Susan Østdahl's Norwegian winter adventure
Danish Susan Østdahl took her family on a skiing holiday in Norway, where they spent some wonderful days together in a beautiful Landfolk cabin near Hemsedal ~ just a few hours' drive from Oslo. In this article, you can read about how they spent their days together, what they liked most about the cabin they stayed in, what they dreamt of when they traveled to Norway, and see what activities they loved to do in the snow.
How was the journey from your home in Jutland to the cabin?
The travel time was around 13 hours, and we loved the break we had on the ferry from Hirtshals to Larvik. It was a delightful pause where the children could visit the play area while the driver got a well-deserved break, and we had lunch together. When we planned the trip, it was easy for us to get an overview of the area and its possibilities, and it was especially the great tips from our hosts that contributed to this.
What was important to you when choosing a cabin?
When we planned our holiday together, we wanted a getaway that was about more than just ski slopes. It was important for us to be able to enjoy time together as a family at the cabin and have the opportunity to experience both the Norwegian surroundings and nature by going on walks together. We were fortunate enough to visit Norway at a time when the weather was at its very best, and we experienced the combination of sparkling snow and warming sun rays.
What were the three best things about the cabin?
Space, aesthetics, and location. The cabin lived up to the impression of the atmosphere we got from the pictures on Landfolk, and you can truly feel that the cabin is being used a lot by our hosts. There were beautiful details everywhere that made the cabin more personal, and we especially appreciated finding board games, crayons, a sled, and many other things we could borrow.
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How did you experience the local area, what surprised you the most?
The arrival at the cabin literally took us by storm, and we quickly discovered that the pictures couldn't do justice to the beautiful sight of neither the cabin nor the surroundings. We took long walks in the snow, built snowmen, and visited the nearby town. Our host was a great help and gave us lots of tips for places to explore in the area both on foot and on skis. Just a couple of hundred meters from the cabin, for example, there's a small ski resort where we could have stayed for the entire trip if we wanted. The host also provided information about where to find the grocery store, when the roads would be cleared of snow, and other practical matters. It made a big difference.
You went skiing in Hemsedal, how was your experience?
Even though we wanted a ski holiday that wasn't solely about skiing, we still wanted a few good days on the slopes together. We had decided in advance to use two of our five days in Hemsedal, which is one of the largest ski resorts in Norway – and especially well-suited for beginners. Because most of us were beginners on skis, this was a significant factor in choosing the destination.
For us, the two days on the slopes were more than enough for the youngest ones, aged 4 and 7, and it was truly wonderful to return to the cabin after a day in the snow together, light the fireplace, enjoy a glass of wine and the view together after the kids had fallen asleep. There was a small ski resort right by the cabin, which we visited one afternoon and borrowed sleds.
Find the perfect ski destination for your family here
You had your wonderful children with you; do you have any tips on how to have the best experience as a family?
Certainly! We set our expectations for what we wanted to achieve very low. And that's precisely what was behind choosing a larger cabin where we wanted to spend a lot of our time. Before we left, we had already agreed that if one day of skiing was enough, that would be sufficient.
It allowed us to simply enjoy the outdoors and each other's company, prepare good food, relax in front of the fireplace, and essentially focus on a family trip rather than just a skiing holiday. This was important to us, especially since it was the first ski trip for the youngest ones. We were surprised that we ended up with three days of skiing, and we can certainly recommend hiring a ski instructor on the first day, so that everyone becomes confident on their skis. Our 5-year-old was able to take the ski lift and ski down the children's slope alone on the last day.
What preparations did you make before the trip?
We had some communication with our host before the trip, which was incredibly helpful. We received not only tips about the cabin and the area, where to find the grocery store, and good dining places, but also general information that, as Danes, we might not have thought about – like the legal requirement to have tire chains in the car for the icy and steep mountain roads. We would highly recommend this, especially if you don't have four-wheel drive. Additionally, we booked all the equipment we needed for our days in Hemsedal, so we wouldn't have to worry about bringing any gear with us.
Read the article about 7 things you need to know before going on a skiing holiday in Norway
Is there anything you'd like to highlight about booking through Landfolk?
It feels very safe to book a trip like this, where everything is included in the price. It's both easy and provides a better overview. At the same time, I must emphasize that the place was at least as beautiful in reality as it appeared on the Landfolk website.
Where do you dream of traveling to next?
We had almost just returned from our trip when we started planning the next one. Something we will definitely take with us from this experience is how fantastic it was to have a cozy homely base from which we could embark on adventures together. One of the days, we skipped skiing because the kids were so tired and just wanted to enjoy themselves at the cabin, play in the snow, build snowmen, and eat good food while watching films in front of the fireplace.
The only thing we have left to experience the full essence of Norway is to witness the Northern Lights dance across the sky on a clear, starry night. It’s almost difficult to wish for more. We are an incredible experience richer and will undoubtedly return to the fantastic Norway.
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