The bridge crossed the river and led me to a smoth, rounded, rocky surface. A few puddles could be seen here and there, and I immediately ran over the first of the larger ones. Close to the surface swam a few tadpoles. Their legs have started to show, but their tales are still long.
I left them in their bubble of a world and continued on.
After the small climb I turned right an continued down a well thread and wide path. While going steeply downhill I met people. Norwegians are said to be cold and maybe a little shy. Give someone a big smile without talking to them and you’re almost guaranteed not get one back, instead you’ll get a look which will make yourself doubt your own sanity. In the mountains, however, we ignore all social conventions, and greet everyone as a friend. I was thus met with big smiles and friendly and quite loud (according to Norwegian standards) ‘hello!’s. I only met another two people on my way down, and they too greeted me as if they had known me for years.
A small stream crossed the path, and I found myself jumping from stone to stone in order to cross without getting my feet wet. I stopped on a rather large stone in the centre of the stream bent down, ladled water in my hand and drank a few mouthfuls. Any other time I would not have thought twice about drinking more. But this summer there are reported diseases coming from certain rodents infecting small mountain brooks. Not all brooks and streams are longer completely safe for quenching one’s thirst. I decided to wait until I found a suitable place in the big river. A few metres after crossing the wee stream, another brook had changed its course and now ran IN the path rather than next to it. Tip-toeing and jumping back and forth I still managed without getting my shoes soaked.
The path continued (also splitting every now and again) down to an old farm. Huge old oaks used to dominated just above the farm, but for some reason many had now been chopped down. It was a sad sight to see the open landscape filled with branches and cut-offs from the trees. I am sure they have been cut down for a reason, and new ones will be planted, but there and then the scenery looked like a scene from Saruman’s neighbourhood.
Just below the farm I walked off the path and down to the river. The river had split into three, one was still large and wide, but the other two were small and often still, and thus more likely to pick up bacterias and the like. I took off my shoes and waded through the first two.
The rocky surface where the water runs is often covered in green moss, and is very slippery. Where there is no water, the surface is dry, but with many larges stones. I jumped from stone to stone, stopped to wade, before jumping further.
When I reached the main river I waded into the center and drank as much as I wanted. I scooped the water up with my hands and drank mouthfuls. I am very picky regarding water. When out traveling I have learned to read all labels, as long as the alphabet used is latin, on water bottles to find water I am able to drink. The water in the river is fresh, there’s no chloride, very little calcium, but probably with a mineral content you’d find in no bottled water. Very refreshing, tasting a bit of rocks and forest ground (no mud taste), and perfect temperature.
I regretted not bringing my bathing suit. As the water was warm enough for a swim (that means just above 15 degrees Celsius, if at all that warm…). After quenching my thirst I returned to the path. Soon after my parents called, wondering where I’d gone. I thus had to run down to the waterworks where they picked me up with their car. While crossing the river on a small bridge I turned and took a picture of some kids bathing where I used to go when I still lived with my parents. Memories came flooding back as together with feelings of love and respect for the gorgeous nature.