The adventures of Kurt, Sarah, Ethan, Reid & Leah

Walking around Sognsvann

We found what felt like the ‘Cades Cove’ of Oslo this past Sunday. Back home Cades Cove is an immensely popular area to visit in the Smoky Mountains. We made the comparison here due to the popularity of these two outdoor locations. The biggest difference about Sognsvann and Cades Cove, aside from the fact that Cades Cove is an historic settlement community and Sognsvann is a recreational lake, is that here people were actually out of their cars walking around — lots, and lots of them. Sognsvann is rather close to the city, requiring us to take a short bus ride to the subway, then following that line to the end. This close proximity to getting ‘out’  is one of the most appealing parts of Oslo’s location, as any point within the city is relatively close to a forested area.

Goofing off while waiting for the bus

The parking lot on our way in was our indication of the popularity, this is in addition to the hordes of people getting off of the subway which is about a city block back. Perhaps the fact that this was the first weekend day in we can’t remember how long that the sun was actually out made this an even more popular destination.

Sognsvann, surrounded by 2.2 mile flat walking path, is a popular summer destination for swimming and cross-country skiing and ice-fishing in the winter. Although I am curious as to how so many people fit onto the walking path with their skiis.

Reid wasted no time diving into all things dirty and wet. And of course hauled around as much wood as he could carry. Leah looked as if she had just hopped off of her fishing boat to join us.

Handicap accessible entrance 🙂

Ethan the duck-whisperer. His obsession for these guys has grown considerably since we have been here.

We started off with everyone in rather good spirits. The kids were all over the place, with Reid leading the way by stepping in a puddle to his ankle within the first 10 minutes of the hike. This was followed by hopping through a mud pit and having the mud suck one of his boots off, soaking his gloves in who knows what, and putting his dirty hand in the bowl of apples thus rendering them non-appetizing to the rest of the troops. It was all he could do by the end of the hike to remain upright. Ethan opted not to listen to our suggestions of warmer wear and about halfway through was frozen and rather miserable as well.

The youngest was by far the trooper and the most adventurous. At one point the walk was parallel to this beautiful deeply forested area. She pointed up to it and asked if we could go through the ‘spooky forest’. So she and I split off from the grumpy boys for a while walking through this magical place speaking in hushed whispers so we wouldn’t attract the evil elves (her story). The boys eventually realized our location and came up to join us, momentarily forgetting how miserable they were.  It was our favorite part of the whole walk. Especially since when we rejoined the footpath, we came to a point in which it was so crowded we could only seem to travel single file. Kurt and I now understand the stories people have told us about Norwegians hiking and pretending they are the only one on the path so as to better commune with nature.

The blinding sun. Once we turned the curve of the lake, the second half of the walk was very, very bright. Kurt and I enjoy playing the ‘guess what time it is’ quiz at random parts of the day. Did so at this point, it was 2pm.

Dock for summer swimming.

Ethan is over it by this point. Numb ears, frozen fingers, and an aching throat.

Reid at his breaking point, but still hanging onto his walking stick.

However all is cured by hot cocoa, gingersnaps and a warm shower.

After the hike Reid made a list of all the things he wants to remember for next time ..

  • the courtyard in the apartment is warmer than the hiking areas (they use the courtyard as their thermometer to determine what to wear)
  • bring an extra pair of socks
  • wear my longjohns under my pants
  • wear my waterproof snow boots
  • wear my bigger coat that is water proof
  • take off my gloves when eating
  • try not to jump in a puddle first, save it for last
  • mud can take off your boots


  1. Haha! The meltdown pics will be great for future spouses! I liked this post, especially Reid’s observations, especially saving the puddle jump for last. There’s a life lesson in there somewhere. Did the walking stick come home with you guys??

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