Yesterday, after 12 hours of travelling from Liverpool – London then on to Trondheim. Here I sit again, on another train on my way to Lillehammer. There are few things right now better than the views of this route. Often said to be the most picturesque train route in Norway, I’d argue the world.
Today is a national holiday in Norway, known as Ascension Day. This is to do with the Christan faith of the country. No more Norse mythology for these descendants of Vikings. That means that almost everywhere is shut today, very few bars, restaurants or shops are open. The way Britain should be on Bank Holidays. Fortunately, Emilly and I were both lucky to find a small restaurant at the station in Trondheim, called Røft, the gentleman who served us was friendly, a West Ham fan of all things, who was very chatty and keen to know about what brought us to Norway. The food was incredible, I ordered pulled chicken on flat bread, which had been cooked in lemon and garlic, the chicken was soft and tender, full of taste and topped with two fried eggs and wonderfully filling. Emilly ordered a beef burger which was also topped with a fried egg.
Its the end of May and there is snow on the mountains, so close we could hop off the train and walk to it. If I had to describe this route, I’d say it is incomparable. Earlier, we had low clouds rolling in over the hills but as the day wears on the clouds have broken and we have been treated to some phenomenal sunlit views, the sun reflecting on to the snow making everything in the world seem brighter. We ride past some homes and I wonder what it would be like to live here, in the sticks, the back end of nowhere, it may not have the convenience of Liverpool with a Tesco 5 minutes away in any direction, but with a view like this, I can cope with the inconvenience. There is a beautiful lake that we’re riding past right now, gentle waves of the clearest water you’ll see out of a bottle.
The train is quiet, I like it that way. It is a modest train, comfortable with plenty of legroom, WiFi and a place to charge my phone, you couldn’t ask for more. It makes this 5 hour journey that little bit more bearable, not that it’s been unbearable, we’re 3 hours in and although I’m looking down to write this, I find me eyes constantly wandering to the window at the miles and miles of mountains rolling off in to the distance.
Tonight, we will be meeting our new hosts for the next 3 weeks, Elizabeth and Thomas. They run a small farm near to Lillehammer and Elizabeth has been kind enough to pick us up from the station.
On their farm they have a variety of animals from goats and sheep, to cows and dogs. It will be our jobs for the next 3 weeks to help look after, feed and groom the animals. They couldn’t pick two better and more caring people to look after their animals in my opinion.
Along our way, we have met a young man from Afghanistan, called Rock, a pleasant guy with a tonne of stories from his time during the conflict and his interaction with British and American soldiers, he is currently travelling in Norway having made it through a host of countries in 2 months to get here, ranging from Pakistan and Turkey, to Germany and Sweden, he has been working on farms to help him get this far. Considering what he’s been through, he is an inspiration to me to carry on and know that even though there’ll be hard times to come, where I’ll miss my family and friends, that I can do this.
An hour out from completing the journey to Lillehammer and I’m bringing this blog to a close as I don’t want to miss any more of this trip and the views it has to offer.
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Much love and a travelling hug.