A cabin in the middle of nowhere, zero maps and a wrong idea about the hyttetur experience (of course wolfs, bears and other dangerous animals included). This would be the best way to summarize the first cabin trip of four foreign girls in Norway. A real adventure!
- The (slippery) way to the hytte
When I moved to Norway, I was surprised of hearing every Friday conversations like this:
What are you doing this weekend?
Nothing special. Just going to my hytte.
It seemed very mysterious to me, this hytte. Then, I realised that they were talking about the cabins that many families own in the forest areas in Norway (and also in Sweden). And even if they don’t own any hytte, they can always rent it!
- The cabin, and the toilet (of course outside)
Everyone was so excited when talking about those hyttetur that I couldn’t wait to try it. So my friends and me fixed a date in winter (yes, we all could hear the Frozen soundtrack in our heads while planning the trip). We made the DNT (the Norwegian Trekking Association) membership card and booked four beds in a cabin not so far from the civilization.
- Into the wild (for real)
And the H-Day (H is for hyttetur, of course) arrived! We were very well prepared, with our Google Maps screenshot (“It says it’s just 1h30 walking, it’s okay!”), super heavy bags with extremely necessary items to survive in the forest (like chocolate) and thousand layers of clothes for the Polar expedition.
- Let it go, let it goooo!
We were so optimistic that we decided to meet at 2pm (“ah, it’s just gonna take us one hour to get there!”). We started walking, singing songs in our respective languages and taking pictures every 50 meters, until we realised that the way that Google Maps showed us… didn’t exist.
- That’s how the way to the cabin looked like
No panic (just a little bit). The only “way” was a narrow path between the trees. So that’s the way we took. And it was… how to describe it? It wasn’t even slippery. Walking on ice blocks is probably easier than walking on that path. At one point, we realised that, actually, we were walking on a frozen river! I can’t describe what it means to walk ON a frozen river, for a person who never saw snow before coming to Norway.
- There is a moment when the easiest is not to walk, but to sled
So… the way was actually much longer than 1h30, of course. In fact, we weren’t sure that it was the way to the cabin, we just hoped so. At some point, my phone had signal, so I turn on the GPS. And apparently, we were 20km away from the cabin, in the middle of nowhere.
- That was the moment when we (almost) panicked
At this point, it was getting dark and cold. We all imagined some crazy mooses waiting for us hidden between the trees. What could we do? Keep on walking. When we started feeling quite worried and tired, the one that was walking in the front, started screaming. There, illuminated by the sunset light, was our hytte.
- Inside our koselig cabin
We were surprised by the good condition in which the cabin was. There was everything inside (even a guitar, books and some board games), and it was decorated with very good taste! The definition of that hytte would be (guess it…) super koselig.
And then, it was time for the practical problems. How to make a fire? Where is the drinking water? Of couse, none of us knew about such issues (we had no internet signal to look for some tutorials).
- Books and a guitar to make it more fun!
But we didn’t think about the fact that everyone can come to stay in those public cabins. There were some beds left. And two norwegians arrived to save us! They made the fire, boiled the water to make it drinkable… everything in less than 5 minutes.
- Nothing better than a hot chocolate after a long day!
That’s when we realised that we will never know more about nature, hyttetur and outdoor activities than Norwegians do. I appreciated very much this hyttetur experience. Learning how to enjoy the silence of the woods, with no distractions; just a quiet talk with friends, some candles and the fire cracking in the fireplace.
That’s why I think that Norwegians really know how to enjoy the moment and the beauty of small things such a koselig hyttetur weekend.
Written by María de la Cruz Gutierrez
- Four happy girls after a succesful hyttetur