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Trystan: Påskeuken (Easterweek/Spring Break)

April 19, 2010

I’m really sick of the obnoxious, clunky way that WordPress makes me deal with photos. From now on I think I’m going to just link to my Flickr page. If it’s too annoying, I can switch back. But seriously. For a fairly modern website, their photo manipulation is awful. FLICKR: Here

I didn’t go anywhere tropical or with a beach. I didn’t spend a solid week drunk. Norwegian spring breaks are very different than ours back home. Typically Norwegians spent their Easter “up north” (I feel right at home, coming from MN/WI!) in their cabins, relaxing and skiing. The main point is to get close to Nature.

I left for Tynset, a little town with 5,000 people. The train ride from Bergen to Oslo is considered one of the most beautiful rides in the world, and it was certainly something to behold. At one point I saw snow-covered desolation (think Planet Hoth—they actually filmed it here) and mountains for miles.

After arriving in Tynset 13 hours later, sleep was incredibly welcoming. The next day Kasia and I went to visit her aunt. They (unexpectedly) lent us their cross-country skis! So we drove half an hour to a valley of sorts. It was kind of foggy and snowing when we arrived, but the random minutes of sunshine in the middle of the forest, surrounded by fog and snow, provided some of the most surreal beauty I’ve ever seen. It was like a dream, honestly.

Thursday we went downhill skiing. Well, let me clarify. The rest of our group went downhill skiing. I essentially paid 750 Swedish kroner ($105) for an hour of skiing and 14 stitches. Yours truly managed to make it down only THREE runs before injuring myself. I fell (for quite possibly the 10th time—these slopes were wicked) and slammed my ski into my right leg. It hurt, but I didn’t think anything of it. By the time I got down I could feel some weird wetness on my leg. Apparently I was bleeding a bit, but I didn’t think it could be so bad since my leg wasn’t hurting.

I went into the bathroom to wipe it up and contin–OH MY GOD MY LEG IS WIDE OPEN WHAT THE HELL OH THAT’S A LOT OF BLOOD I DON’T FEEL SO GOOD. Turns out the ski sliced into me pretty good, but my body auto-numbed it (thanks, Nature!) so I didn’t think I was hurt. I slowly walked out to Kasia and mumbled something to the effect of, “Someone, look at this, go find, not good, blood, this is really bad, damnit I suck at skiing, emergency…” 14 stitches later the doc apologetically said I would have to pay something—to the tune of 150 SEK (about $14). I almost laughed.

“Seriously?” I said.

He responded, “Yeah, since you’re not a Swedish citizen, you’ll have to pay, sorry. I just need your name, birthday, and city of birth.”

“So… an hour of your time (a plastic surgeon), 3 subdermal stitches, 11 surface ones… and all I need is 150 SEK and my birthday? Do you want my insurance card or anything”

“HAHA, no. This isn’t America, don’t worry. Remember, no exercise, etc…”

I love Scandinavia.

Unfortunately I didn’t follow his advice of “No walking! Just keep your leg up and rest.” I was on vacation! And I’m young and invincible, damnit! So the next day I went horseback riding.

I got a feisty guy who hardly listened to me. (Just look at him in the Flickr pictures. He looks like a little hellion, doesn’t he?). I got him partially under control and we walked and trotted around near the barn and down into the little resort area. We met Chris—son of the owner and Kasia’s friend from way back when—and made plans to hang out later in the evening.

We met him and two of his friends around 10. We all went to our apartment and started forspill. (Literal translation: foreplay; actual translation: pre-party. Weird, I know.) The Tynset bar—the only one, in fact—was packed with villagers. Some of them had all their gear on and had obviously just walked in from a day full of skiing. Loud, local Norwegian music, dancing, and drinking ensued. We walked to Chris’s for nattspill (night play, after-party) afterward. Unfortunately, we had to be up at 10 for the three hour drive to Trondheim.

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