An uphill experience

on

Since the end of the international programme we’ve had a week to ourselves during the ‘DebutUka’ (basically Freshers Week) which has been after such a busy few days to have some time to get some pictures on the wall, find the way around, get used to the bus system and generally feel more at home. Now that we have a full and fairly eclectic flat – myself, a Polish girl, two Nepalese guys, a Norwegian girl and a Norwegian guy – we could at least clear out all the old stuff and make the place a little more our own.

I am so glad that when flicking through the various options on the internet at home, I decided to apply for these residences. Not only the fantastic views and social feel but within ten minutes walking from the front door I can find myself on top of a wooded hill, looking over the entire island and over the sea to the mainland to the east on one side and over the sea to the neighbouring island to the west on the other. I spent several hours up there on day last week sketching, picking blueberries, sitting in the evening sun and barely allowing myself to believe that I do actually live here. It was nice to get some chances to make the most of the sun and the light as I think it wont be long until I look back on such moments with envy!

I feel like I have only just acclimatised to the all day lightness, after the initial few nights of waking at 3am to the surreal sensation of daylight filtering in through the window. Now that I am used to it, it is rapidly beginning to change. We are loosing 10 minutes of light every day I’ve been told. Which, understandably, is very noticeable. I also awoke today to see the surrounding mountains coated with fresh snow. I have a feeling that snow may creep its way down to where we are sooner than I think…!

Last weekend we also managed to make the most of the ‘summer’ weather as, having rented a couple of tents from the university, six of us set of to climb the highest local mountain, Tromsdalstinden, at 1238 metres which you can see the peak of from my bedroom window. We had a beautifully sunny day to get us to the top and found a spot to set up camp among some lakes and patches of snow. The way back on the following day didn’t quite fit to our predicted two hours as we *ahem* took a little ‘detour’ and ended up trudging through torrential rain for about eight…! Spirits remained high nonetheless, especially at the thought of a hot shower and dry clothes at the end of it…

I feel so lucky to be somewhere with such easy access to the outdoors, something that makes life that bit more special. And life here certainly feels like it is going to be something pretty special.

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