Wampa Way

This page is a report of the trip we did from 31st March until 7th April 2007. With loads of photos!

Day 1

We rose early to head to Zaventem – or Brussels Airport as it is now known – to take a morning flight to Oslo, the capital of Norway.

Upon arrival we were a little stressed out because Rick, the Dutch Hopper, forgot his passport.  But in the end it proved not to be a problem, since Norway is part of the ‘Schengen-agreement’ which allows him to travel on another form of ID.  His driver’s licence was enough.  Phew!  But then he had to lose some of his baggage, because he carried way too much.  After getting rid of that too, he was just in time to join the rest of our group for boarding the plane.

It was a rather uneventful flight, but the descent towards Oslo could have been smoother.  I’ve never had such pain to the ears because of the air pressure!  It kept me deaf on my left side for the better part of the day.  And that was not the end of our trouble…

We spent the better part of an hour at the conveyer belt, only to find out that out of the 13 people of our group, the luggage of only three had come along to Oslo.  The other 10 people were left with only the clothes they were wearing.  They did get a little toiletry bag from the airline, containing a white t-shirt, soap, toothpaste and a brush and some deodorant.  But since we got the promise that all the luggage would be sent after us to Finse, we took it in stride.  It made for light travelling at least. 

We had lunch in Oslo (not sure what everybody had, but Daniel, Rob, Sofie and I had a great pizza at Peppe’s near the Central Station).  Shall we have a beer?  ‘That’ll be 63 Kroner please’ – hell, this had better be a good beer.  That’s 7 EUR or 8 USD!  We knew this going in, though…

The 350 kilometre train ride to Finse would take about 4,5 hours.  It was a steady climb from sea-level to 1.222 meters high.  The view was stunning, especially in the higher part of the trip near the end. 

When we got off the train, we spotted a thermometer and check it out.  It said -7° (Celsius).  That's mighty cold for a 31st March, isn't it?

 The reception (and I do not mean the location in the hotel, but the feeling of welcome we got) was very nice.  Apparently our arrival was much anticipated.  We had a lovely dinner of reindeer and would have continued to chat over some drinks, but since it was late already and we had been en route for the better part of the day, everybody retired to their rooms and we agreed to meet for breakfast at eight.


Finse 1222 is the name of the ski-lodge on the rim of the Hardangerjokulen glacier and was originally used by the Lucasfilm crew.  The village (if you can call it that with only 5 permanent residents) has six months of winter each year.  When we arrived, from springtime Brussels, it was as if we stepped onto another planet… We had arrived on Hoth!