Over the mountains to a wedding

Posted by JM on Aug 04, 2017

Sometimes a hike has a very specific purpose. In our case, the purpose was to get to the wedding of Hildegunn’s brother.

For something a little bit different, we decided to hike from Østlandet (eastern Norway) to Vestlandet (west coast Norway) instead of drive or take the bus.

Just us and the mountains - just the way we like it. It's images like these that remain forever burned into your body's memory

Just us and the mountains - just the way we like it. It’s images like these that remain forever burned into your body’s memory

Our planned starting point was Tyinkrysset, a little village up in Filefjell, the mountain pass where East meets West Norway. At Tyinkrysset we were to follow the Norwegian Tourist Association’s (DNT) trail up into Skarvheimen, the mountainous region also known as Filefjell.

After hiking for several days and meeting up with some hikers coming the other way at Kongshelleren’s hut we were told that there was still a tonne of snow at Finse, a well known mountain village right at the edge of the Bergen-Oslo train line.

Having already hiked through snow, we weren’t really keen to go deeper into it, so we decided to divert from our planned route and take a right turn at Steinbergdalshytta and head down into Aurlandsdalen which would take us to Aurlandsvangen a small town nestled in the world heritage Nærøyfjorden.

As this turned out to be a major diversion, we were forced to take the bus back on track to Hardangerfjord, where we hitchhiked from Eidsfjord up to our food drop at a DNT cabin next to Vøringsfossen, Norway’s highest waterfall.

Our amended route would have had us crossing Hardangervidda, Northern Europe’s largest plateau, to get to Trolltunga and Odda in Hardangerfjord, but after spending a day and a half in a tent while it poured down outside, we decided to take the easy solution to our final destination of Tysnes, where the wedding was to take place.

While hiking through Skarvheimen, Hildegunn and I found ourselves in a magical spot where we sat down and took a break. It was on the way down to Iungsdalen, where we literally and figuratively felt like we were sitting on top of the world. There was not a soul in sight - not even a sheep (which is quite something in Norway). Only the mountains and nature all around us. It was one of those moments when you understand what the whole point to life is. That being there in that moment and recognising it was the point. We basked in the beautiful sunshine and felt inspired to write a speech for Hildegunn’s brother Øyvind and his soon-to-be wife Kit.

On the roof of Norway.

On the roof of Norway.

We shared the route with the reindeer.

We shared the route with the reindeer.

Rescuing Hildegunn's backpack - fortunately I didn't end up with it down there.

Rescuing Hildegunn’s backpack - fortunately I didn’t end up with it down there.

The route up into the mountains. The sheep lead the way.

The route up into the mountains. The sheep lead the way.

Back in civilisation, camping overnight in a gazebo, with the midnight sun.

Back in civilisation, camping overnight in a gazebo, with the midnight sun.


Wedding speech (in Norwegian)

“Hvordan det er å være gift med en Hodne:

  • en Hodne har en eventyrers sjel, alltid klar til å reise ut i og oppdage verden.
  • en Hodne er en romantisk sjel, alltid klar med varme hender, en kos og et kyss.
  • en Hodne er en dyp tenskom sjel, alltid klar til å se ting på en annen måte
  • en Hodne er en talentfull og kreativ sjel, alltid klar til å skape noe nytt og uventet
  • en Hodne er en humoristisk og freidig sjel, alltid klar med en spøk og et smil i øyekrokken.
  • en Hodne er en sulten sjel, som er sulten på livet og på all mat som serveres.

“Jeg tror Kit allerede har oppdaget alt dette i Øyvind, og at Øyvind har funnet sin sjelspeil i Kit.

“Vi gikk fra Østlandet til Vestlandet for å bli med på bryllupet. Vi gikk oppover og nedover stupbratte lier, spisse tinder, dype elver, endeløse vidder og frodige daler. Turen var litt som livet: ofte tøff, krevende og en utfordring. Men det beste med turen var at vi kunne nyte øyeblikkene sammen. Vi satt på Norges tak i fantastisk rå natur, stillhet og solskinn. Vi var alene men sammen, og vi opplevde ekte frihet, ro og glede. Vi ønsker dere mange slike øyeblikk, fulle av glede, ro og frihet. Vi ønsker at dere tar vare på hverandre, og nyter livet sammen. Gratulerer med dagen!”


English translation

“What it’s like to be married to a Hodne” (Hodne is the last name of my brother-in-law and Hildegunn)

  • A Hodne has an adventurer’s soul, always ready to travel and discover the world.
  • A Hodne is a romantic soul, always ready with warm hands, a hug and a kiss.
  • A Hodne is a deep considerate soul, always ready to see things from a different perspective.
  • A Hodne is a talented and creative soul, always ready to come up with something new and unexpected.
  • A Hodne is a humorous and non-judgemental soul, always ready with a joke and a smile in their eyes.
  • A Hodne is a hungry soul, hungry for life and all the good food in the world.

“I believe that Kit has already discovered all of this in Øyvind, and that Øyvind has found his soulmate in Kit.”

“We hiked from Eastern Norway to Western Norway to be here at your wedding. We hiked up and down steep mountain sides and their summits, across deep rivers, endless plateaus and into peaceful valleys. Our tour has been a little like life: often tough, demanding and challenging. But the best part of the trip has been that we could enjoy many moments together. We sat on the roof of Norway surrounded by fantastic raw nature, silence and sunshine. We were alone together and we experienced true freedom, peace and happiness. We wish you many similar moments together full of happiness, peace and freedom. We hope you both take care of each other and enjoy life together. Congratulations!”

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