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Inspired by our highly enjoyable walk at Skistua we set off yesterday to Estenstadhytta to explore another mountain that is close to Trondheim.
We took a couple of wrong turns on the way but eventually stopped in a small carpark with a few other cars and headed up an unmarked track beside a creek. We walked towards a delightful red painted house on the side of the track with an orchard, big woodpile and pretty wildflowers. The size of the wood pile made me afraid of the intensity of the winter that is to come! We have never lived at high latitudes and here we are just 0.5 of a degree from the Arctic Circle so we are bracing ourselves for a new experience later this year!
At a turning in the track we headed to the right and entered a narrower path with overhanging fir trees. The forest was not super-abundantly beautiful here but it was tranquil.
Soon we opened out into a big clearing with steep hillsides and a swampy ground beside the track. Sure enough we recognised cloudberries beside the track and noticed that the further along we walked the brighter the sunshine and larger and more ripe the berries were. Beside the cloudberries we recognized blueberries, hundreds of bushes with small greenish berries on them.
We took the next turning to the right and stopped to let a horse pass. It was a huge horse, broader than any I’ve seen before that isn’t a Clydesdale. It’s mane was cropped extremely short and the young woman riding responded with a shy smile and a couple of words that we didn’t understand to my daughter’s effusive comments.
As we headed up the hill we were astounded to see that the forest floor was carpeted with blueberry bushes. We will definitely need to return in the next couple of weeks so that we can gorge until we turn blue, need to rush to a toilet and never want to see another blueberry. We also saw raspberry bushes with dead flowers on them indicating that fruit will come next!
We continued along the path, overtaken by Norwegians of all ages enjoying the good weather. At Estenstadhytta we were interested to see that the water pipes for toilets are wrapped in thick insulation – what have we gotten ourselves into?! There were dozens of Norwegians enjoying picnics, coffees and snacks around the hut. The view towards the fjord was lovely.
Our poor children were tired and jetlagged and hungry so when we saw dark clouds approaching and realised that our wet weather gear is still en route from Canberra we set off as briskly as they could manage towards the car.
As we headed back along the trail I stopped to point out an alluring side trail through a mossy forest floor to my husband. By chance a Norwegian man was passing us then and he stopped looking somewhat bewildered. I decided to try making conversation. We stood chatting about Norway and the USA and comparing the pension and health insurance schemes and also about the situation in Greece. It was enjoyable and I realized that there may be some truth to the saying that Norwegians are more likely to talk to you in the forest.
When we reached the car we agreed that we want to live out in the east of Trondheim near those beautiful forests and mountains. Let’s see if we can find a house near there!