Monday, 5 October 2009

New surroundings, new seasons

I moved apartment this weekend, hopefully for the last time in a while. It's been a crazy summer, moving home 3 times in as many months. Still, one big plus of my latest move is that I am closer to the mountains again, very close.

Despite not making it to Finland as planned this week (it's a long story) I was determined to get outside for some fresh air. Even that thick head feeling of an on-coming cold didn't deter me although I carried nothing more than my camera and planned nothing more than a stroll around my new surroundings to get my bearings.

3 mins from my new home is the blunt end of Svartediket, one of the reservoirs that supplies Bergen with water and electricity. After all the recent rainfall there was a curtain of excess flowing over one of the spillways. Around the corner the path switches from tarmac to gravel and as I quickly scanned the horizon something caught my eye. Is that snow?! It was. Just a dusting, but definitely snow.

The path weaves it's way around the reservoir, always under the scrutiny of lights that will allow for winter evening running and, if snow arrives in the city like last year, post-work skiing sessions. The only thing that detracts from the scene is the criss-cross of power cables that lace the slender reservoir together.

Autumnal colours abounded. Rust-red berries amid the green, yellow and auburn of the surrounding foliage. Periodically the path split and on a whim I left the main gravel drag and sloped off up a forested hillside. The path soon petered out into a washed out sluice and sure footing was in short supply. Whenever the path levelled out it instantly turned into ankle deep slush, threatening to swamp my mids.

I did consider heading further up one of the narrow valleys to the snow far above but my cold, common sense and lack of suitable clothing turned me back at a sensible decision point. I stopped and ate a banana, admiring the cirque of rock around me while gushing water echoed off the granite walls.

The sun started to slip away and cold caressed me gently, reminding me that I was not equipped to be out here long today. Thankfully the wind was light and the nudge home was friendly. I turned back towards the city and entered the muffled forest.

Before long I was back on the main path and passing people enjoying their post-work exercise. I was thankful to have gotten out today, to explore my new back-yard, even if I wasn't feeling 100%. New adventures, a new season and a winter of outdoor fun to look forward too.

10 comments:

Dave Hanlon said...

I'm not at all green with envy. Not a bit. Honest.

Nielsen Brown said...

I do have trees and some views but, I will swap you backyards any day. Nice photos by the way.

As for Finland well there is always another time.

blogpackinglight said...

Norway is the best place to live according to the UN: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/8290550.stm

Gaute said...

You've got some great choices for shorter trips with that starting point... Along Svartediket and either left up to Tarlebøvatnet and over Blåmannen/Rundemannen or for a longer trip to the right and then up Isdalen and to Ulriken then back home. Door to door time of under 2 till 3 hours depending on fitness...
Also day trip options like Fløyen to Ulriken over Vidden or Arna to Bergen over Ulriken.

James Boulter said...

I would swap back yards with you in an instant.............

Holdfast said...

Dave - I'm a very lucky boy, I know.

Roger - A new camera is always good for motivation. My trip to Finland will happen, I promise.

Robin - I saw that report too. Thankfully the index doesn't include the weather...

Gaute - yep, it's a great starting point for all kinds of trips. Criminally, despite being in Bergen a year, I've yet to do Vidden...

James - no deal :-)

Martin Rye said...

Like the new views near the new home and the new blog layout. Lots of new all round there :)

Any new kit as well ?

kate said...

what a beautiful place, hope this move works out for you. that forest looks perfect singletrack country :)

Hendrik M said...

You inspired me, Joe! Great photos. Passport arrived yet?

Thunder In The Night said...

Martin - thanks, the blog layout is better and I had a surprise when I saw it on a wide-screen laptop the other day, it actually looks even better!

New kit is in the pipeline, a major investment in winter kit will be undertaken shortly! Just doing a lot of research for now.

Kate - thank you, I really like it here. Unfortunately the forest has sheer granite cliffs above and a steep drop to the reservoir below. It's actually on quite a gradient as well (which you can't see on the photo). Any singletrack would be ultra fast, very twisty and end in an ice cold bath! The path around the reservoir will be nice for winter evening cruises on the bike (single speed crosser soon!) and decent runs with it's gentle hills and lighting.

Hendrik - Thank you. So many blogs are inspiring me with thinking about the photography more. Still no passport... grrrr!