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Istjern: An Icy Jungle

Winter has officially arrived in the mountains. The snow has fallen, the trees are bare, and the terrain is a wintery mix of snow, ice, and slush. While others are posting photos from the pumpkin patch, I’m deep in winter preparations – cue the Christmas music. Most people consider this the off-season at the cabin, since the possibilities for hiking are limited and the trails for skiing are not yet made. I, on the other hand, find the changing of the seasons to be a magical time of year. Hence why Cody and I are still exploring the mountains while the neighboring cabins sit empty.

This past weekend, we were lucky to be joined by my mom Lise and our dog Daisy for yet another adventure. The four of us decided to hike to Istjern, a body of water that sits at 900 m.a.s.l. on the Norefjell mountain range. At this time of year, the snow covered peaks of Grรฅfjell, Hรธgevarde, and Ranten provide a stunning backdrop to the clear blue water. The lake is only about a half hour hike from our cabin, but when you factor in the biting winds and frozen terrain, you have yourself a thrilling adventure. In the spirit of October, I pulled on a pumpkin-colored ear warmer and earthy plaid scarf before setting out on the road.

The journey to Istjern begins just down from our cabin and follows alongside a stream that leads into the lake. We took our time navigating the wintery conditions, as the trail became increasingly slippery and the winds grew stronger. With a view of the lake straight ahead, we pushed forward and soon arrived at the most spectacular icicle display. The icicles hung off the bridge in all shapes and sizes and coated the branches like crystals – my mom and I were completely lost in admiration. Usually we can cross this bridge to circle back to our cabin, but since it was covered by a thick sheet of ice it was better not to take any chances. As we retraced our path back to the cabin, we took with us the memories of another magical mountain adventure.

What do you love most about the transition from autumn to winter? Leave a comment down below!


  1. Oh wow these are breathtaking, thanks for sharing.

  2. Amazing! When transitioning to winter I love the colors and cooler, crisp air. It seems so much easier to breath in the Autumn and winter.

    • Ahh yes I completely agree!! Thanks for sharing and reading <3

  3. What a fun trip indeed. I think what I like most about my transition from fall to winter is the cuddles in the cold nights with my little ones. The colder it gets the more cuddles I get.

    • Aw that is so sweet! I’m definitely about the cuddles as well… with my dog ๐Ÿ˜› Haha thanks for sharing Jessica!

  4. Wow, the pics were breath taking

  5. Michelle P Michelle P

    Looks so pretty! I am so jealous and wish I was with you right now instead of studying for exams!

    • Aw I wish you were too, Michelle <3 GOOD LUCK, you're going to do amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Beautiful… would love to go on such adventure, someday!

  7. This place looks gorgeous! I wonder if I’ll ever get the chance to visit such beautiful places, but as long as you keep posting these amazing pictures, I think I’ll be fine. lol. Also, even I love this time of the year, everything looks and feels so beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Oh I hope you do, Jigeesha – seeing photos online only captures a small part of the beauty <3 Thank you so much for your lovely comment, I hope you're having a wonderful day!

  8. These pictures are gorgeous!! And your dog is such a good boy, my pup would be shaking in the cold ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜‚

    • Thanks Maggie!! Haha how funny, Cody would have jumped in the lake if I had let him ๐Ÿ˜‚

  9. Wow!!! These are SO beautiful and amazing! I can see myself taking a walking meditation there. (provided I’m all dressed for it!!). I love your gorgeous pup – what a regal dog. I can tell he is a great companion. Blessings.

    • Aw thank you so much Evelyn! Haha yes you definitely have to be well dressed ๐Ÿ˜‰ A walking meditation sounds lovely <3

  10. So beautiful! The pup and photos ๐Ÿ˜Š..

    This is a dream location for meditation and one I will certainly pop on the list ๐Ÿ’•

    • Thank you Christie ๐Ÿ™‚ Be sure to let me know if you’re ever thinking of taking a trip to Norway!

  11. Beautiful pictures!! I could do without the cold sometimes but I love that it brings on the holidays which means memories with family so it’s worth it โค

    • Thanks Shea <3 Haha I know what you mean, we just have to appreciate what we can!

  12. Tom Tom

    Not only is the scenery amazing but I can almost taste that fresh air!

  13. I can’t wait for winter!! I don’t think we’ll have snow in Stavanger but I’m so excited to attend lots and lots of Christmas markets ๐Ÿ™‚ Your pictures are gorgeous though and they really make me long for a winter cabin vacation!

    • Oh yes I’m so excited for Christmas markets as well! I’m planning to visit Oslo, Trondheim, and Vienna in December solely for the Christmas markets. Haha thank you!! I’m sure Stavanger is beautiful at Christmas time too, with or without snow ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Lovely to read the article with photos and the description of the places are splendid.๐Ÿ™‚

    • I can understand that, autumn colors are absolutely beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Roze Abernerhy Roze Abernerhy

    I love the fashion that changes and the colors of nature the most!

  16. Eva Eva

    Gorgeous photos!

  17. Beautiful photos – you both look so happy!

  18. Cool photos and such a cool dog!!

  19. So lovely to read about the Norwegian mountains. I left Norway last year so no snow for me now

    • Norway is always here to visit, and your life in Malta doesn’t sound too bad either ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Iโ€™m actually in Norway every other month, but seems like the snow donโ€™t want to show up when I visit๐Ÿ˜‚

        • Oh no! Hopefully you will have better luck in the winter โ„๏ธ

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