Sunday in the great outdoors

Today I am going to tell you about something very Norwegian. Something I’ve done since I was born – almost literary. Norwegians just love to be outdoors, surrounded by the nature and elements and to breath in the crisp, fresh air. To me, nothing is more relaxing, inspiring and peaceful than walking in the woods and relaxing by a lakeside fire. We can do it all the time of course, but the tradition is especially to do it in the weekends and especially on Sunday. When I was young we did this often on Saturdays too, but that day has become more and more a shopping day in Norway. Let me start with a picture of how it looked last Sunday when I had another quality time with my wife:

All pics taken with my Nokia mobile phone – please click to enlarge!

We drove a short distance to our local sports clubhouse. Typical these days, but when I was young we walked straight from our home. We didn’t know but this weekend was an autumn family fun day with hundreds of people enjoying the same experience. Everyone is there, from small children in their baby carriages or in back-carriers attached to their father or mother, to grandmothers and grandfathers enjoying each others company. It was party cloudy and about 5 C (41F), and as you can see, in the pics: to us there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. If you enjoy being outdoors, you dress to make it a pleasurable day.

This Saturday, the sports club was arranging a family day and there were a lot of activities and competitions going on. Some were playing football (or soccer then, if you Americans insist:-) and some were competing in orienteering (a very popular sport in Norway!). The best part is that everyone wins and gets their medals to prove it – typical Norwegian spirit as we think that comparing young children is unhealthy, they are all winners in our eyes. Let me add that we are very competitive as adults though, just wait until the world championship in skiing takes place in Sapporo, Japan in Feb. and March 2007!

After watching the children playing, my wife and I went into the forest, as you can see in the first picture on this post. We had a lovely 5 KM (3,1 Miles) walk and the destination was this beautiful lake to sit down and enjoy the special treat my wife packed in the backpack. We weren’t alone as many others where in groups, such as parent associations who arranged for a cookout for their children’s class. There where camp fires close to the lakes of course, where they cooked hotdogs and as you can see in one of the pics even the family dogs had a good time playing in the crisp clean water.

My wife and I were alone as my children are out of the nest and her’s were otherwise occupied, so we found a romantic spot for our lunch. It was nice and quiet and the crackers, cheese and coffee tasted excellent. We even had a visit from a couple of ducks, looking for some leftovers. My wife had thought of that too, so they got some of the old rolls from last weekend’s trip to Kongsberg.
Can you think of a better way to spend a Sunday with your beloved and to find your inner self in a stressful world?

Wondering about Norway?
I’m still working on posts for my blog’s first year anniversary (November 12th for those who have asked:-). For those who haven’t read and commented my last post, please scroll down and tell me what more you would like to know about Norway. In this I have given you a good example and it answers part of the questions, especially from Mother of Invention and Teena.