Cross Country Skiing at Venabu, Norway by Oscar

February half term means one thing in our house – getting on a plane and travelling to Norway for a week cross country skiing.  Here is Junior CW Oscar’s account of our visit when he was ten.

Every year we travel to the Venabu Fjell Hotel.  What brings us back are Robert and Wenche who show us good ski trails, the food and the scenery.

Muen mountain Venabu

First day back skiing and it was tough, not only was it -6 but, it was a white out. This is when the mist meets the snow line to make your surroundings white. By the end of this ski we were told it was 11.5 km long! That is the longest we’ve gone on the first day. Where as that was unexpected, there was something that met our expectations perfectly; the food!

Cross country skiing Norway Venabu

The next day just got harder, it was -9 and even the signposts were frozen! Yet more fog swirled around us like an ocean of whipped cream (very cold whipped cream!). This was bad, very bad, we smashed, slipped and slid our way up and down hills until bruised and battered we got back to an excellent lunch.

cross country skiing Norway Venabu

Thankfully, on the next days the sun came out along with the views of rolling mountains and terrific trees.  We climbed a gargantuan mountain and eventually after what seemed hours a huge descent unfurled before us and we were able to glide back to the hotel. Wednesday is Norwegian buffet night in Venabu, the hotel owner gave a speech in 3 languages! And the meats whale, fish, pig, cow and many others where put out. Every year the dreaded Rakfisk, salted and fermented Trout so smelly that if you tried really hard you could probably smell it from where you are now, appears. Oddly for something that smells so bad it tastes OK.

Child in snowy tree

The rest of the week passed in a happy blur of snow, mountains, sun and FOOD.  Counting the days until we go again.  We usually travel with Headwater but sometimes Mr CW says that the exchange rate makes it better to book direct.

One winter we splashed out and went to the Ice Hotel in Sweden. In the summer we like to cycle your can read about our adventures down the Danube and cycling round Lake Constance.



  1. June 25, 2015 / 3:48 pm

    Ha! So the food was good then. I’m amazed at that white sheet and low temperatures. I have never tried cross country skiing before as it always looked hard work to me but visiting Norway must have been very special.
    Thanks for linking up to #TimeTraveller I’ve really enjoyed my trip to Norway this afternoon.

  2. Clare Thomson
    October 13, 2016 / 6:14 pm

    I really love your piece, Oscar. I particularly like your use of language and the alliteration you’ve put in to make it even more evocative. I’ve been cross-country skiing in Norway too – but it wasn’t as cold as it was for you. Your trip sounds like so much fun. How lucky you are to go every year to enjoy that beautiful scenery and wonderful food. Thanks so much for linking it up to #FarawayFiles

  3. October 13, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    You are quite a talent Oscar. I am now extremely keen to jump on a plane to Norway to go skiing. I much prefer cross country as I am rubbish with the speed of downhill. I’d probably pass on the fish though as it sounds like it smells a bit nasty. Thanks for sharing with us on #FarawayFiles

  4. October 17, 2016 / 6:41 pm

    I ADORE Norway. I love their adventurous get outside spirit and this is just gorgeous! Thank you kindly for engaging with #FarawayFiles – I can’t wait to see what you will share this week! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    • October 17, 2016 / 6:56 pm

      Just booking next year’s trip!

  5. January 16, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    Have to say I am very jealous, as would be my teen. Have you seen the Northern Lights from there too? #familytraveltips

    • January 16, 2018 / 6:48 pm

      We have and they were wonderful

  6. January 21, 2018 / 10:56 pm

    Wow, this looks brilliant! I’ve never been skiing but I think I would enjoy cross country skiing, I’m not sure zooming downhill would be my thing, I think I would prefer this. Thanks for linking up to #FamilyTravelTips.

    • January 21, 2018 / 10:59 pm

      As the boys have grown the slogs uphill have meant increasingly fast descents

  7. What a good idea to pop to Norway for a spot of skiing! I hadn’t thought of doing that before! How is it for beginners and ski school? Mine haven’t been yet! #famiytraveltips

    • January 30, 2018 / 6:10 pm

      Good for beginners and advanced. We started off going up little hills and for short distances and now we go up mountains and trek for miles. The teens were seven when we first took them and are now far better than us!

  8. December 11, 2018 / 11:08 am

    I love the sound of the Norwegian buffet, and in almost tempted by the stinky trout! I’m quite taken by the idea of skiing in Norway but I’m not sure I’m tough enough for cross country! Thanks for linking up to #FamilyFriendlyStays

    • December 11, 2018 / 11:40 am

      You don’t need to be tough, it’s like walking and gliding!

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