Cuddling with Reindeers and Learning How to Ski

Warning: This post contains pictures of the world's cutest reindeers and might trigger you to book a flight to Norway... or celebrate Christmas in May... Guys, I know I haven't blogged about my Easter vacation yet but that's about to change! As you might have read, I spent Easter with the boyfriend's family - first in Nordland and later on in a cabin in Swedish Lapland. And of course, the time in Sweden was a-freaking-mazing BUT I'll have to tell you all about it at a later time. Don't worry though, cause my stay in Nordland was quite adventurous too.

If you've never heard of Nordland - it's one of the three counties in Northern Norway and situated south of Tromso. It's one of the best destinations for a roadtrip in Norway and also offers the world's biggest maelstrom. It is pretty rural though and Simon's family is from a small town near the Swedish border called Fauske.

Now, there isn't actually too much to see in Fauske but it does offer some amazing views and beautiful nature and luckily for me, Simon's family's reindeers. When I visited last autumn, they were all up in the mountains so I couldn't see them but this time, they were gathered in the valley, ready to be transported to summer pastures on an island nearby so I had the chance to see them up close.

Reindeers are usually very shy and even though those ones were relatively tame, they aren't exactly pets and definitely have respect for humans aka they can get afraid of us if we move too quickly. There is however one thing that makes reindeers forget about their fear of humans: moss. Reindeers are crazy for moss and as soon as we came into the enclosure with moss in our hands, they all started to come towards us to get a bite.

They even started kicking each other to get to me which in turn, made me quite afraid of them as I was squatting on the ground. You probably don't know this but I fell of a horse and broke my arm when I was a child and still keep my distance to horses and those reindeers kicking each other reminded me a lot of that crazy pony that made me break my arm. So naturally, my own escape reflex kicked in but as soon as I got up, the reindeers got afraid of me again and stepped back.

It was a game of cat-and-mouse, haha! But seriously, these reindeers were just the cutest and I would have cuddled with them if they had let me. They didn't of course but it was quite awesome to be feeding them and seeing them so close. Normally you'd have to pay for an experience like this so I'm absolutely grateful to have a reindeer herding "family in-law".

During my two days in Fauske, I also had planned to learn how to ski. Now after one and a half year of living in Norway, I still hadn't stood on skis once up to that trip and I really wanted to change that. I didn't expect Fauske to be so springlike though as there was pretty much no snow at all when we arrived and I already saw my dream of skiing going down the drain.

Now luckily, a snowstorm arrived in Fauske that night which would have made me feel fantastic if I hadn't fallen ill that night too. Let's just say, it's got to be love when your boyfriend falls asleep on the bathroom floor with you cause you don't feel so good.... Anyway, it was a looong and mostly sleepless night and even though I felt incredibly dizzy the next day, I had to try skiing anyway.

Let's just say, that was a bad idea.

First up, the skis I got to loan were waaaaayyyyy too long. And of course, skis kinda have to be long cause that's the point but I didn't feel comfortable with two long sticks on my feet at all. Now take that and the fact that your arms and feet have to move in opposite directions, and you might understand my frustration with going on skis.

While Simon started skiing like he had never done anything else in his life, I had trouble keeping up with him with two long sticks on my feet and in my hands. The difficult thing is that you have to move for example your left foot and your right arm and then your right foot and your left arm - opposite of walking where you pretty much move the left foot and left arm and the right foot and right arm at the same time. Or am I just walking weirdly?

Anyway, this whole thing just felt completely unnatural and Simon was the worst teacher ever as for him this way seemed completely normal. He told me afterwards that he talked about my complaints going skiing with a friend who sympathised with me and told him that it of course must have felt unnatural to me - Norwegians are born with skiis on their feet after all. There you have it! There's a physiological reason why I can't (and never will) go on skis!

But the worst part was yet to come. We had to ski on the road for just a couple metres to the next field where we wanted to ski properly. No big deal really as the boyfriend's family pretty much lives in the middle of nowhere and there are rarely any cars around. Of course, as soon as we were on the road, a car came from behind though and the boyfriend yelled at me to get out of the way.

At that point, I had only stood on skis for less than 5 minutes and now I had to hurry to get to the side of the road. Of course I started walking as that is what you would normally do, right? But with two long sticks on your feet, this isn't exactly easy so I stumbled upon my own feet and fell into the roadside ditch.....

Now I haven't seen the look on the driver's face but I'm pretty sure he must have thought that I was a complete idiot. Luckily, I had my camera around my neck to be able to share this graceful moment with you!

We did try skiing again properly afterwards but I never really got the hang of it. It was just so exhausting to try and focus on using the right arm and the right foot, which in this case would have been the right arm and the left foot so you probably get why it was exhausting. I decided that after-ski is way better than skiing and laid down on the ground to enjoy the sunshine instead.

I still think that cuddling with reindeers is better than going skiing and this will probably never change but at least those views were awesome!

You know what you could do on a holiday in Northern Norway? Learning how to ski and cuddle reindeers!! Interested?
You know what you could do on a holiday in Northern Norway? Learning how to ski and cuddle reindeers!! Interested?

Have you ever tried to go skiing? What was I doing wrong? 

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