Friluftsliv – “free air life”

Post by Cindy Mom

“I must tell you, not all Norwegians are as crazy about this as I am,” said our host and guide (and president of the Lyngdal Rotary Club), Gaute Johannessen. While Krista and Diane were relaxing in Gaute and Tordis’s beautiful mountain cottage two days ago, Gaute guided Anjanette, Jody, Tara, and Cindy on an overnight hike into the mountains.  And yes, Gaute is crazy about the mountains.  They are his paradise. Gaute is also crazy about many other outdoor activities that can be done in the wilds of Norway. His seasons go something like this, though not necessarily in this order:
Fish, at the ocean
Fish, at the river
Fish, at the lake
Canoe, hike, and stay at mountain huts (hytte)
Go boating on the fjord
Pick cloudberries (in undisclosed locations)
Hunt rype (grouse)
Ice skate
Eat rakfisk and cloudberries

Gaute’s outdoor interests, passions, and activities can be summed up with one Norwegian word: friluftsliv. Literally translated, this means “free air life.” We don’t have a word for this way of life in English. It seems to be a purely Norwegian philosophy.  The four of us who got to go on a hike with this master of friluftsliv are so fortunate to have had him as our guide.  He didn’t waste too much time talking about friluftsliv, but instead took us to a ruggedly beautiful place, and shared his mountain paradise with us.  Thank you, Gaute, for introducing us to the Lakkenstova Hytte, Lille Øy Vann, kråkefot, rype, heipiplerke, bløtenatter, your homemade raspberry wine, and the barbeque hut.  Maybe someday you’ll tell us where to find the cloudberries. (But we won’t hold our breaths.)

Gaute, our fearless leader

Springtime in Ljosland, while the rhododendrons and cherry trees bloom back in town

Lakkenstova Hytte, a Den Norske Turistforening (DNT) cabin.

Happy Campers!

 Post by Cindy Mom


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