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3rd Blog: How to deal with the Norwegian weather?

“There is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing,” explained us the welcoming team on the first day of the welcome days in Trondheim. We should always be prepared for some crazy weather changes they warned us. In fact, while they were talking to us that morning a big snowstorm had suddenly brought about 1 meter of snow to the city of Trondheim. And this would just be the beginning of the probably most rough and unpredictable six months of my life. The whole January was a mix of rain, snow and very strong wind; in other words weather where you simply do not know what to wear and where you probably do not want to go outside for long. To add on, the roads in Trondheim seemed to be covered in ice most of the time, making it impossible for me to go running or even walking properly outside. And yet when taking the bus to the University, I would always see some students on their bikes, racing down the hill towards the campus. They simply had much thicker wheels with spikes, making them much more stable on ice. The same could be observed with many people jogging around in snow and ice, wearing special running shoes with spikes. I lived in the 7th floor of a dormitory in the student village Moholt. From the big kitchen and living area that I shared with 14 others, we had a great view on the surrounding hills but also on a kindergarten right in front of the building. The garden was a large area with a little hill, some rocks and a playground. Every day I could see the young Norwegian kids playing outside. It didn’t matter if it was raining, storming or snowing. Covered in their little rain overalls or snow jackets and pants, they were happily playing in the mud or snow for hours. I only realised that I slowly started to adapt to the Norwegian way of dealing with weather when in March a friend of mine also came to Trondheim to start his Erasmus internship. After his arrival I went to pick him up at his flat to show him around the student village only to realise that he was wearing two sweaters, a snow jacket and thick gloves while I was standing there in a thinner winter coat. I started to go running even on very windy or snowy days. I went cross country skiing while it was raining, even though I still cannot recommend that =) and just cared less and less about bad weather.

As soon as it started to become a little warmer and sunnier, everybody stormed outside trying to get as much sun and heat as possible. After all the ever-changing cold weather, the first sunny days felt like heaven. In general, on a sunny day in Trondheim the Norwegians try to go outside as much as possible and go as far as going for a swim in the still very cold ocean of about 8 degrees. I quickly adapted to this habit and planned activities outside for every sunny day there was. One would almost feel guilty if not going out and I have to admit that I even put some work for the University on hold just to enjoy the weather. Today after spending six months in Trondheim, I can say that going back to the first day, I would have told the newcomers the same advice of dealing with weather in Norway. Being outside and enjoying nature is such a big part of the Norwegian culture, that they learn to deal with its different conditions from a very young age on and I think for me it was an experience that will also help me further on in Liechtenstein and where ever I will live later. For sure it is one part of becoming a real Norwegian.
There is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing.

Livia Herle NTNU Trondheim Summer semester 2020