CategorySports

Saltwater Ice Fishing in Norway’s Fjords

With Norway’s abundance of freshwater lakes, salt water fjords and a magnificent coastline it’s not surprising that fishing is very popular. These Vikings, with fishing in their blood, are guaranteed to find something to suit their taste – believe me: Everyone can enjoy a fishing holiday in Norway whether a novice or expert. Coarse fishing, game fishing, deep sea fishing; whatever your favoured sport then Norway can oblige in the most spectacular way possible! With a coastline the length of Norway, it’s no wonder that the Norwegians are known for their love of fish – my regular readers know that defiantly includes me ; -)
You also know my saying; there is no such as bad weather, only bad clothes – meaning; winter, snow and ice is no reason to sit indoors! Once the ice has set, Norwegian ice fishing enthusiasts hit the ice (click pics to bigify & enjoy):
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At Eidanger Fjord, 2 hours drive south of Oslo along the Oslo Fjord.

Last weekend, while attending our yearly family Rakfisk feast, we had fabulous sunny winter weather. On Sunday afternoon, after stuffing ourselves with “fermented fish” delicacies, and drinking a bit of Aquavit my sister suggested a walk on the fjord to freshen us up a bit. A great way to get some sunshine, experience the beautiful nature and recover from a late night of overindulgence. Since I always have my Nokia mobile handy to shoot some photos, I hope you’ll enjoy coming along for a taste of ice fishing:
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Sunny weather, crisp fresh air and beautiful scenery: that’s what I call recreational!

If you are patient and dressed warmly, a day of ice fishing can be an experience in a class of its own. Nature, tranquillity and the excitement of not knowing what you will catch are important elements. When passing some of these ice fishing enthusiasts, we stopped and chatted with them about the days catch and they were nice enough to pose for us to share in Blogsphere and more than willing to let us in on some of their “secrets”:
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Temp of -10C (14F) is no problem if you dress correctly!

This type of fishing, is of course carried out close to the shore, and normally brings a variety of species. Most of them used mackerel as bait and normal catches were Cod, Herring, Haddock, Coalfish, Ling, Pollock and sometimes more Mackerel. Here are some examples:
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Left: Pollock – Right: Cod and Blue whiting

If you have not become clear over this from the catches, this is of course frozen ocean water. The fjords are long fingers from the sea which reach into the country and bring us salt water delicacies to fish and enjoy. These same fjords are used for sailing and fishing in the summer and have lovely beaches along the edges. We were standing on 90 meters deep, just so you know, but as the ice was 30 – 60 centimetres frozen solid and more than enough to hold us all, plus skaters, skiers, dog walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

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Above you see some of the detail of the frozen ice crystals forming on the snow. The beauty is fascinating up close, and at a distance. Another experience you can only have in a land with all four seasons!

Thor Hushovd Norway won UCI Road Cycling World Championships

Cycling-Norway’s Thor Hushovd, nicknamed “The God of Thunder“, won the road world championship in Australia today; powered away on the final bunch uphill sprint to edge out Denmark’s Matti Breschel and Australian Allan Davis who came third.

Thor is one of the world’s top sprinters, having tasted green jersey success for the points classification at the Tour de France. He is also a one-day classics specialist known for his ability to climb and finish well on uphill sprints.

Thor Hushovd: The God of ThunderToday he waited until the final 150 meters of the 750-meter home straight before unleashing a powerful sprint (Foto: Brandon Malone, Reuters/Scanpix).

This years world championship was actually threatened to be overshadowed by news of positive doping tests in Europe, most notably recent revelation that three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol during this year’s Tour. Thor’s comment was: “It’s sad for cycling, but it’s good that anti-doping still works,”

Running a blog about Norway and the Nordic countries; our culture, tradition and history, I seldom write about sports. This is however a historical sports triumph (since first time!) for Cycling-Norway and a Danish came second as well you know (the best Swede Jonas Ljungblad, was # 27). My regular readers might recall that I also made a post when The God of Thunder won the green jersey for overall points classification on the Tour de France. It was in 2006 and you are welcome to click and read my enthusiasm at that time too
:-)

OSL2010 at Oslo Holmenkollen Ski Jump preparing for OSL2011

FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 will be in Oslo, Norway at Holmenkollen Ski Jump – the fifth time these championships have been hosted in Oslo (prev.: in 1930, the 1952 Winter Olympics, 1966, and 1982). The games will coincide with the Holmenkollen Ski Festival which for 2010 took place last weekend. I was there with my wife, DianeCA and we gladly take you along:
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Holmenkollen Ski Jump is the oldest in the world, built in 1892 and expanded 18 times since then. Recently the jump was demolished and totally rebuilt for the OSL2011 (taking place 22 February – 6 March, 2011), having a less steep in-run, artificial refrigeration of the in-run, a reconstructed lower part of the jump to the end of the outrun, lights for evening jumps, a new elevator for the jumpers, and wind protection measures for the jumpers. These modifications included new spectator grand stands, an improved loudspeaker system, and a new scoreboard – even free WiFi, so I uploaded a couple of pics that day from my mobile phone to my Flickr account!

