2016 is currently getting a hard time and guess what, I’m also very relieved it’s over soon! But while looking through photos of this year as I always do in December, I was surprised by how many happy memories there were. It’s easy to join in with everybody’s 2016-bashing but a lot in life is what you make of it (even if you don’t feel like it), so I’m very determined to use that little change of seasons for planning a few long-overdue, new beginnings.
Aaand cut, that’s it. 2015 has been one absolutely crazy year, I’m tellin’ ya. I’ve traveled to more countries than ever before, worked, thought, felt and doubted more than ever before. 2015 has been a huge work in progress and a constant search for the right thing – whatever that means.
Hey fluffy dogs. Hey lazy weekends. Hey colours. Hey autumn. Hey Germany. The last few weeks of this year have been (and are) filled with sleepy Saturdays and cosy jumpers whenever possible. One of the nicest trips has been exploring the Sächsische Schweiz area (which translates to something weird like Saxon Switzerland apparently) which is three hours south of Berlin and oh so beautiful. We went hiking, breathed in some fresh mountain air, jumped through the woods and tried very hard not to fall off the – very Instagrammable – rocks. Mission accomplished I’d say.
Something very weird is going on right now. And my eyes are a little watery whilst writing this, but I feel like I’ve come home. Whoosh. That may be down to the fact that I’ve moved into my own flat, but most probably it’s for all the people around me who are just there in all the highs and lows, and I’m endlessly grateful (soppy post to follow!) for that. Home. So that’s a little weird. My heart starts beating when I open the lock and enter, somehow settling down (well, at least for a year or two) feels oh so radical. My passport will still always be at the ready though… and it has been over the last three months. Here’s what I got up to.
I promised you a second part of the most exciting of all hiking adventures in Stølsheimen, Norway. After reaching the hut (thank God for people who put up and maintain those little worlds of warmth in the midst of wilderness), we fell straight into the bunk beds and had the kind of sleep that you can only have after hiking for nearly 20 hours and if having ‘slept’ next to a lake the night before. It was a great sleep.
The next morning, the mountains were covered in so much fog and the rain just wouldn’t stop, so some other guys we met in this little red house (suddenly it was full of people when we didn’t meet a single person on the way up) urged us to wait until it cleared up. Well, it didn’t clear up for two full days and things can get quite boring when all you have is Norwegian books. They had great photos of hardcore adventurers though. So we journaled, tried to bake bread on fire which went horribly wrong, drank bad instant coffee while the rain against the glass was the best soundtrack and were just quiet and listened to what thoughts were shooting through our heads. It was surreal and it felt like torture at times, because there’s nothing you can do, no phone signal, no proof that the world you’ve grown up in even exists after all. In retrospect, it feels more surreal that the lack of activities is such a big deal. How did we become so addicted to being busy? That doesn’t seem right. But this whole thing was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life and I’m already planning the next trip… Let me know if anyone wants to join!
If there has ever been a story worth telling on this blog, it’s this one here, so listen up!
We’re set in Norway, a bit north of Bergen in early August (although the photos will make you assume it’s November already, brrr!) and two girls with backpacks as huge as the smiles on their faces. We’re just about to take a five-day hiking trip through the middle of Norwegian nowhere, behind every mountain a completely new world of different trees, colours and vegetation. It took a while to accept that magnificence as the new status quo. You could shout as loud as you wanted, the few sheep that were there couldn’t care less, and anything we talked about suddenly seemed tremendously trivial, because hey, we somehow landed in paradise.
Here’s what I’d do if I had only one day in Bergen, Norway. It would be a pretty darn good one for sure.
1. Get coffee. Bergen is meant to be the place for coffee in Norway. The best I had was at Det Lille Kaffekompaniet, which is actually just next to the paths up to mountain Fløypilen, a light and relaxed hike. But there’s a place from which the views are a hundred times better:
2. Ulriken! You and approximately two hundred tourists will have a breath-taking view all over Bergen and the surrounding mountains and lakes. It gets a bit exhausting at times if you’re not used to hiking (but still want to keep up with all the trained locals that seem to have spent their entire lives in the mountains), but it’s the perfect introduction if you’ve planned some further mountain-climbing in the near future. (There are cable cars going up there too by the way, but that’s cheating!)