Our first night in the tent wasn’t as bad as expected, so we were in good mood when we provisionary packed our stuff into Robin’s A-Class. The goal was to reach our cottage in Åndalsnes by dusk, but before we had to master a kajak tour including the ascent of a glacier.
While we were still brushing our teeth in the parking lot of the visitors center, our two guides from Icetroll Tours were already introducing themselves to the group. We may have expected true northmen, but were nevertheless completely happy with Mike from New Zealand and Diego from Argentina, who were both extremely kind and welcoming towards us. Plus Diego looked like a young Bruce Springsteen to me.
In a column of half a dozen cars we drove towards the lake Styggevatnet which belongs to the huge Jostedalsbreen glacier. In a snowy landscape we and the rest of the group of around 15 people squeezed ourselves into shiny kajaks and while Robin and I where literally in the same boat for the next few hours, Matti had the honour to share a kajak with Diego Springsteen. Therefore he was immediately top of the group ranking since he was now involved in the important task of leading the way and breaking the ice on the still half-frozen lake.
Like this we mastered the six kilometers, sometimes rapidly quick, sometimes depressingly slow, since naturally not all members of the group had the same skills in conquering the ice. So you can actually get stuck in traffic, even in a remote land like Norway.
As we reached the glacier everyone is taking a minute for themselves, just standing there in awe, starring at the majestical beauty yet so fleeting fragility of the ice. A couple of times there were pieces of ice falling off the glacier and into the lake. After a short break we were equipped with spikes, axes and a rope and the probably a little bit more dangerous part of our glacier adventure began.
Unfortunately not all participants of the expedition understood the importance of the security guidelines while standing at a 600 meter deep crevice of ice. They would rather stand like a donkey on the rope, risking their life and the life of everyone else. Anyway, we all survived and got a breathttaking impression of this protection deserving wonders of nature. The only creatures we saw were some lemmings, which were on their way of becoming part of the eternal ice.
The way back over the glacier lake wasn’t any less tiring than the first time, many parts of the passages we broke into the ice were already gone again. Even though some had to trigger their last power reserves everyone made it back safe and dry. Except me. I managed to get a sleeveful of finest icecold glacier lake water on my last stroke of the day. Luckily there were heater and warm clothes waiting for us in the Mercedes.
Back on the road we pushed the A-Class to its extremes. When we tortured it all the way up to Jotunheimen, the highest mountains of the country, the car really began to stink and breath stertorously, so I already made up my mind how we could survive up here in the cold in case it took its final breath. But our loyal friend didn’t back down so we even allowed ourselves a quick group picture in icecold heights.
For the next few hours there was just an endless straight road alongside unbelievable fjords. From time to time we stopped for a photo and once we were even forced to do so, when a moose nearly ran into our car. Who would have believed that I was about to see my first moose in Norway instead of my beloved Sweden?
As dusk finally arrived with a bombastic sunset I was rotated onto the driver’s seat. And what can I say, driving in Norway is super easy and can also be a lot of fun. But not when you are cruising completely tired through the dark night. To fight the heavy eyelids I played my All Time Favourites-playlist on Spotify and Matti was a real frind, singing along with me through most of the songs while Robin got his well derserved sleep in the back seat.
Like this I succeded and brought us safe to our cottage which we reached far after midnight. After a long day we just had a quick look around the house and then fell into our beds. I couldn’t think of anything else, I just wanted a place to rest my head.