Norwegian Dragonkin Gathering

NDG 2023

NDG 2023 was the biggest one yet. It took place in a cozy cabin with a wonderful view in Eggedal, with a spacious common area. Perfect for 20 dragons to gather and share some time. The dinner plans for this NDG ended up being the same as for 2022 and probably won't change much in coming years as they work very well

This year's plans:

  • Hike to Gaustatoppen
  • Visit to Langedrag wildlife park
  • Visit to Heddal Stave Church

Sunday 2nd July, 1st day

NDG 2023 was a true test of the ability of Elmandrian's lair to accomodate everyone, if just for a night. Someone had to sleep in the small gazebo/winter garden house at the side of the main house, but that went without incident. The trip to the cabin was eventless with a lovely stop at Krøderen for lunch which everyone enjoyed. After arriving at the cabin, everyone picked a bed and settled down for the information meeting which for the first time featured a complete power point presentation. Once we had everyone up to speed with the rules at the cabin and safety instructions, the kitchen team got to work to prepare the usual "make-your-own mini-pizza" dinner.

Monday 3rd July

The weather which had been very warm in the week before had cooled down a fair bit by monday, making it a bit chilly. This was the perfect occasion to set things up to share entertainment on the TV in the common area. Many people had bought switches and steam decks this year, making it easy to share various games. Many of us went to a town nearby for some afternoon shopping, including getting the last ingredients for that evening's dinner: Etath's spicy soup.

Tuesday 4th July

The first excursion was a hike to the top of Gaustatoppen. Those less interested in the hike instead took The Gaustabanen funicular inside the mountain, letting them get to the top faster and giving them plenty of time to enjoy the view and the Deluxe Hot Chocolate from the cafe at the top. The hike went well with everyone making it to the top on time. Once everyone had had their lunch, we returned to the bus, this time everyone taking Gaustabanen and went on to have a look at Rjukan, a town which the sun cannot reach in winter as it is stuck in a deep valley. It is famous for its mirror, which reflect some of the sun down on the town square during winter. Everyone was let loose to explore for an hour before we moved on to dinner at a nice restaurant

Wednesday 5th July

Wednesday was, as usual, a rest day, the highlight of which was Shanny's waffles made for lunch. Meanwhile, a lot of time was spent relaxing, chatting and drawing with some dragons passing the controller for various games. A small party went to do the last of the shopping, including an ungodly amount of meat to barbecue that evening. Once everyone had their fill, the rest of the evening was spent playing jackbox games.

Thursday 7th July

The excursion to Langedrag started under the rain of a cold day, but the weather improved considerably once the actual feeding time had come, allowing the group to enjoy going around the park. This year, a large part of the group went to visit the wolves and lynxes. Visiting the wolves was a very quiet experience, sitting in a circle, with two old wolves staying at a respectble distance, waiting to get the food thrown to them by the guide, all while he was providing explanations about the status of wolves in Norway. We got to learn that the two remaining wolves of that pack are likely not going to be around much longer, but a new generation is being brought up at the park. Despite the rain returning in full force and getting everyone soaked, it was a very contemplative, meaningful experience. The visit to the Lynxes in contrast was energetic and thrilling, with one of the lynxes running towards the group a few times before faking out. In about of overeagerness, the same lync unexpectedly hit the staff our guide was carrying prompting a retreat and then getting the help of a second guide for extra safety. After the two visits, everyone returned to the cabin for a quick meal of Lapskaus, a norwegian beef stew.

Friday 8th July

The last resting day was mostly quiet, with a few people hiking around the cabin and other playing games. It ended with Raz-approved tacos and another long round of Jackbox games.

Saturday 9th July

For the first time in the history of NDG, we finished cleaning up the cabin exactly on time, thanks to everyone's help and so we set off back towards Hakadal. Or so it would have been, but also for the first time ever, we had a third, small excursion planned on the way back and so after a lunch in Lampeland, we went for a brief visit to Heddal Stave Church. Finally we went back towards Oslo and Hakadal and finished the day with pizzas at the Elmandrian's lair.