Hiking at Atsla

It was a case of curiosity. It didn't kill any cat on the way -  but we did see two cats - none of them were killed.

I wasn't really interested in going out anywhere. I was slightly sad, that most of the places I wanted to check out in Alesund was closed for the winter. Hence was slightly off the mood. But somewhat later in the afternoon, decided to go for a walk and check out the Norway Pandora. I wanted to buy a Pandora charm in every country I get to go. Checked out the place in the Internet and went out for the stroll.

However -  I wanted to check something out before I go looking for the charms.
There's this big mountain just at the back of our hotel called Atsla. Its the tallest mountain in the city with a observation deck on the top of the mountain. Thats the one with the 418 steps leading up to it. I have no intention of walking up the stairs of course - but wanted to see how it looks.

So we walked to the back of the hotel. I found  a children's playground , blocked and fenced from the outside which had me wondering if it was a school. Then further up -  a statue for the Kaiser somewhere in the year 1902. Then to the right -  the stairs leading up to the mountain. All good and ok.

When I was about to turn around to go back down to the city -  I noticed a track on the left of the mountain -  leading to a curve -  destination not known. I am pretty sure someone knows where it goes or there must be a sign indicating where it can go....but nope. I didn't see any of it. And I was so tempeted to find out whats the end of the road. It looked so creepy, yet so thrilling to find out. So we walked along the path slowly.

Our walk unraveled lots of hidden residential apartments on our left for 10 mins, and then woods for the next 20 mins. It was always on our left that we saw something. So I assumed, we were walking around the mountain -  at the back of it instead of walking up to it via the stair. I saw ship yards, deep sea, black mountains -  no sight of the white snow peaked moutains anymore. Every 5 mins or so -  there was someone walking towards us to go back to where we started. I think it was called fjellstad or something. No idea. Somewhere around 35 mins of walk later -  I realised a couple of things:

1) I was not going to see the end of the mountain any time soon
2) I had walked too far out to go back to the starting point again
3) I was literally walking out of my safety zone
4) I have no drinks, or food with me in case i get lost
5) I forgot my camera
6) I had to go to the loo....like 2 mins ago

Raihaan was pretty sure we were lost. I think he finds the notion of us getting lost because of me interesting for he had someone to blame the entire trip.

I assure you-  we were not lost. Or at least for a while.

So -  an hour into the walk - we discovered small specks of snow here and there. We saw ice, and snow -  almost like ice kachang types of ice here and there. Raihaan was convinced that snow has arrived and will come soon enough.

We past the wharves, the woods, the sea and then came up to a harbour about 3km later. And then we saw a map -  in Norwegian. Again  -  realized too late -  that we have covered the back of the mountain successfully -  and now to go back to civilization -  I have to take the path leading into the top of the mountain -  no stairs.  No it was at this point -  I noted that I may have come too far. I already brought Raihaan to walk 3km out into the woods -  and there's another 3 km back I think and Raihaan was already getting tired. He somehow had a heavy lunch before we came out of the hotel -  so he was not hungry ( thank God)

The paths were steep, and it was hard to walk. There was a wooden bench maybe every 500m or so -  we were able to sit, catch our breath and contiue to walk.

Whilst sitting -  I noticed people walking past us. Elderly people, and young mothers with a baby in the stroller -  all walking hard and past us. And smiling at us. I was wondering what they might have thought of us when they saw us...hmm overweight mother and weird looking kid  -  so healthy yet so lazy.

Anyway I don't know. All I was able to do was to keep my nature in control ( no way was I going au naturale in the woods) and keep Raihaan distracted by listening to all his superhero stories. But along the way, as and when Raihaan stops to look for snow - I have to stop and turn my back around to see him -  i stop in my tracks. The woods -  on my -  they look so white and beautiful.

It is so beautiful-  I have no idea how to describe. And since I did not bring my camera along, it doesn't help matters a bit at all.

Around 1.5km in to walking up to the mountain -  we reach the top and the view on the top -  its so amazing. Its like coming face to face with the white mountains. Raihaan sitting on one of the benches and looking at me telling me his stories and the background -  it would have made a postcard perfect picture -  if I had taken along my camera.  When you see something that awesome and big -  I don't know what others would do -  but I took time to thank Allah there and then. I was thanking Him for granting me the opportunity to see his other wonderful creations. I guess this is what runs the Norwegians. When I was coming up the mountain -  i met up with a lady and asked her what was at the end of the mountain  -  and she said there was nothing. But she comes there anyways for the view. I guess that's what all the others come for too. The view on the top is so magnificent, it makes you feel so small and puny.

Anyway -  we found the end of the mountain track, found ourselves at a residential area, hopped on to a bus going to the city, found ourselves back at the hotel and I slept like a baby. I will see if i can explore some more and get some more pics for memories sake. Till then. Ciao

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