Combining the last week of the academic year with finding a new place to live was always going to cause stress and tension so it was good to build in a midweek window of 'nature'. Taking the opportunity to take a fistful of Topptrim cards we gathered the troops and headed off for a bright, if chilly, evenings exploring the hills on the south side of Bergen. Damsgårdsfjellet (344m) is one of the smaller of the so-called 'seven hills of Bergen' but the ascent from the road is a really steep boulder-to-boulder hop, step and jump. Without a gentle warm-up it was shock to the heart and lungs but everybody thought it was fun. As we crested the summit plateau we were hit by the Arctic-chilled, stiff north-westerly wind that kept our Topptrim card punching ceremony to a bare minimum. Before we jogged quickly to the opposite side of the plateau and down the even steeper western face we had a quick look at the city of Bergen from the south. In the evening sunlight the white buildings and red roofs gave it an almost Mediterranean facade.
Out of the influence of the wind the sun exerted it's own presence on the evening and warmed the rocky bluffs that surrounded us. In the low sun the wind scoured boulders and scarce vegetation gave the area a spaghetti western feel. We half expected The Man With No Name to come riding round the next corner. Our circular route eventually took us back up onto Damsgårdsfjellet and back into the wind. The descent back to the car was great fun. Dry boulders and nimble, grippy trail running shoes filled us with confidence as we jogged down the rocky staircase. Steve and myself pushed things faster and faster as we descended each section, giggling as we scared ourselves with near misses, the stresses of the week a million miles behind us. The rejuvenating power of hills should never be underestimated.