Holidays

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OK, we know how mind-numbing flicking through other people's holiday snaps can be, so these pages are mini holiday reports with hints and tips based on what we learnt while we were away - oh yes, there just might be some (thumbnailed) photos as well.

February 2004 - Cross-country Skiing, Espedalen, Norway (detailed report)
Went for another Waymark holiday, this time a two-leader grade 2 & 3 holiday (taking it easy after a break of two years). 10 in the group plus out two leaders Martin and Mary. Some excellent snow conditions, with a little fresh snow most days. Good temperature all week, getting close to zero at times, but mostly around -10 to -5. Blue wax all week. Superb.
April 2002 - Cross-country Skiing, Synfjell, Norway (detailed report)
A rather small, select, bunch for this trip. Just the pair of us with four others and our leader Dave. Meeting Dave at Oslo airport, he appeared surprised at our "youth" - he had our years of birth on his list, and was expecting a couple in their 60s. It felt like we were well into our 60s by the time we returned home mind you.
September 2001 - Champagne Tour (detailed report)
Perhaps just a bit decadent, but why not. We spent a long weekend touring the Champagne region, learning about how the wine's made, visiting cellars, tasting the odd glass here and there (hic) and bringing just one or two (cases? bottles? have a guess) back home - all for personal consumption (in case HM Customs & Excise are reading). An enjoyable break, and only about five hours travelling time from home. Looks like pretty good cycling country too, so maybe we'll go back one day with the bikes.
February 2001 - Introduction to Ski Touring, Ljosland, Norway (detailed report)
Another year, another skiing trip, this time just the five of us (Jo making a return to the snow after last year's broken ankle). The holiday was run by Troll Mountain for Waymark Holidays. The first three nights were spent in the Ljosland Fjellstove while we remembered how to ski (or at least fall over in a controlled fashion), then we packed our rucksacks and headed off into the hills to spend two nights at the Lakkenstova hut. The final night was back in civilisation where long queues formed for the showers. And we all returned bruised but with nothing broken. Yippee. Click on the link above for a more detailed report with photos and a gear review.
February 2000 - Cross-country Skiing, Hallingen, Norway
Having not learned our lesson from 1999, we went cross-country skiing again, still in Norway, but to Hallingen. Hallingen is rather closer to civilisation than Kvitavatn, and most of the skiing is on prepared tracks. Because of this, most of the lunch stops tended to be in hotels or cafes - very civilised, and you must try the hot chocolate or glug (like mulled wine but full of chopped nuts, raisins and things). Sadly, we managed to send one of our 11-strong group back to the UK with a souvenir she didn't want - a broken leg. But honestly, it's a safe sport (hmmmmm...).
October 1999 - Malvern
A long weekend in and around Malvern, staying at the excellent Cottage in the Wood Hotel. Ask for an upstairs room in the Coach House for the best views. Rained a lot, and neither of us took our cameras.
Easter 1999 - Cross-country Skiing, Kvitavatn, Norway

Our first ever skiing trip. A group of seven of us went out to Kvitavatn in Norway for a week's cross-country skiing. Not for us the luxury of a chair lift to get up a mountain. Oh no. Just walking up them under our own steam. Herring-boning doesn't look elegant (imagine a penguin with skis and you'll have about the right image) and it does wonders for one's groin muscles. Side-stepping comes next if it's too steep. Failing that, it's skis off and hope for the best.