When people ask me about what a stereotypical Statkraft employee looks like, I always think about a sporty person. I was therefore not surprised when I realised Statkraft has more than 10 company cabins located close to Norwegian national parks. To take advantage of this possibility, I invited the trainees of 2014 and 2015 for a cabin trip. The cabin we visited is the largest Statkraft owns, with 9 bedrooms, two large living rooms, and best of all a sauna. The cabin is located in Vamark, which is at the beginning of Norway’s largest national park, Hardangervidda. Being from Telemark myself, I really wanted to show of the Norwegian beauty and at the same time introduce the non-Norwegian to the concepts of “Koselig” and “Hyttetur”.
Great, great and even greater
Friday afternoon I could feel the excitement in the group – everyone was really looking forward to the weekend getaway. The sun was shining, everyone was packed and ready for a proper Norwegian cabin trip (In Norwegian called: ”Hyttetur”). If you have never been invited for a Norwegian cabin trip before I can tell you that it includes great food, great wine, great hiking, great people …basically everything is great!
The four hour drive to the cabin was done in no time – and we arrived at the cabin late on Friday eve. This didn’t make us break the Norwegian tradition of “Taco-friday” – and close to midnight everyone sat around the large dinner table eating tacos!
Trolldalen – “The valley of troll”
On Saturday we were eager for an early start- the plan of the day was a hiking trip to Trolldalen. Trolldalen is where two of Statkraft’s dams are located, Trolldalen- and Songadam. It was raining and a bit foggy on the trip to Trolldalen – but that didn’t stop us from having a great hiking experience. As the famous old norwegian proverb goes: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only poor choice of clothes”.
If you want to read more about the trip please visit: http://www.ut.no/tur/2.4941/http://www.ut.no/tur/2.4941/.
The real cabin experience
Back at the cabin we were eager to change from our hiking gear to our halloween costumes! Being the 31st of October- it was all set for a proper halloween celebration. We all got into our costumes – and decorated the living room with pumpkins, paper drawings and some bones we found on our hiking trip. After we were done with the decoration, it was time to enjoy ourselves and have it really “koselig”. If you are a non-Norwegian this concept can be hard to grasp, the best description I found online is:
“There is an important concept one needs to understand and embrace when living in Norway: being “koselig”. Most English speakers translate it by “cosy” but that term doesn’t even begin to cover everything that “koselig” can express. This concept is difficult to translate to those who do not live here, but basically anything can (and should) be koselig: a house, a conversation, a dinner, a person. It defines something/someone /an atmosphere that makes you feel a sense of warmth very deep inside in a way that all things should be: simple and comforting….(Read more: http://afroginthefjord.com/2014/02/02/how-to-make-things-koselig/) “
We eat a lovely dinner and for dessert we had “S’mores”. S’mores is a canadian upgrade of the tradition of putting marshmallows on a stick over a bonfire. The canadians takes this a bit further by also including crackers and chocolate- the result is one of the most delicious desserts I have ever tasted! Roberta, our fellow trainee colleague who is from Canada, was excited to see that we embraced the Canadian tradition of S’mores in our Norwegian cabin trip.
Trip to Gaustatoppen
After a great weekend it was time to go back home to Oslo. However, one the way home we took a detour to Gaustatoppen (norwegians never get tired of hiking). Gaustatoppen is located just above the industrial town of Rjukan (inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list). The hiking trip was a 3.5 hour return and the view from the top was stunning! Gaustatoppen is with its 1883 meter the highest mountain in Telemark and from the summit one can on a clear day see one sixth of Norway’s mainland.