Our Norwegian winter experience wouldn’t be complete without trying out some sledding (aking in Norwegin).
So, on Saturday we headed down to Lagunen (Bergen equivalent of Sylvia Park, but smaller), and investigated Akebretter.
Curiously, they were mostly targeted towards children, but eventually we did find some larger models, which seemed to be able to seat an adult.
We settled on two for around $120 NZD all up – a cheap plastic akebrett with rudimentary brakes, and a more serious ‘Snow Racer’, complete with steering, brakes and suspension.
The following day, we set off, sleds in tow, for the plateau behind Fløyen.
Around 2 1/2 hours later we reached Brushytten, a small plateau, and popular lunching destination, complete with mountain cafe offering lovely 15 NOK hot chocolates. (Anything under 20 NOK is a bargain. A coffee is usually around 36 NOK.)
Following a late lunch, we had a couple of practice goes, and then decided it was time to negotiate the track back down.
To be honest, I was a little terrified. I had no helmet, no protective clothing, my hands were freezing, and from what I could tell the sleds seemed to gain speed very quickly and were difficult to steer. We were about to negotiate a steep mountain road down, shared with other pedestrians.
We set out, and pretty quickly got the hang of it.
Along the way we were met with curious smiles and reminiscing expressions suggestive of “I remember doing that as a kid”, “I wish I was young again”. I even got a running push from a lovely woman who noticed I had come to a stop on a more gentle part of the track.
Half an hour later we were back in town.
Great fun. Kjempegøy!
We dragged our sleds back through town, stopping for some warming coffee along the way.
As we sipped our coffee, we concluded sledding seems to beat skiing hands down. Sleds are easy to transport, you don’t need any additional complicated equipment and don’t need to travel to an expensive ski resort, you get to combine some great tramping, and then you get to sit down and have a kjempegøy journey back.
All up, it was a fantastic day. I feel now, to not only have survived the Norwegian winter, but also be somewhat disappointed it is slowly coming to an end.
We are just getting started.