Peter in the bilberry forest
Published: Monday 2006-08-21.
Oslo is a fantastic city. Not only is it the capital city of Norway, with everything that comes with being a capital, it is also close to the nature. All you need to do is to take the underground to the last stop, where a footpath leads out into the forest.
After a rainy Saturday we (me and my girlfriend) woke up to a Sunday where the weather was better, a day that was had decided to flee the city and go to the forests north of the city (“nordmarka”). As I noted, we took the underground, up to Frognerseteren. It is the same route we take to get to the Holmenkollen ski arena, but we continued past it. From there we walked along narrow paths, and some times broader roads, to Ullevålsseter.
I now understand why it sometimes feel like there are people missing in Oslo on the weekends, “everyone” is out in the forest. Ullevålseter has a café, and it was packed with people, even though it is situated in the middle of the forest, far off from where you are allowed to take a car (unless you have a special permit). Most of the people there had, like us, walked, but quite a lot of people had come by bike, as there are several very nice bicycle paths in the forests.
The plan for the day was to go for a walk in the forest and to pick some bilberries. We saw several bilberry-rich sprigs on the way between Frognerseteren and Ullevålsseter, but since we wanted to get rid of our packed lunch first we decided to not start picking until after Ullevålsseter, where we turned around and headed south again towards Sognsvann (where another one of the underground lines connect to).
That choice almost turned out to be fatal, because it seemed as if all the bilberries on the other path had already been taken. There were a lot of sprigs, but no berries as far as the eye could see…
…until after a while. After having followed the footpath further into we found a glade where it seems no-one had picked any berries whatsoever, so we stopped there to pick berries.
After having picked a litre we were satisfied, even though there was still quite a lot of berries left to pick there, and continued on. Down at Sognsvann there were quite a lot of people around, and actually quite a lot of people going for a swim in the lake. Unfortunately I hadn’t brought anything to go swimming in, I had thought the water wouldn’t be very warm any longer, but it was very tempting to jump in after a five-hour walk in the woods—I had to settle for a shower when we got home instead.
Today I can feel it in my feet that we went out yesterday. I think I have to get myself better shoes for next time.