I've never lived anywhere that skiing was a spontaneous activity. Apparently, now I do! In Stavanger, you could ski (downhill or cross country) any day between November and early April and public transportation makes it incredibly easy. Last weekend, Jeffrey and I went with some new friends to Sauda via the Sauda Ski Boat. Here's how it works..
- Buy tickets ahead of time here. Best to do it before Friday because the weekend boats fill up. The ticket includes the boat rides, bus rides and your lift tickets for the day.
- Boats leave Stavanger harbor at 8:00. Food and drink are sold on the boat but we saw that others had brought their own too. It's a beautiful ride through the fjords to Sauda so grab a seat by the window or go outside to the top of the boat.
- Buses meet the boat in Sauda and take you to the base where you can rent skis. One thing we noticed is there are no lockers for your extra clothes/shoes. They are just piled up in the ski rental hut under the benches because no one is ever worried about their things being stolen because nothing ever is!
- The slopes in Sauda are not ascended by chair lifts. This freaked me out a little at first.. I mean, I mastered chair lifts at age 6 but a T-bar? A button lift? Turns out, they aren't so bad and at least they don't mow you down like a chair lift if you mess up a little! I was even comfortable enough to take some pictures while on them.
- We were fortunate to have some sun on that Saturday, too (we also had rain, snow, and wind at different times... we won't focus on that though). Some areas of the mountain look untouched, like we were the first to ever be that high. The slopes (or "pistes" as most call them here) weren't the toughest in Sauda but they were some of the most breathtaking.
- Buses leave the base at 16:00 sharp! Best get used to this time format too because that is what is used here...
- Boat leaves Sauda once all the buses are unloaded and it makes it back to the Stavanger harbor at 18:00. And the views are just as as good on the way back. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday!