18 Oct 2013

Off Season in Norway

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After my win in Cologne I decided to have some days off and spend some time in Norway to recover before the training will start again. Unfortunately my wife Elisabeth had to work from dusk to dawn the entire September. Therefore I had to decide if I should drive the 1000km to Norway with the kids alone or if I spend my free days at home. I was keen to visit my Norwegian family since the last visit was already one year ago. And why not? There are a lot of single mothers and fathers who don´t even have a choice ;-). I was a bit nervous about the 12hr drive, but everything went just perfect. Originally I planned to use at least two days for travel. Maybe the kids felt if they are not nice we won´t get to “bestemor” and “bestefar” ;-) at all.

On the first days the weather was fantastic. Even from a mid European´s point of view (In Norway every day with more than 12°C is a summer day. If the temperature is above -5°C it´s either autumn or spring and a good winter day needs at least -15°C ;-)). We spend some days in the mountains and were so lucky with the weather. Three days with sunny and calm conditions are rare… It was very exciting for the kids to pitch a tent and actually sleep in it. I forgot to buy a new gas cartridge for our camping stove. Therefore we had to cook our meals at the bonfire, which was even more exciting for both. They learned what is needed to build a good fire. First of all some birch bark to light the fire is needed, which even burns when it´s wet. Then preferred birch wood. It burns easily and does not smoke that much. I hate pinewood. It smokes like hell, does not burn properly and irritates the eyes.

We spend most of the time with cooking, collecting blueberries, watching reindeers, building dams in a little stream and enjoying the sun. I missed hiking a little bit but Lars is still a little too young for hikes that last longer than 30 minutes. I started to carry him occasionally, which he began to like a lot and what lead to the circumstance that after some days he did not walk more than 10 steps alone before he complained about that he wanted to be carried…

Most of the time we spend at my Norwegian families place and did some day trips. At the end of our visit it got much colder and the first snow fell on the mountains. We used that opportunity to build the first snowman of the year and throw some snowballs in the middle of September! But that’s Norway :-).

Another highlight were the sledge dogs which my Norwegian brother looks after. It´s still 30 of them and every single one is eager to pull something heavy for a long time at high speed. I think every day just some seconds after Frida woke up she asked me if we could visit the dogs today again. Finally just before we had to drive home again one she-dog got nine pups! I think if we would have stayed just a little longer I would have found one of them in Fridas backpack here at home. She told me several times that they are that small and handsome that it would be no problem at all to take one with us home… I think she had not in mind that it takes just some months until they are as big as the grown ups ;-). I am not sure if she would mind that either. She seemed not very frightened of the big dogs at all. But from my practical experience (I had a dog, two rabbits and a hamster) after some time it´s always the parents who take care of the pets. And I don’t feel that I have enough time for a dog right now.

After we went back home, which is already some weeks ago I started my training again. I have still the motivation of the great race in Cologne in my head and need to slow myself down some times to not destroy myself to early…

Christian Nitschke

Christian Nitschke

Father   -   Husband   -   Triathlete   -   Scientist   -   Perfectionist

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