Holmenkollen Ski Festival:
Foremost this is a Folk Festival. At the Olympics in 1952 there were 120 000 spectators – last weekend it was 25 000 and at OSL2011 there will for sure be more than the double that. Norwegians love to be outdoors in the winter time you know and with the right clothes and equipment, they have a blast of a party together with foreign spectators – cheering the ski jumpers and making a magical winter sport atmosphere (click all pics to bigify & enjoy):
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Spectators enjoying the nature as well as the sun, the company and competition :-)
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A cultural high point:
Holmenkollen Ski Jump is just a 25 minute spectacular ride by public transportations from down town up in the Oslo Mountains (417 metres above sea level). You don’t use a car, as building up the atmosphere in anticipation, starts with the trolley or bus ride in itself. Besides for such a special day the roads are closed to all but public transportation to hinder traffic problems. The last hundred meters from the end stop to the ski jump, spectators were welcomed with an artistic presentation of mythical folklore:
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Some cultural adventures along the way :-)
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The Ski Jump competition:
Of course I have not forgotten the sport in this brand new ski jump with a spectacular construction. In a competition, almost 200 architecture firms from about 30 different countries have placed bids on the new hill. The project was estimated to cost NOK 1000 mill (125 Mill € or 170 Mill $) and the winner with the concept named “The New Holmenkollen Lighthouse” was JDS Architects (Danish/Belgian architects firm). I took quite a lot of photos from the competition trying to show you the construction and the jumpers (hope you can spot them) from full zoom to full view:
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Enjoy the architecture and the ski jump!
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Explore yourself at the Oslo Blog Gathering:
Holmenkollen Ski Jump is the most visited tourist attraction in Norway with about 1 Mill visitors in August last year. The construction is impressive all year round (click to see it all from my summer post: Holmenkollen a cultural high point! Beside the jump at the top of the hill is the national ski museum (admission is free with the OsloPass). Holmenkollen is included on the Oslo Bus tour. So if you are joining us for the Oslo Blog Gathering you can start looking forward to this already as you will see it from all angles, and from the bottom to the top! So hop on board (click for the Official Program site!!!

Anette Sagen first ski jump in Oslo new Holmenkollen Norway

Holmenkollen Ski Jump arena in Oslo is Norway’s most visited tourist attractions and has been the centre of Norwegian ski sports for more than 100 years. The first ski event took place in January 1892 with a hill record of 21.5 meters. Since then, there have been 18 reconstructions. It was for the Winter Olympics in 1952 that the ski jumping hill got a modern look and during the last two years it has gone through a significant facelift; rebuilt and upgraded to host the 2011 Nordic World ski Championships:
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The most spectacular about the new Holmenkollen, is the jump tower. The silhouette of the new tower has a sharp and simple cut. The profile follows the jumper’s descent and is offset to create necessary wind protection:
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Today was the official opening and Norway’s best woman ski jumper was given the honour to be the first. Norwegians think it’s a shame that women aren’t treated equally to men in participating in the Olympics and World Championship so to prove their support, our Anette Sagen was the first out:
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I know it’s hard to spot, but the Norwegian Eagle is flying here -click to enlarge!

Would you like to try to fly yourself in the New Holmenkollen – to feel free like a bird and experience a ski jump (with no risk) – just for the fun of it? VisitOslo has made it possible for you so click and give yourself a thrill money can’t buy!

Like I said; Holmenkollen Mountain is Norway’s most visited tourist attractions and no wonder. It proves Oslo’s advantage of being the world’s most compact capital with the city, the fjord and this mountain only 20 minutes with public transportation from down town. From there, like today, you have a breath taking view of the city and the fjord with its tempting islands:
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This afternoon before the ski jump – sunset around 6PM – it called for a photo session!
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At the Oslo Blog Gathering in August this year, you are invited to meet up with bloggers from all over the world! Then you can experience and explore this beauty of nature in and around Oslo. The only difference, is that in August there will be nice and warm summer, no snow and even more: The sun won’t go down till after 9PM so a late romantic sunset is readily available. Go check the OsloBG official Program Site and book to get on board!

Playful girls and boys in snowy Norway

Girls and boys playing in the snow in Norway is no sensation of course – rather a habit :-) The Winter Olympics in Vancouver proves it gives result. We enjoy being outdoors in the snow with the cold, fresh and crisp air. It makes you feel alive, surrounded by the beauty of the nature. We’ve had the greatest, good old winter this season: around -10C (10F), lots of snow and quite a lot of sunshine. Today was a snowy day and even more the reason to be outdoors:
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We’ve had winter vacation this week and a little visitor is staying with us while her Mom takes a break. Today she could chose from all the options; swimming at the indoor pool, going to the movies, going to the library or a trip into the neighbouring village but she was determined: her choice, play in the snow! Sometimes we adults try to plan too much, the simplest is often best. No objections from my wife DianeCA and I so we dressed for the weather and went out in the yard – and I grabbed my cam to share with you:
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Playful girls in Snowy Norway :-)
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After a couple of feet of snow last night, calls for shovelling and since I had the cam:
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Still as a photographer, I tried to capture the snowy atmosphere in the neighbourhood:
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Left: Dogs dressed appropriate too – Right: Snowy fairytale
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This play and fun in the snow always takes me down the memory lane; I loved making snow forts and having a friendly snowball battle with my friends – I loved skating and of course skiing – but most of all, I loved ski jumping:
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Me after a ski jump at 5 years of ages – Yes, I fell, but who cares after a personal record of 10 meter (33 feet) :-)

Extra: This might explain why the Norwegians do so well in the Vancouver Winter Olympics – here is an up to date medals’ table: