Today, I took part in the sledge riding activity for exchange students. I expected something like this in Uppsala, where you just walk to a hill and go down afterwards with a sledge. But what was thought to be an activity for children, turned out to be a crazy, high-speed down hill sledging.
We first took the metro until the last stop of line number 1, Frognerseteren. From there we went to a small building where we rented the sledges. The trip was actually organized by a small Norwegian family business which is run by a mother and her daughter. The daughter is roughly my age and does a “Bachelor in Outdoor Activities”. While in Germany, I would have asked whether she has already a taxi for doing something useful after her studies, here in Norway things seem to be different.
Logo of the Norwegian Skiing-School
With her came her young brother (about 10 years old) and a friend of him who spoke English perfectly. This was so amazing! I asked when children in Norway start to study English. They told me that they start already at the age of 6 or 7. So really early!
At the top of the hill, we got some helmets for the sledge-riding and by that time I knew: this is getting serious. The track itself was about 4 km long and some parts were covered entirely with ice, which made it impossible to “navigate” with the sledge. Besides that, I had made the tactical mistake of only wearing a jeans and some long underwear. This turned out to be wrong because everything became wet and some parts of the jeans were entirely frozen later on.
One of the sledges
The ride itself was incredibly fast. There were some bumps on the track and sometimes you were really flying through the air for a few seconds. A guy from Greece made acquaintance with a tree besides the track – which obviously hurt a bit. Parts of the track were actually quite dangerous and one could have easily slided into the abyss. This provoked the Germans of the group to complain about how “they” (whoever that would be) could allow such a dangerous track to exist.
some of the participants…
It was not necessary to walk up again. When we arrived at the bottom of the hill, we just took the next metro back up again and the fun could start for the next time. All in all, I managed to handle the sledge quite well. In total we went up and down for three times and I finished almost always among the first 5, so not too bad! The third and last run was the most fun and also the fastest one.
…looked like astronauts