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When we researched Trondheim before moving here from Australia in July 2015, we read about how great it is to go cross country skiing on Bymarka mountain beside the town. Somehow we never tried it last winter but we finally went today for our first time.
We walked our children to school, had a great capuccino and delicious and perfectly flaky croissant at my favourite coffee shop Café le Frère, then caught bus number 10 from Kongens Gate at 10:00 to Skistua. The bus was about 3/4 full and we were the only people not carrying their own skis. We paid using the ATB app and saved money compared to paying the driver with cash. On the bus we noticed that we were the only passengers not wearing red or blue. Wewondered why the colours of the Norwegian flag are so popular. We chatted and listened to the Norwegian and English conversations around us.
When we arrived at Skistua we called the Trondhjem ski klub office (open 9am to 3pm) and walked with the helpful woman into the basement of the café to hire skis for 120 NOK per person. The boots, skis and poles were all new and very good.
We used the toilets at the café (I mention that not because I think it will be interesting but because it may be helpful for other first-time visitors to know that a toilet exists) for free then set off on our adventure. Once we figured out how to clip into our skis we made slow progress across the powdery snow, falling a few times as we adjusted to our 4th time on cross country skis ever and first time this season.
We took some time adjusting and figuring out how to ski without falling and were ready to find a track when a Norwegian woman on a skidoo pointed us towards the track and sent us on our way. I think she was bemused by our lack of ability and spoke to us in English. I think she also wanted us out of the way so that she could continue her work grooming the snow.
When we found the track to Elgsethytta it was much easier going and it was like a cross country ski highway with Norwegians ranging from small groups mothers skiing with a wagon on skis towed behind them to small groups of retirees (all wearing red and or blue and all skiing much faster than us) and a sprinkling of other foreigners.
We improved a lot and enjoyed ourselves. At 1pm we still hadn’t reached the cabin but we turned back to ensure that we were at the bus stop on time for the only bus back to town (14:25). We returned the skis to the basement, had a quick chat with the woman that leased the skis to us, sat outside the café eating our crunchy raw vegetables and nuts for lunch and caught the bus down to town with far fewer people than on the way up. Considering that it’s the only bus down we wondered how the others were going to get back down.
We got off the bus at Ila so that we could have a nice walk along the side of the fjord before walking to pick up our children from school. It was a lovely day with perfect weather and skiing conditions. As always we found that Norwegians tend to be a little gregarious but keep fairly quiet, so that it’s a pleasure being in the same place enjoying exercise and nature together and apart.