Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Norwaytrip 2016 - Part 1, an Odd place

Well, it finally happened. After 2 years I met Odd again.

Packing was a bit tricky. Weather forecast was good, but a bit cold. Around +6C during the day and around or slightly under freezing at night. I always find that a hard range to dress for. It is very easy to under- or overdress, meaning being cold or sweaty. That means layering, thin gloves and ditto knitted hat. Fortunately no precipitation was forecast.

The possibilities of rifle shooting and a foxhunt did not seem to materialize after the initial planning. The firing range was closed and a nearby, ongoing moose hunt messed up the foxhunt. And I thought it was just as well. If there are no plans, there are no expectations either. No we could go out, hang out and do whatever we felt like, giving us the freedom to adapt to whatever came our way.
However only a day or so in advance Odd told me we could use the range after all! Yess.... I had hoped for that. It's been more than 25 years since I last sent a round down range and it is kind of fun and relaxing to do so.

On friday morning I packed up the final things and after saying goodbye to the homefront I went on my way at about 13:00. Had a long drive ahead; at least 5-5,5 hrs. I was about 500 meters from home, when the phone rang. The wife.... I had forgotten my civvy, non-bushy coat and cap... So I turned around and got those. What a way to start.....

The drive to Odd's place in Norway went without too many notable things; golden autumn sun, glistening lakes, rolling hills, forests in autumn colors and the grey ribbon of asphalt in front of me. Quite boring really... ;-)
I arrived att Odd's place safe and sounds and got to meet his family. One just can't show up empty handed and what better way to show ones appreciation than to give them something of yourself; homemade jams, fresh eggs and dried apples.
In return I was treated to a large plate full of bacon and eggs. Lots of bacon... That refuels a depleted system!! We spent the evening chatting and catching up, while sharing a real beer. I befriended their dog Balder and Odd showed me the rifles and presented me with a present of his own; a mooseantler pendant with the rune Algiz in it, representing the moose. But it also means protection.
After a good nights sleep I or we awoke early (at 06:10!) to the calls of their youngest daughter and we spent the morning drinking coffee and waiting for the family morning routine to take its course, before we would head off to the local surplus store. They advertised with a sale of wool insoles and I have been wanting some of those for ages! While we waited we watched a squirrel and a magpei playing in the trees and bushes of Odd's garden. We think it was play, since allthough they were chasing each other, there was no aggression present and they even sat next to each other. Amazing behaviour.... I also gave Odd a little advice on how to use his garden for cropgrowing, since he had asked for that. Just before 10 we hit the road, drove to the surplusstore, roamed about, found the insoles and continued our way with 5 pair following me home. The almost 3 hour drive up north went by without incidents. We had lovely weather and the back country roads are a joy to drive over and early in the afternoon we arrived at Odd's parents place to leave the dog there. He doesn't handle bangs very well, as many dogs tend to do. Then it was off to the shooting range!

There Odd had to adjust his scope to the rifle, a Tikka .222 rem if I am correct. He turned it this way and that, but couldn't get it exactly right and I walked up and down the range quite a few times. I enjoyed the scenery a lot though, as the previous pictures might've shown. Spent the first 2 rounds fired sitting in the ditch, right in front of the target, but it turned out that that was prohibited.... I wonder why..?? It is a tad intimidating to sit there with bullets passing overhead, safe or not. The calibration would not work out as well as he had wanted to, being always off to the left and too low. At first we thought it was the crosswind, blowing from our left, but even after compensating for that, we were still off.
After he had adjusted the scope as good as it possible could, I was allowed to send some rounds down range myself!! It had been more then 25 years, the type of rifle is very different back then and I never used a scope before. I am quite pleased with my results nonetheless!!
And after that Odd brought out the heavy artillery; buckshot. After he had fired a couple of rounds on the claypigeons I threw, and hitting them, it was my turn.
Every single claypigeon made it to the next round, alive and well, but I had a blast trying the practicing ammo. The real deal would be a tad more hefty.


After the firing range we drove back to Odd's parents in order to pick up Balder, but we were not going to drive off just like that. No sir... We had to come in, sit down and have coffee.... and homemade applepie, which was still warm... and icecream... The family got caught up in conversation and I tried to follow. Not a chance.... I had thought that I, because I learned Swedish, would be able to follow Norsemen during a conversation and I had been proven dead wrong. And now I was being treated to a local dialect. Like hearing people from a different part of the world! Still I enjoyed the company, being invited into their home and being treated to coffee, cake and icecream. Wouldn't want to have missed it!!
The following drive up to the cabin would take about half an hour over a winding, climbing gravel road. Amazing views all around. Good thing there was little to no possibility to stop and take pictures, otherwise it might have taken a couple of hours to get to the cabin. However there was one occasion where I just couldn't resist.....

The only shower we saw during our stay.
Was it snow? Was it rain? We settled on snow, melting on its way down, turning into rain....

Eventually we got to the cabin and after we unpacked and got installed I spent quite some time at being amazing at the location.... So much to see and the fresh, clear vibes I picked up where exhilarating and invigorating. As if the stress and fatigue of driving for many hours simply vanished. Which of course it didn't really, as my pillow would prove me later that evening, but still....
Odd claimed the kitchen as his domain for the time being and since it was too small to rummage around in with 2, I let him do the dinnerthing, while I scouted out the area. I was being treated to the most awe inspiring sunset and scenery.
For dinner there would be something that many in the western world might fill with dread; whale meat. Norway still catches whale, which they view upon as a resource and, while it might be environmentally questionable, I thought of it as a culinary and cultural experience. And I am sooo glad I did! It was delicious. Lean, dark and very tasty meat. There's no way around it. Topped off with a kind of gravy, accompanied by mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. And a beer.... of course...

View from the kitchen window.

After dinner I spent some time star gazing, but not for too long. Temperatures were dropping pretty fast and we kept several stoves burning to get the cabin to warm up to comfortable levels. The star gazing turned to flame gazing with conversation gradually slowing down and why should you talk, if that would mean filling the air with noise? 
With another beer, a crackling fire, Balder snuggled up on my lap I allowed to let my mind wonder until it went empty. Wish I had my wife with me there, though..... and it was very quiet without teens and large dogs around....


  1. Glad you didn't comment on the main reason for why I had such trouble adjusting the scope:-D Might have dented my image as a experienced rifleman.
    But a good learning experience.
    Glad you liked the whale to.

  2. My favorite guns are the .22 and the .410. Anything else is too big for me to hold for any length of time not to mention the kick.

    Beautiful place! One of my stated goals in life is to "go everywhere at least once" and through your blog I am getting to Sweden and Norway.

  3. Whale meat is so dark. Is it like tuna?

    1. Not at all, although it has a taste that distinctly might resemble it.