To my rhetorical question if any of the boys wanted to join me on a camping trip to Norway, the answer was, to my surprise, yes!
Said and done – Elgå was the goal for our trip. Elgå is a small town, or rather a small number of houses, in Norway just west of Grövelsjön. In Elgå, there are no ski slopes, no restaurants, no après-ski or snow scooters. On the other hand, there is, to normal Norwegian standards, a fantastic nature with endless views and amazing ski trails and great people. Not to mention the Moose safari…
Rasmus was the hero of the day when he, once there, was still set on camping with the old man (ie me). Fortunately it was not very cold, just below 0. The rest of us would never ever do this. They were more than happy with the room at Bryggeloftet – the hotel that we stayed at over the weekend.
In my usual manner, I was somewhat optimistic time wise – and the supposed dinner at Bryggeloftet was cancelled in favour of making it out in the wild before it got too dark. Rasmus and I was already pretty packed, so the procedure was quickly completed. Step two was both worse and funnier. Rasmus, has up to this moment, never been standing, let alone been skiing on a pair of cross-country skis. Approximately 1 minute after we got him on the skis he lies on the ground like a turtle with a 15-pound backpack and has zero chance of getting up again. We were three people (the rest of us), that with love were laughing in the increasing wind.
But Rasmus is not the one that loses courage – soon we set off and just like the 16-year-old he is, cross-country skiing is not much of a challenge. After a few minutes, it’s like he’s never has done anything else.
After doing a turtle turn me too (I’m more or less useless at cross-country skiing) we begin to dig out for the tent in the snow. That’s when it hits Rasmus. There are animals in the forest. Bear, perhaps Wolf, Hare, Wolverine?, other dangerous animals and maybe moose. This will be daunting to Rasmus and it will almost take him two clear waking hours in the tent before he finally falls asleep from exhaustion.
It takes some time to dig, to set up the tent, melt snow, cook and ”do night” by the tent. At 10 o’clock we tuck ourselves to bed in a warm and cosy tent with the whipping wind outside. The wind really blowing and the canvas flickers big time… Or wait, was it a bear?
I am proud over Rasmus and that he overcame his fear and went outside of his comfort zone. As a reward, he spends the next two days at Bryggeloftet.
Elgå also offers a slightly different experience. In Elgå, or just outside, there is a feeding place for moose. With a bit of luck, a good car (it’s a tractor trail in the forest) and good eyes, it is possible that we may experience the moose in the wild really close up. Indeed, it only takes a minute or so before the first moose is found. And we will see many more before we turn back home to Bryggeloftet again.
Before we head home for real, we make an excursion to Grövelsjön. Rasmus and Alvin would both want to go for a bit of downhill skiing. Me, myself take another trip up the mountain on my skis until I realize that I have to go down the same way – down!! Panic! I can’t go downhill on cross-country skis. Mentally exhausted, I am finally down at the starting point again. A wonderful experience richer though.
On the whole, Elgå (and for that matter Grövelsjön as well) is a perfect oasis of natural beauty and if you wish, time for contemplation. It is not ”high Life”, but it is unreal beautiful and the couple who runs the Bryggeloftet put a silver lining to the stay. I can only strongly recommend a visit.