I yawn, stretch my arms over my head and my back makes a little ‘everything gets back into place’ sound. I turn around to get my beanie out of the car. It is 7 am and maybe 5 degrees Celsius. It is my time to make coffee in the back of the van.
Last year we stumbled onto pictures of Northern Norway and came up with the idea to do a great Nordic road trip in summer. Back then the idea included a full circle via Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Then I got booked for a 7 months project for the rest of 2019 and we pushed the idea to the future – definitely with a teary eye. When the Corona-19 situation allowed thoughts about European travels again and our projects gave us a break we jumped onto the ‘3 weeks alone in Norway!’ idea to experience at least one important part of our bucket list item.
We definitely did not expect one digit temperatures during the day and even some snow – in August.
So, this brought me here. Outside, at the rear of our micro van, making coffee in 5 degrees Celsius, wrapped in almost all my clothes I brought on this trip.
I breathe in while I grind the beans and the gas stove does its best to heat up the water. Such fresh air. Fresh and cold. I turn my head to see the blue tongue of the glacier reaching down the rock face. There is powdered snow covering the tops of the mountains which was not there when we went to bed last night. The mist still hangs low. The sun did not have a chance yet to clear the outline of the stone formations around us.
I hear movement in the car. Bridget gets ready for the day. When she steps outside she is also wrapped in almost all of her clothes. Yet, she actually brought warm clothes and long pants, not mostly shorts like someone else.
After the coffee we take our empty containers and walk the path down the road to get fresh water from the glacier river. Glacier ice can be 5,000 years old, some of the oldest ice on Alaskan glaciers is supposed to be even 30,000 years old, Google tells me.
I guess the water we will be drinking during the next days is more likely to have 100 years or less.
It has a hint of moss.
Some context and notes
Yes, I brought a manual coffee grinder on our trip. I also brought it to New Zealand in January. There is nothing like buying coffee beans in the country I am at that specific moment and prepare a fresh coffee every morning. Even if it is 5 degrees C outside and I just stumbled out of a way too narrow camper van. Or maybe especially then. Well, no, I would prefer being in the Southern Pacific.
Also, I can’t wrap my head around the fact how old glacier water is. It is one of these wonders like the depth of the oceans or a clear night sky when you stand in awe, your brain stops its analytical tasks and something in your chest starts to grow.
In Norway you have the ‘everyone’s right’ which means you can camp and sleep anywhere as long as you are not on protected or private grounds and please, please, please take your garbage with you. That includes toilet paper. There’s nothing more disappointing than walking through a beautiful forrest, seeing a giant toadstool and finding white tissues everywhere around.
I enjoy writing stories about small moments, specific encounters and experiences. So, if you want to know something specific about a place, how to get there or recommendations for bars, cafés, restaurants, activities or a great local brewery, ask me directly and I am happy to respond.
Thank you for your time. I appreciate it a lot.