26 August 2011

Mountain Life in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway

The air seems a little cooler now; the skies are a little greyer. Summer in Norway ends abruptly, and with it comes the promise of those crisp autumnal days, where vast swathes of the landscape start to turn beautiful shades of crimson, russet, and gold. So before it gets too cold, the Nibbler family decided to take a little road trip to the glorious Oppland mountains deep in the heart of Norway.

Mrs. Nibbler's family come from Gudbrandsdalen, specifically the area around Vinstra and Hundorp, around 300km north of Oslo. It's a beautiful and no-nonsense part of the country, dominated by farming, and reminds me a lot of my school days in England's stunning Yorkshire Dales. The region is also home to the breathtaking Rondane National Park, with its majestic mountains towering overhead. At the edge of the National Park is Mrs. Nibbler's family's mountain cabin, and it is here we recently spent a wonderful long weekend with her parents.

The cabin itself sits on the edge of a mountain lake teeming with tasty Arctic char, some 1,000m above sea level. To put that into perspective, it's higher than any peak in England and is only 340m lower than Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain. At this height there are hardly any trees around, and the rocky landscape is dominated by hardy shrubs, mosses and lichens. Even in late August the temperatures struggled to get into double digits, and sudden fog "white-outs" remind you how unforgiving this place can be if you're not prepared. And, although rare, brown bears and wolverines have also been spotted in this area.

But it is this closeness to nature that forms the core appeal of mountain life in Norway. The Norwegians evocatively call it friluftsliv (literally "free air life"), which can be translated as "outdoors living". It's a simpler, quieter way of life and, even for a hardened city-dweller like me, its appeal is irresistible. I don't think there's any way my words alone could ever do this place justice, so I'd like to share a few photos from the three days we spent in the mountains of Oppland. Just click on the slideshow below (if you don't have Flash Player, click here to see the photos):


  1. Oh I love it!! Thanks for sharing this ... I am so loving the simple pleasures. I remember seeing these on our road trip last year and always wondered how utterly relaxing it would be to just spend a few weeks away from it all.

  2. Gorgeous pics Mr Nibbler & great blog!

  3. This sounds so lovely! A great warmer! This is such a cool blog! x