From Gothenberg we took the train to Oslo – an afternoon’s journey making our way up the coastline and finally crossing the border into Norway.
It was almost sunset when we arrived and we were hungry so we grabbed pizza and wine at Peloton before getting an early night ready for New Year’s Eve on the slopes.
From the central station in Oslo its quick and easy to jump on a train to Oslo Winter Park, the perfect Winter Wonderland for a New Year’s Eve first for us both – a lesson in cross country skiing.
We’d booked a two hour lesson in the morning and hired gear from the centre, skis, poles and boots. Our lovely instructor got us all set up – I didn’t even know how to clip the boots into the skis or hold the poles – and took us onto the nursery slopes for some technique work. It wasn’t long before we were off the slopes and had found the forest trails though, perfect for practicing our shuffle and slide.
Two hours of gliding, pushing, falling, laughing and crying and we had found a little loop within the safety of the trees to explore. On the flat, it felt easy, using the slip of the skis and power from legs and arms to propel yourself in the narrow tracks.
As I’d never even skied before I found the downhills, even a slight descent, nerve-wracking and I didn’t grasp how to turn or really stop by myself while we were out. The adult fear – the fear I describe creeps up on you as you leave childhood and gain responsibilities – took over me and neither my brain or body wanted to pick up any kind of speed down a slope for fear of falling. Again. Getting up from a fall is also another new skill I didn’t master. Tricky when you have two long skis attached to your limbs, I felt like a flailing starfish in the snow.
At noon we thanked and said goodbye to our instructor, grabbed a hot drink and snack, and spent another few hours in the afternoon trying to improve and practice what we’d learnt. Snow sports have never been my thing and I don’t think cross country skiing will become a favourite any time soon – give me running any day – but I’m so glad we gave it a go.
We hopped back on the train to town, had hot showers and walked to find dinner at Middle Eastern-inspired The Kasbah. We were overwhelmed at the cosy vibes, almost living room-like, and ordered up the Meat Free Monday special, the vegan mezze. Perfect.
NYE at midnight was spent watching the city’s firework display from the Opera House on the harbour side and it was a lovely way to welcome in 2019!