Sunday, October 17, 2010

Life in Lillehammer

I can't believe it's already been 2 weeks since I've arrived!  Even though my days here are more relaxed, time has been flying by!  Since Gino doesn't really get any time off from hockey (practice everyday and games 2-3 nights a week) it's hard to plan any overnight trips.  We have a few 3-5 day breaks throughout the year when we will do our traveling but in the meantime we have been busy exploring Lillehammer. 

Early this week Gino and I took a hike over to Olympic Park to hike the ski jump used in the 1994 Olympics.  It's about a 15 minute walk from our house and on a clear day you can see the jump from our kitchen window. 
The jump track is covered with this green, plastic grass looking material so that jumpers can practice year round without snow.  We were walking to the grocery store a couple days ago and saw someone practicing.  From this picture the jump doesn't look very big but when you are standing at the base its huge! In the smaller jump on the right of the picture, I was only able to walk up to the first level...where the green ends!  That's when I started feeling off was steep!
    954 steps to the top....I made it 150:)
    Here is the view from the "top"
    Where the torch was lit for the 94 Olympics.  It sits at the bottom of the jump.
    The next day Gino had a home game.  The first game I was going to see over here, I was pretty excited!  The day consisted of Gino going to practice for about 3 hours in the morning, lunch, nap, then he leaves for the game about 1 1/2 hours early. I met up with the girls to walk to the game.  The arena is only about a 10 min walk "over a river and through the woods" (honestly) from our apartments. 
    The guys gave us year passes for the games so all we have to do is go up to the door, show them our pass, and we're in.  The arena from the outside looks pretty comparable to what Gino has played in previous years but on the inside it looks like a high school arena!  very small.  That just makes the place looked packed with fans, which is great!  Their jersey's are a little different than what I've seen in previous years.  They have the team sponsors advertisments plastered ALL over them (Gino's is full of Coca Cola ads).  You can barely see their number or name on the back of the jersey, but little did I know, I didn't need to see Gino's name or number to know who he was on the ice....he wears THE GOLD HELMET. 
    Gino is the one on the far left
    I don't know if this is the case in every league in Europe, but in Norway the player on each team who is the scoring leader, wears THE GOLD HELMET.  I am so proud of him!!  and better yet, I could tell who he was on the ice!
    If you would like to follow Gino's stats online, go to
    Click on Lillehammer IK
    On Monday 10/11 we took a walk into town (which is a daily occurance) to have a drink at a bar/restaurant called Nikkers.  It's positioned right on the river with an outdoor patio decorated with heat lamps and candles.  You walk in, order and pay for your drink at the bar and walk outside to the patio. Gino had a 16 oz Guiness and I had a pear cider beer which was also 16 oz.  It came to 140 Kroner, equivilent to $23.00.  Probably won't be going out for drinks very often!  As you walk through the doors to the patio, there's a basket full of blankets for people to cover there legs as they sit outside. 
    Thursday 10/14 was Gino's 27th Birthday!  Unfortunately, he had an away game so was gone the entire day and didn't get home until about 12:30am which is about 4:30pm MN time.  Before I left MN, I bought some birthday decorations to pretty up the place so I hung up the banner, blew up the balloons, set up the "pin the tail on the donkey" game, baked a cake and I was ready to go.  When he arrived home, I was already in bed asleep.  He came and woke me up and was so suprised! 
    It was a pretty wild 27th Birthday...

    On Friday, Gino had a 2:00pm practice so we decided to go out for his Birthday dinner that night.  We made reservations at a restaurant called Brenneriet.  They have all kinds of food to order from but on certain nights of the week it turns into a Brazillian Steakhouse, comparable to Fogo De Chao in downtown Minneapolis.  It's about $60 per person for all you can eat. You can't go into a restaurant in Lillehammer or pretty much all of Norway and have a decent meal without spending $80-$100. That could be just a pizza and 2 sodas!  It's a very expensive country for food and liqour.
      When you sit down at the table the waitress gives you two metal circles with one side green and the other red.  The waiters bring out 7 different types of meats.  Green tells them to keep it comming, and red says stop.  There was an antipasta bar with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, veggies, salad, etc and a potato bar with 4 different types of potatos.  I think our favorite meat was the seasoned lamb sausage. Really tasty!  But, for what we spent, we decided that we'll do a dinner out once or twice a month.
    Gino had another away game this week, on Sat, so a couple of the girls and I decided to have a wine and appetizer night!  We walked into town to make a wine run and stop in a few shops on the way.  Everytime I've walked into town it hasn't been very busy but for some reason,  the streets were packed with people!  As we walked down the main street, a parade was just starting.  If we could read the event posters hung up all over town, we would have known that this weekend Lillehammer was hosting a Jazz Festival!  Tents with food and music were set up all over Storgata. This just so happened to be the last day of the festival.  Wish we would have found out sooner! But glad we stumbled upon and could experience this festival.  What a great end to the week~ 


  1. I heard Norway is one of the most expensive place to live and travel to. It looks beautiful. What is the weather like there? It seems to be a lot like MN right now? That's cute Gino gets a special helmet. 950 steps sounds like a good workout! I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

  2. I don't know about the "gold helmet" thing. Sounds like a pretty big target.... I'm sure he can handle it though. You guys con't to soak up the good life...I alwys found you pretty deserve it! PS: I got dizzy looking at the picture, I don't know what kind of jump that was, but I wouldn't be able to a crawl no where near it....- Pamela Johnson/GM