Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a journey all on your own without planning a single thing? Well, let me take you back to Norway!
It was my second day in Trondheim, a city I decided to put up my tent, just one night after getting mugged in the streets of Oslo. I was particularly excited to finally hike up a mountain and explore Norway’s wild nature. It was Sunday and since I had not planned any route and no possibility of buying a map, I just decided to go up.
“An old man had once told me about a secret place behind that mountain over there”, André told me pointing into the distance. André was a local, roughly my age, who I had just met on the top of the mountain. “Let’s find that place!”, I cried out in excitement, knowing this was going to be something special. We grabbed our backpacks and off we went.
Two hours later. “There’s no way we’re going down there!”, I thought to myself. We had reached the mountain and were facing a steep cliff. André somehow convinced me that it would’t be that bad, so we slowly climbed down. Always looking for – well we did not know exactly what it was – a secret place. We had almost gotten to the bottom and I still couldn’t see anything. Stairs! There were stairs in the rock. We followed them to a small path and there it was: a fairytale-like little house built right into the mountain. It was so well hidden that you couldn’t see it from the mountain. Even now that we were down, it was still hard to spot.
We checked the door. It was open. We wandered inside and to our surprise everything was in best order. An old wooden table niceley decorated with red cloth and candles took up half of the room. In a corner there was a small stove and a pile of chopped wood waiting to be lit. Candles on the table, candles on the cupboards, candles everywhere! (This would have been the perfect place for a romantic date with a girl)
The hiking had made us tired and I was starting to get really hungry. We started to cook and as the smoke was coming out of the wonderfully-self-made chimney, a hunter came by. Surprised that we even knew about this place he explained us where we were:
„More than 60 years ago, during the German occupation of Norway one brave man decided to hide in the mountains all alone, to warn his fellow landsmen when the German ships would arrive. He built this small house in a way that no one could see him. Not from top of the mountain nor from the coast. Up to ten years ago no one even knew about this place and just recently a path was built.“
What path? – I thought to myself looking up the steep mountain. Apparently it had been even more difficult to reach this place some years ago. I figured the hunter knew a lot about this place and seemed to know nature quite well. So I asked him what kind of plants, mushrooms and berries I could eat here in Norway. I took some notes feeling a bit smarter. Nevertheless I was not planning on living solemnly on what nature provides me.
On my way back I gathered some mushrooms and cooked my very first non-instant soup since I got here.