As a German living in Norway, I experience nature and above all the experience in and with nature completely different from my homeland. I assume this will be similar to many people from other countries, so I would like to write here a little bit about the differences I have perceived.
In Norway, especially when it comes to dealing with and living in nature, there is much different from what we are used to in other countrys. Here in Tinn I really came into contact with Norwegian nature for the first time. The older ladies of the village took me to their regular “Nordic Walking Tours” in the woods around Austbygde. Their tours didn't remind me of what I associated with Nordic Walking from Germany. We walked almost no “real” forest paths, but, according to my feeling, “cross the field”. But of course it wasn't. We walked on their old paths through the woods. Paths that hadn‘t even seen and which I wouldn’t have dared to go back even alone. In addition, I had learned at home that you would not leave the paths and be careful not to trample plants. I think the ladies were as surprised by me as I was the other way around. In the meantime, I have become accustomed to the fact that the paths here are not always comparable to ways in Germany. But these paths here in Norway lead us through almost untouched nature. The forests are left to themselves. Trees that break just stay lying and if we cut the paths and paths freely, it just stays at the edge of the road.
Another big difference is the so-called “Allemansretten”. This everyone’s right allows us to pick and enjoy the fruits of nature. This is especially interesting for you pilgrims and hikers at the end of August and September, when you can find fresh cranberries, blueberries and lots of mushrooms in the forest. So if you know well, maybe you can pick dinner on the way.
Another difference to Germany is the seasons. If we are accustomed to a roughly four-division of the year into the four seasons in Germany, the year here in the south of Norway is divided into 2 parts. One half of the year, from the end of October to the middle of April, is winter and the other three seasons share the second half of the year. So when spring is already coming to an end in Germany, it’s just beginning here in Norway. This also means that, for example, birch allergy sufferers should not come to Norway in April. On the mountains, which can be up to 1000 m high around the Tinnsjø, there is often still snow, while with us in the valley spring slowly arrives. Summer is usually not as warm as in Germany. If we have here 30 degrees this is already very good, but the warmth due to the clear air and the mostly light wind is very pleasant. The pilgrimage route often leads through the forest and makes the summer very pleasant. Those who like to take a bath should know that the Tinnsjø usually gets warmer from May to September between 15 and 18 degrees and very rarely. The constantly flowing cold water from the mountains prevents this. A cool bath in Austbygde is very pleasant on warm summer days. A very nice season as I think is August, although here in Norway the heath blooms. It often grows on the sandy soil at the edges of the road and mixes there between white moss, berries and rocks, resulting in beautiful color contrasts. Then the berries and mushrooms are ripe. Autumn begins in Tinn already in September with colourful foliage and in October the trees are bare again.
I got to know the winter here in Tinn as very pleasant. It is usually relatively cold with clear, dry air and usually snow. The fact that it is always dark in Norway is not true here in the south either, it is at least from 9am to 16pm bright and due to the snow and the great view over the valley it doesn't look really dark afterwards. So if you want to experience a real winter again, you can do this here. With sufficient amount of snow, the illuminated village trail is then sprinted.