Day 109 - War history and friendly faces
I woke up long before the sun did. The walls in my room were so thin, I could hear other occupants still snoring in their beds. I got up, got dressed and was the first person to enter the room where breakfast was being served.
A dimly lit room, and cozy atmosphere with flowers and candle lights on every table. The buffet table consisted of fresh bread and a decent variety of pålegg (bread spread), eggs, juice and coffee. For almost an hour, I sat in my own world, enjoying the fact that I could eat something else than oatmeal.
After breakfast, I ran to the shop to by a new hairbrush, I had lost my previous one 5 days prior, so my hair was all tangled, a complete mess. 10 painful minutes later, I could take a nice, long shower before leaving Rjukan Gjestegård.
It was a damp and foggy morning, and not before I came up on 300 meters above sea level, could I get out of the fog and into the sun. Warm wind was caressing my face while the road led me higher and higher.
Soon, I was leveled with the museum, which was the Hydrogen production plant back in the day. Here, the Germans were producing heavy water (for developing nuclear weapons) during the Second World War. In 1943, a group of Norwegian saboteurs succeeded in destroying the facility. It was called “Operation Gunnerside”, and Wikipedia told me that the operation was later evaluated as "the most successful act of sabotage in all of World War II”.
Cool. Most Norwegians are very proud of our freedom fighters during the war, in Rjukan you’ll find a lot of proof of just that.
I continued walking for a while, until it was time for a break. I sat down on a bench, and soon I was accompanied by Bodil and Einar, a sweet and friendly couple from Hammerfest. They had come to Rjukan for a surprise visit to a friend of theirs, but as it turned out, that friend was surprisingly not home.
“And we had made him a cake. Maybe you want some? We can have a slice of cake and some coffee together before you continue, if you have the time?”
“I always have time for cake and good company!”
So we sat on that bench in the warm sun, ate, drank and chatted merrily.
The warm day turned to a cold one, and the wind was no longer caressing my face, but blowing me off course. At 6.15 P.M, it started to get darker, and when I felt raindrops on my face, I decided to put up the tent. I found a spot close to the lake Møsvatn, where I had view towards Hardangervidda (the plateau I was originally planning to walk through). I went to collect some water before settling in for the night.
Steps: 30 615
Day 110 - Thank you, Weather-God
It was like I had gone back in time. Three days ago, I was lying in my sleeping bag with all the clothes on me, freezing my backside off while my breath came out in smoke. Now, I was sitting outside my sleeping bag, perfectly comfortable and enjoying my breakfast.
At 8:15 A.M, I was back on the road. It had just turned light, but the yesterday’s sun was long gone. Cloudy grey, wind and rain was on the weather menu that morning, but I had my umbrella ready, so that didn’t bother me much.
I was struggling to carry Mr. Skywalker. I’ve had this pain close to my left shoulder, ever since I started this trip actually. It seem to have intensified the last few days, so I constantly had to sit down to relieve the pressure, because I found it hard to breath from the pain.
Other than that, I enjoyed the walk and the scenery. A lot of old wooden houses with grassy roof were placed along the road and up the hills. Very charming and old-fashioned.
I took a longer break at a gas station in Rauland. Here, I ate a sausage while my phone was charging. When I continued walking, the fog and the clouds lifted and the sun appeared. The next two hours was quite enjoyable, walking on the road, surrounded by forest.
Right before sunset, I left the road to find a decent spot in the forest. Under a couple of spruce trees, I found the perfect place, sheltered from wind and in close proximity to a river. And such a comfortable temperature! I don’t think I’ve been able to enjoy the tent life like that since July.
“Dear Weather-God: 10 more days like this, please!”