Saturday, January 21, 2012


In Norway, it is illegal not to love skiing. It's that time of year again, where the children have their ski courses to be properly indoctrinated into this mandatory Norwegian activity. Anna is enrolled in cross-country, and Peter is taking snowboarding.

It was some kind of miracle that we were able to find all of the equipment after the move. We found a pair of skis the perfect size for Anna, her ski poles, and a pair of boots that are a little too big. Peter's snowboarding boots which were a bit too big for him last year are now the exact right size. We managed to borrow a helmet from some neighbors. All equipment gathered, nothing extra to buy!

On the way to Bymarka, we stopped off at the grocery store to get hotdogs, buns, marshmallows, chocolate and tangerines. The dogs and marshmallows are for roasting after skiing, and a pocketful of chocolate and an orange are traditional Norwegian snacks for while out skiing.

We arrived at Skistua just in time; the parking lot filled completely 3 minutes after we parked. A lot of kids take these courses here in the winter. There are 50 or so groups of 10, and there are two periods in which courses are given, so there are at least 1000 kids enrolled.

Unfortunately, Anna's class is in the morning and Peter's in the afternoon, so I was prepared for a full day out here. After getting Anna to her group Peter and I set off to find a slope to practice. He hadn't been snowboarding since last winter and wanted to be ready. The wind was cold and biting, and I was glad I wore a hat with ear protectors and a scarf. We practiced until he hit a tree – ouch! We then decided to take a break inside the lodge for cinnamon rolls and hot drinks.

After Anna's class, we met friends for grilling hot dogs and marshmallows. Anna couldn't wait to get back on her skis and eagerly set off with her friends after lunch. Peter practiced some more, and then nervously joined his group. He wasn't sure he up to snuff for the intermediate group, but after the class he was all smiles and ready to come back tomorrow.

It was long day out in the cold, but the kids loved it. Tomorrow we'll do some ride-sharing with friends.

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