My new favourite running route is the trek up Stoltzekleiven.
Stoltzekleiven is named after a German farm on the mountain plateau above Bergen. The trek to the top is an 800 step stone trail recently rehabilitated by Himalayen road builders. It´s an exhausting climb, but a popular route for runners and fitness freaks alike. The world record for the ascent is eight minutes. Mine is 22, and Brian´s a speedy 18. We still have a long way to go.
Greeted by gorgeous blue skies on a lovely crisp spring day, we decided to head up there for our Sunday run, and then continue, along one of the connecting tracks across the plateau to Rundemanen, before heading back into town.
We ran across the bridge, through town and headed up to Fjellveien and then on to Stoltzekleiven base, reaching it after about 40 minutes. From there we began the steep ascent. As we climbed the steps I noticed two things, a drop in temperature, and an increasingly icey terrain. Snow greeted us at the top, but we decided to continue on our planned route. Another 1/2 hour into our run, our blue skies were suddenly replaced with looming and intimidating looking rain or snow clouds, we were not sure which, but neither seemed particularly attractive in what now seemed like freezing termperatures. Snow was now all around. With nothing but rugged vast mountain tops to be seen we had no choice but to continue.
Fortunately, despite our feeling of complete isolation, within another hour we were back in the comforts of central Bergen and queuing at the Bunnpris supermarket (the slightly radical mini supermarket which dares to open on Sundays), for waffle mix.
Mmm hot waffles.
It´s what makes it all worthwhile.