I finally got out today. Actually, that's a bit of a lie as I go out for a run up the local 'backyard' mountain a couple of evenings during the week when I'm not at Norwegian classes or doing homework but this was the first time I'd been somewhere different in a while. Last weekend I helped my boss to move house, from one side of Bergen to the other. During the week the weather had been awful (or awesome, if you're a duck), rain every day and some mornings it's been a bit icy on the back streets. Saturday was spent traipsing round Bergen city centre in the pouring rain trying to find reasonably priced 'bomber' rain gear i.e. stuff we could wear to and from work or school that wasn't especially 'technical' so we could save the good stuff for the weekends, safe in the knowledge that it wasn't damp/worn-out/missing when we needed it for a trip to the mountains. Saturday night we went to a friends house for a huge family roast dinner and loose plans were made for a bit of a hike on Sunday morning should the biblical rain decide to give us a break.
Sunday morning and low and behold we had sunshine. Not a lot, just patches here and there speckling the city and surrounding mountains but it wasn't raining! Due to the Bergen International Film Festival being on in town we only had time for a quick jaunt but we managed a blast up and down Livarden (683m), 20 minutes drive out of the city. The Norwegians set the pace and boy was it fast. I hardly got a chance to get the camera out. The track started in a deep pine forest then blasted straight up a gradual ridge line. The conditions were wet to say the least. 10 days worth of rain either sat in boggy areas either side of us or poured down the path in a small stream. One side of the hill was swathed in thick fog and the other was bathed in weak sunshine, both conditions split by our route up the ridge. There was a bitter wind at the top too so after pulling on all our spare clothes and sharing a big bar of chocolate we turned tail and marched straight back down at mach 1. The path through the trees at the end was treacherous and we spent quite a while picking lines around bogs and sliding down rooted chutes to the ski path at the bottom. With the film festival calling we jumped straight into the car and headed home munching on chocolate lefse.