Haukeliseter’s view in all its glory, I forgot all about the previous night. It felt like I was surrounded by mountain peaks, all with snow so clear, and a few hundred meters from my room there was a small lake. You think I was excited to see the lake? My body was still cold, but now I had impulsively decided to go swimming.
I wore several layers of wool as I strolled in for breakfast. There were only two other visitors enoying their breakfast that morning, and they were happily conversing with each other. As I sat there, I could not watch much other than the majestic views – the room we sat in was dominated by large windows that let nature come in, and trust me that was an experience in itself. I tried a long time to get the heat going throughout my body, how many cups of tea I drank that morning I do not know – and I am pretty sure I looked like a tourist as well as I had wrapped myself in so many woolen clothes; I really wanted to swim and had little desire getting sick doing it. It’s a pretty bad idea to ice bathe when you know that your body is cold, but don’t you think I ended up doing it anyway.
While taking my time at the breakfast table I started talking to an incredibly nice lady, she turned out to be a hobby photographer and offered to snap some photos of me while I was bathing. She found it exciting that I was going to swim in the freezing lake, it was an experience for both of us. Furthermore, I also tested the sauna at Haukeliseter, which has a panoramic window straight out to the water.
I felt taken care of when I checked out, and got deductions on the price because my room was so cold – it appeared that the staff had forgotten to turn on the heater.
I left Haukeliseter with a good feeling in both body and mind, full of energy and positive thoughts. Despite the fact that the night had been so icy cold I had gotten myself a real warm adventure.