Day 8: Oslo to Andalsnes: On to Lillehammer, host town for the 1994 Winter Olympics, and perhaps a chance to try the bobsled run? We then follow a picturesque route past lakes, waterfalls and mountains to our beautifully situated campsite. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Hotel: Tollstigen Camping & Gjestegard
Breakfast: 7:15 Bags to the bus: 8:00 Bus departs: 8:30
I got up a few minutes before my alarm today, and when I got to the shower there was a line, I knew there was a reason I got up extra early. After breakfast a couple of us were talking near the Top Deck ten
t and noticed that they had a toaster. WHAT? We do NOT have a toaster! I mentioned it to Dion who was equally disgusted with Contiki. But I guess when you have 14 people a toaster is easier to manage. Today I sat with Ted on the bus and got to wear my Bobsledding t-shirt since today we were going on the optional I had dreamed about in statistics class – Bobsledding in Lillehammer!!!!!!!!! But we had some things to do first, like stop for gas and the bathroom. Then we were off to Lillehammer.
We got our first view of Lillehammer when we made a quick photo stop across from Lillehammer on the Mjsoa Lake. Our first stop in Lillehammer was the Olympic ski jump, I of course spent the 10 NKr to go up to the top, and then I spent another 160 NKr on souvenirs. Finally, Olympic souvenirs! When we started to pull out of the parking lot we saw Nancy running after the bus, she almost missed it, but we did wait for her, but she said she was prepared to hitch a ride into town. After the ski jump we went into the town, and you could see why this was one of the best Olympics. It’s a quaint little town, reminded me a bit of Innsbruck, only smaller, but it had that quaint small town Europe feel to it. We had a hour for lunch and to take a look around. I grabbed some lunch at the local supermarket and took a look around, bought a few more little things then sat in the park eating my lunch till it was time to leave.
By 1:00 we were off to the Bobsled
. My team would be Lis, Jilly, and Nancy – “4 Non-Aussies.” We were the 3rd sled to go, I sat in the front, behind the professional driver. A bunch of the guys pushed us off as everyone cheered for us, the noise was deafening! Then we picked up speed and turned to the left, the right, my head bopping back and forth, eventually hitting the sides of the sled because of the force. It was a rush, and I got a great view since I only had the drivers head in front of me. Then cheering once again as we went up hill and came to a stop. Our time was 65:72. We didn’t be
at any Olympic records, but we came in 3rd for our group. After we finished we had plenty of time to take photos of the other sleds coming down. I even went into the circle at the bottom on the inside of the track where they had a stone monument thing with the winners of the Olympic Bobsled and Luge competitions. There was some delay because they had a problem with the machine that moves the sleds off the truck (they are driven back to the top of the track), so we didn’t finish until 3:00, which meant we had to eat lunch on the bus. On the way to our campsite we stopped at some Troll Shop that was supposed to have good prices (apparently it depended on what you bought, some people found good prices there, while others found things cheaper elsewhere). From there we had great views as we drove through the mountains to our campsite, aside from beautiful mountains there were also waterfalls everywhere, Norway is beautiful.
Finally we got to our campsite at 7:30, it was nestled in a valley surrounded by the mountains, quite possibly the nicest setting of all our campsites. At this site I was r
ooming with Leah, Caroline and Renae. We found out quickly that they had washers and dryers, we decided to mix our stuff together so that we could all get some stuff done and so that we could save a bit of money since it wasn’t cheap. Apparently we weren’t as quick as we thought and were next in line for one of the washers. Dinner was at 9pm and was a little skimpy this evening. Apparently this caused a bit of an uproar for some people, and in fairness we do have quite a few big guys on the tour, so while there was always enough to fill me up, I’m sure others left dinner hungry. I think someone said something to Dion, and we never had a problem again.
I ended up spending the rest of the night in the laundry room chatting with Leah, Renae and Karl. While there we found out the the dryer sucked and ended up having to hang all our stuff in the room, later on I found out that after 3 or 4 hours you stuff would be dry, isn’t that handy! I got to bed around 12:30, but because we were talking, I didn’t get to sleep till at least 1am.