Most of my British friends have been moaning about this never-ending winter and are desperately awaiting Spring but – whisper it – I’ve had a blast during the colder months this year. You simply can’t beat winter in Norway. All my Norwegian friends are desperate for the season not to end – so they can squeeze in just one more skiing trip.
I’ve been home a lot recently and have been hanging out in my friend’s rustic ski lodge at Hovden, Setesdalen. This is because of my new favourite hobby – ski touring (the French call it randonnée). It’s basically off-piste skiing without ski lifts – so you hike up a mountain and then ski back down. (You wear special flexible boots and a non-slip attachment on your skis that allow you walk.) It’s a huge trend in Norway right now. And yes it’s as tiring as it sounds but you feel like the king of the world once you’ve climbed a mountain, believe me! To be honest, I’m pretty average at it but practise makes perfect, right? Next winter, I’ve got Lyngen Alps or Lofoten Island in my sights – they have the most insanely beautiful scenery, with breath-taking views of the north coast of Norway. Where else can you go straight from the mountain to the sea?