Oslo’s Nordmarka: My Backyard

When was the last time you explored your own backyard?

Forest scene

“Are we there yet?” never even crossed my mind

This particular Sunday in August was arguably the last one of the summer, or so they claimed. I therefore eagerly strapped on my hiking boots, fearing that they were “too much” for the warmth of the day. The destination was Øyungen, a couple hours’ hike north of Maridalsvannet near Oslo. Easy to get to by bus, it seemed like a nice, slightly secluded destination for the day’s entertainment.

It’s easy to forget how stunning Norwegian nature is when everyday life is in the city. I’m therefore so grateful that I live on the forest’s edge–Nordmarka is just up the hill, and I run the trails weekly. Øyungen, however, was to me an adventure, as I had not yet explored the area at all.

We took our time, enjoying the ripe blueberries and getting purple fingers and lips in the process. I already knew then that this trek was going to last longer than the original plan, and I didn’t care! The skies were as blue as my lips were purple, and this was a day to savor.

I was so wrapped up in enjoying the journey, that once we arrived at Øyungen lake, I didn’t even realize that we had reached the destination for a few [long] minutes. It was so tucked away, and all of sudden, there it was. People were grilling, children were swimming, and dogs were running around. We weren’t the only ones with this in mind.

Swimming in Øyungen lake

Swimming in Øyungen

We kept walking, wanting to find a slightly quieter spot with a better view. Rounding a bend, I couldn’t believe this was my life. It drove home why I live in Norway–I feed off of nature, and this country is overflowing with it, even in Oslo. We found a quiet spot that we decided was worthy of our time. With the sun on my face, I gave my feet a rest.

Wine was poured. Cookies were shared, along with stories and sun beams. I didn’t swim, but I was in the minority. I got back home at around 9pm, crawling into bed with a smile on my face. On my walk home, I snapped this sunset over Oslo, in my neighborhood, after exploring my backyard: Nordmarka.

Sunset over Oslo

Sunset over Oslo

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