Norwegian Dragonkin Gathering


NDG 2014

Norwegian Dragonkin Gathering 2014 was held on Lifjell near Bø i Telemark, in a big 15 person high-standard cabin. While we did not have much fortune with the weather, the event turned out great regardless. For this year's event I had got a mini-bus driving license so that all the participants could fit in the same vehicle this year. It made some arrangements generally easier and cheaper, but some unexpected challenges came from it too. As a bus driver I had to comply with a set of strict and unforgiving rules about driving times and resting times, which required me to be able to carefully plan out all of my driving sessions beforehand. In addition there are quite a few roads in Norway that are not really suited for such big vehicles, and due to the nature of the Norwegian Dragonkin Gathering event we ventured in on many of those small roads.

M/S Telemarken on Telemarkskanalen

For this year's gathering we had booked for 13 participants, but unfortunately 3 of them had to call it off so we ended up being 10 dragons. Most participants arrived on Saturday, and since the last arriving participant arrived very late, we had to go off to the cabin Sunday morning instead. The mini-bus was equipped with a DVD-player, so the other dragons were entertained with "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" during the boring part of the drive to the cabin. We arrived at the cabin early afternoon and got settled in. There were no plans set for Sunday and Monday to allow for us to get to know each others and get comfortable at the cabin. The location of the cabin was beautiful, at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level and with a great view over the valley below and the surrounding mountains. Unfortunately the weather was not in our favour, but with such a large cabin at our disposal the weather did not bother us much.

On Tuesday we went with the canal ferry M/S Telemarken from Lunde to Ulefoss. It was a beautiful, almost 3 hour long trip on Norway's largest canal system, the Telemark canals. During the journey the ferry pass through several water locks as the altitude difference between Lunde and Ulefoss is 46 meters. However, as the journey was done only one way, I had to drive along the canal to pick people up at the destination. After the journey we went back to the cabin for dinner and socializing.

The big excursion day to Heddal stavkirke and Gaustatoppen

Very early Wednesday morning I jumped around on the other dragons and dragged them up from their beds after what, for several participants, became a too short night. This day was our big excursion day and we started the day off by visiting Heddal stavkirke. It is the world's largest stave church, raised in early 1200. After a guided tour of the church, we continued our journey up to the highlands around Gaustatoppen. We took a short break on the edge of the high lands to run off some energy after the long trip. Then it was just a short trip further to get to Gaustabanen, which is a funicular built inside the mountain to bring tourists all the way to the top of the mountain at 1880 meters above sea level. I think that this must have been the highest altitude a 'kin-meet ever have taken place at. We spent about two hours at the top and it was switching between being comfortably warm in the sun to be very cold at the top, with occasional snow showers. After we had jumped around for a bit and admired the landscape far below us, we set up the barbeque and made us some warm lunch at the top. After we had got back down to the bus we drove down into Rjukan, which is located in a valley so deep, right at the foot of Gaustatoppen, that sun will not shine there for half of the year. We warmed usselves up in a cafe in Rjukan and walked around a little before we took a cable car up to a restaurant located right on the edge above the valley. Then the rest of the evening was spent driving back home, most of the dragons in the bus so worn that they slept through it.

Soaking at Bø Sommarland

Initially we had no plans for Thursday as the weather looked like it would go really bad, but the day started off way better than expected, so we all rushed off to enjoy the unexpectedly warm day at Bø Sommarland, an outdoor water park located nearby. But unfortunately we barely had the time to put our feet in the water before hail and thunder would bring the park to an early closing. All cold and frozen, we went back home, and some of us would curl up in the sauna to regain some warmth. Then we all had a very cozy evening together, like all other evenings. Though, on Friday the weather was again better than predicted, so we did a second try at the water park and had much better fortune this time, and a ton of fun!

Saturday it was time to pack up and head back home and we all felt that time had passed way too fast, but we had the fortune of being able to pick up another dragon who happened to be around in Oslo. We had a great time back at our lair with barbequeing and ensuring that we would be able to stay in touch with each others also after we have parted ways. Then came the sad time of farewells, but we hold so many fond and rich memories of the time we shared with our friends and fellow dragonkin. I am already having many ideas for the next year's dragonkin gathering and hope to see my friends again at Norwegian Dragonkin Gathering 2015, and of course, meet new ones!

Group photo on Gaustatoppen

Group picture in minibus