Archive for January, 2016

Skiing in Indre Østfold

We had a lot of sunshine this weekend, but as I was knocked down by the flu, I haven’t been out at all. So instead, here are some photos from last weekend when I went went skiing near Rakkestad (Indre Østfold) with Marie and Pål. A beautiful area, with narrow tracks through the forest – quite a challenge for me (I am used to having lots of space ;) ) which resulted in some bruises :D but it was a great day out! And an advantage of being out with Marie: I end up with some photos of myself :D

Next to a tree thick with rime - photo by Marie

Coming out of the forest and onto one of the marshes - photo by Marie

Nice trees

Another tree covered in rime

Where to? - photo by Marie

Frosty sign

Snow in Oslo

Oslo got another fresh layer of snow last weekend, and when the sun came out on Saturday I just had to go for a walk through the snowy city :) I ended up in Vigelandsparken, which I had never seen in the snow before – it was so pretty!

I am trying something new with my blog – instead of the small thumbnails they are now much bigger. You can still click on them for an even larger version with a caption though :)

The snowy streets of Oslo

Even the sculptures were freezing ;)

Low sun in Vigelandsparken

Sculpture in Vigelandsparken

The central group of scultures with the monolith

Vigelandsparken in the snow - so pretty!

I love those gates

Frozen toes both for me and this sculpture ;)

As the sun was setting...

I discovered a group of baby sculptures that I had never seen before!

The ducks were a bit restless and didn't have much open water

Leaving the park, time to go home

On Sunday I joined Teresa and her family at Korketrekkeren (the corkscrew) which is a 2 kilometer long tobogganing track. When you reach the bottom of the track, you can take the subway back to the top! They have sleds for rent at two different places (near Frognerseteren station). It was so much fun!! The only problem was that there were LOTS of people on a sunny Sunday afternoon, which caused queues and crashes ;)

I had brought my ski’s with me, and after watching the fantastic sunset, I skied the lit skitrack from Frognerseteren to Sognsvann via Ullevålseteren (10 km, mostly – but not only :D – downhill)

Sunset view of the Oslofjord

Sunset panorama from Frognerseteren

Beautiful pink sky!

Incredible twilight colours on the lit skitrail from Frognerseteren

So pretty...

Father and son skiing through a Christmas card

 

This was my first ski trip in Oslo, and I loved it! Looking forward to more :)

Light Pillars

It’s been really cold in Oslo (down to -13) and a couple of days ago, a really cool optical phenomenon was visible: light pillars. Some people thought they were seeing the northern lights, as the pillars were quite strong and very colourful, but this is a different phenomenon where city lights are reflected by tiny ice crystals in the sky.

I thought of going to a viewpoint over the city, but as it was really cold, I decided to stay closer to home (lazy…) and take some photos in the park surrounding the palace. They were making fake snow in front of the palace, as they also do at several ski areas around the city – this might actually be the source of the ice crystals floating around.

Colourful light pillars over Oslo A large blue light pillar
I wonder if the source of this light pillar is the blue artwork in the bottom left corner? Light pillars over the statue in front of the palace

The guards at the palace came to ask me what I was doing – not sure they were really suspicious or they just wanted a walk/talk ;) but they let me continue even if they probably thought I was a little crazy.

My photos made one of the biggest newspapers in Norway, they were used in an article by VG. Yr also wrote an article about this and other cold weather phenomena. Those are both in Norwegian, here is a short article in English.

New Year in Switzerland

After a wonderful 10 days in the Netherlands I took the train to Switzerland, to celebrate New Year with Célia and her boyfriend, plus a group of her friends from her choir in Brussels. On the last day of 2015, we went for a walk – even if the weather was not really cooperating: fog, rain and sometimes sleet.

Hiking into the fog Not much of a view from the top...

We took a group photo on top, even if there was no view :D There was a restaurant near the top where we had a well deserved hot chocolate before returning the way we came.

Group photo on top Hiking back

In spite of the bad weather, it was quite pretty and atmospheric, and I think we all needed some fresh air :)

Nice atmosphere

In the evening we celebrated with lots of nice food, good music and even some dancing :) A great way to end 2015!

Tasty starters :) All the girls :)

The next day we planned to visit Creux du Van, an amazing place I had only visited in summer. This year there is so little snow in the area that the road to Creux du Van is opened all the way to the end.

When we woke up it was completely foggy, but while eating breakfast the fog started to lift and the sun broke through. We were all excited to go hiking :) Reaching the edge of Creux du Van, we saw a glory, Brocken Spectre and a fog bow on the fog below – amazing! We had a lot of fun playing with our shadows and declaring ourselves saints :)

Approaching Creux du Van Having fun with the glory / Brocken Spectre
This one shows quite well why it's called Brocken Spectre - spooky! Glory, Brocken Spectre and Fog bow - how to make a meteorologist very happy!

A photo of the choir girls, and a panorama showing Creux du Van filled with fog.

The choir girls at Creux du Van Panorama of fog-filled Creux du Van

Suddenly we could see the Alps very clearly on the horizon – so beautiful!

Suddenly we could see the Alps very clearly on the horizon - so beautiful! Creux du Van and the Alps
Katharina enjoying the view Such amazing views, we took so many photos!

We took so many photos! It was such a beautiful hike. Almost symbolic how we spent the last day of 2015 in the wet fog without any view, and the first day of 2016 in glorious sunshine above the fog – we all hoped it was a good sign for the year to come :)

In a way it was sad to see the lack of snow, but it did mean we got to enjoy those views Célia & Benoît

We walked to the cross at the top, to have an ever better view of the valley filled with fog, and the Alps on the horizon.

The cross on top Below the fog is the lake of Neuchâtel
The saint & the cross ;) Enjoying the views

Of course we had to take a group photo here too – a bit different from the one taken the day before :D

Célia took a photo of me :) Group photo

Nice views in all directions…

Another panorama What a great way to start 2016: fantastic hike with great people!
The highest mountain on the right is the Mont Blanc Fog in the valleys and flowing over the mountain tops

One last photo looking back at the Alps, before returning to the cars.

One last view looking back towards the Alps

What a great way to start 2016!! The only thing that “worries” me is that I might not beat this beautiful hike this year ;) but that won’t stop me from trying! Happy New Year everyone!