Hiking in Norway

By Kelli McGee, a Foster Undergraduate studying Marketing and Information Systems. Kelli participated in an exchange at the Norwegian School of Economics last fall in Bergen, Norway

The most memorable experience from my time in Norway were the cozy cabins.  Norway has hundreds of cabins spread out throughout the mountains, and they all use the honor system.  I love that everyone respects the system and takes care of the cabins.  Most of them are unlocked and have a fully stocked food pantry.  Upon arrival, you pay for your stay, any food you use, and clean up after you leave.  I went on two cabin trips with an outdoor activities group.

The first cabin trip was supposed to be a “chill” weekend.  We got a late start and ended up hiking in the dark so it was a little bit of an adventure to navigate.  We got to the cabin around 10pm, started up the fire, and made dinner by candlelight.  The next morning, we woke up to snow!  We had a relaxing morning and started a 12K hike to the second cabin.  It was pretty icy, so it ended up being more difficult than expected.  It was supposed to be “chill” weekend so I packed a heavy pack with all the comforts!  The second cabin was just as wonderful as the first.  We warmed up by the fire with hot cocoa and finished the night with a delicious dinner and cake!  The next day had perfect weather for our hike back to the cars.  It was a great weekend!

My second cabin trip was also supposed to be a relaxing trip.  We stayed at a more rustic cabin and the plan for the weekend was to eat and knit.  It was supposed to be a short 20-minute hike from the train to the cabin but we arrived to 5ft of fresh snow and had to break trail the entire way.  The few people with skis were even struggling.  I’m an avid hiker and this was probably the most difficult hike I’ve ever done, and took about 2 hours to get to the cabin.  I didn’t know how to knit prior to the trip but brought supplies and some of the ladies on the trip showed me how to knit.  Someone let me borrow their skis so I was able to go for a little cross country ski trip.  I’m a snowboarder so it was my first time on skis and so much fun!

I am really thankful to have had these experiences and meet so many incredible people.  The trips were led by Norwegians and usually only have a few international students on each trip.  Having the opportunity to spend time with locals helped me feel more connected to the Norwegian culture.