Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bjellavassstua, Saltfjellet

[WARNING: Long picture heavy post]

Most pictures in this post are taken by adix[at] - he is studying to be an engineur or perhaps a biotecknologist. He is a biker and his fitness and sense of adventure makes him the perfect companion on an adventure. His willingness to run to the nearest peak makes him the perfect assistant for a professional photographer or feature photographer. I might acctually invite him along to document other madness at a later time.

Its about a 2 hour+ drive from Bodø to the parkinglot at the end of a dirt road in Tollådalen. As I mentioned I might do in a previous post - Im taking my friend Marcins family to the arctic mountains. By the dirt road they spot mushrooms.

Polish people are somewhat like the swedes in this regard: they love their mushrooms and they love picking them themselves. Norway is more of a berrynation I think.

But it is an amazing start for the trip. They are so happy already that anything can go wrong and they will still have some good memories.

The first part of the trip is an hour or two of climbing. Below the treeline it looks much like this when you look back.

It is in the middle of august and fall is coming. Life is hard and brutal here; but also furiously bright and strong.

I didnt really realize until now but the polish people pose like mådderfåkkers on photos. But quite often it makes good pictures. Like this one - Mom and dad in the forefront - Adix and Marcins younger brother Pizarro in the background.

I kind of like this picture. Their smiles at first seem sceptical, and they might be, but when you study it closer you see that 'sceptical' in no way means ungenuine.

Two paths cross, and these are the last trees. We are going to Bjellavassstua, a public mountaincabin where local and foreign tourists can sleep for 200 kroners a night or 1000 kroners a year. (A little over a 100€).

By a beautifull pond we take a 15 minute break.

The weather is perfect - they are truly charmed. Im hard worked to convince them to carry wool sweathers and other necesseties for the arctic mountains. I am afraid they now think me the fool for talking of leather mountain trekking boots, wool sweaters, and raingear. If they only knew.

Polish beer in norwegian mountains. I scare them with stories of bears while talking about the beers and all of us have problems with discering what is 'beer' and what is 'bear'. Native speakers think they have all the fun, but I rather think they dont.

A backpack with a view.


I love the colour of this picture. The color seems distorted, but in my memory it is not.

The northern sun might be weak; but to my eyes it is still all powerfull and beautifull. I guess he never would have taken a picture like this had there not been reindeers - but I love the effect.

This beach, with more reindeers in the foreground, is just 50 meters from the cabin. The beach turns out to be made out of stones and the water is about 7C - but it still looks nice. A mountain lake, like.

This photo is amazing though! He probably could sell this to the postcard-people. Remember people: all this shit is copyrigthed to Adix forevermore!

So, Im cheating a littlebit here; we are about to leave the next day - but this is the only good picture from the cabin we've got. Thats ok. What happens in the mountains, stays in the mountains. Its a littlebit like Vegas that way. Note my how very norwegian my pose is compared to the posers.

The next morning we got up about ten. I had been stupid and picked the room by the entrance door. Some sort of guarddog-instinct or somesuch. Somebody was going in and out to puke for a couple of hours waking me up every time. I dont know who. Doesnt matter, cuz shit happens to everybody.

We rowed over the lake and took an expedition to see the plateu. Letting Marcin choose the way we took the worst possible path. It was challenging and even alittle fun.

Thats all of us. Mom and Pizarro are back in the cabin. Ok, tell me, who be looking like he been on them mountains beforehand?

I think this is a wonderful portrait of father and son. If the son survives his youth it will be a grand memoir in his old days. If he perishes this picture may help the good father remember him and smile.

I love how huge I look in this picture. Oh yes! We are crossing a dangerous river. Dad is very sceptical. 'Should we go further up?' I stand completly silent for 30 seconds calculating - the other side seems to be within reach, but the current is so strong a misadventure might be fatal. Finally I say 'I can do it, but we can go together further up.'

It migth have been unfair. He is in his late forties, but still has the heart of a sportsman and the competetive nature of the ex-military heartsurgeon and tennisplayer might have led him to take greater risks than he should have - but I trusted he could do it and did not try to dissuade him.

Adix also was so kind as to make this nice 'heroic-posture-cutout'. I might be getting older but I think my body still has a few good years ahead. I want to be old. Very old.

And then the man himself. I suggested he could frame it and have it in his office to [if not in so many words:] show everybody who the fåkking alphamale is around this hospital. After a while he said he just might and that he was so happy with this picture that it was worth the whole trip in itself.

I dont know if he took this picture on purpose, but I certainly seem to be releaving myself in the background.

Adix and Marcin posing by the lake. The cabin is on the other side. Climb down. Row over. Eat lunch. Pack and clean. Then leave for the car and civilisation.

We all agreed the water was amazing. The color unreal.

And then we left.

There is great segregation between the sexes in Poland, roles are traditional. But now this is amazing: She cleans and cooks in the cabin - but carries nothing neither up nor down the mountain. Carrying only my own stuff and alcohol Im quite happy with the solution. Escpescially going down.

A littlebit more disturbing though is letting Pizarro carry nothing because of a common cold and a sligth fever. I would not be this easy on them if they where my boys.

Those of us carrying lag a bit behind. Thats ok - I just think of it as exercise, and I've eaten 600 mg ibuprofene for my knees so I dont really feel the pain.

And more reindeers. Hurra.

Monkeyboy getting a drink of the best water I have ever tasted. There is absolutly no bottled water that can compare to the taste of this stuff right here.

While we where not always walking in the sun the weather was amazing. Below the treelines the are no mountain winds and even though I have sweated so much my t-shirt is soaked I can take my jacket of as long as I keep walking.

The cars are down the hill, not so far from the river.

Adix climed a short peak for this picture. I like it.

More prettyness.

This really is the last picture, but for a happier ending it is next to last. If you click on the picture you can se a closeup of how incredibly tired they are. Im on my way to the city - but they take the time to pick some mushrooms. Aparently they are very tasty in a omelette with onions. His father was a hunter.

I love this picture. Everybody has such independent characters the photo could be a cast shot of some television-series. They all, at different times, confided in me of their appreciation of the northern amazingness, and in the end everybody agreed it had been a nice trip.

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