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      September 2013 > Waffles in the wilderness

Waffles in the wilderness

As you ski out into the wilderness from the Bardøla Hotel in Geilo, you come across wooden hytter. These are mountain huts offering a place of welcome respite from the elements – a sheltered spot to have lunch, perhaps, or even a bed for the night.

Some are fairly basic, akin to the bothies you find in the Scottish Highlands, though others are grander affairs, providing home-cooked meals and comfortable accommodation.

The more we thought about it, the more we reckoned that skiing to one of these huts and staying the night sounded like just the sort of adventure that Inntravel customers might relish.

So our holidays to Geilo now offer this option for the coming season. Just imagine: glorious trails winding their way across a pristine-white winter landscape, the kilometres slowly gliding by as you are brought towards an isolated log cabin. Once through the door, you are greeted by a cosy, wood-panelled interior: as a log fire flickers away in the corner, you can relax with a warming drink at the bar.

The Schindewolf family have owned a summer cabin on the Hardangervidda since 1915, but it was only in 1975 that third-generation family members, Peter and Aileen (above), hit on the idea of opening the Tuva Hytte (pictured) as a place where skiers could stay during the winter.

They provide wholesome food as well as six bedrooms which can accommodate up to twenty people, plus a further twenty in a bunkhouse. They told us that they had once catered for 87 people on a particularly stormy night, with bodies filling every available space on the floor. “In the wilderness, you do not turn people away when they need shelter,” said Peter.

Peter and Aileen are hardy characters who love the challenge of life up here. From mid-February onwards, as more of the cross-country ski trails open, they move in for a few months, only coming down to town by snowmobile to stock up on supplies. Many passing skiers stop at the Tuva Hytte for lunch – and you can eat your picnic here as long as you buy drinks, although a sign above the door states: “If you are over 80 years old and accompanied by both parents you can use your own thermos!” The best way to reach this enticing outpost is by taking the train from Geilo to Ustaoset, and then by skiing from there – either following a direct route up onto the plateau, or a slightly longer more gradual trail.

On arrival, relax in the cosy lounge before enjoying a hearty dinner and warming nightcap before bed. Then in the morning, well rested and fortified by a cooked breakfast, you have all day to glide back to Geilo.

From our experience, it’s not just the beautiful location that draws skiers to Tuva Hytte. Aileen (pictured) is also a wonderful cook, and she is particularly renowned for her waffles, which are based on a secret recipe passed down to her and her sister by their grandmother. They are truly scrumptious, but don’t try wheedling the recipe out of her – she’ll just answer vaguely with an engaging smile. Even her daughter isn’t privy to such classified information – the written recipe is locked in the bank in Geilo. Peter is its guardian, with strict instructions that unless some extreme calamity should befall the sisters, he must never, ever open it!

Get a taste...

To sample Aileen’s secret recipe, with the option – new for this year – of staying overnight at Tuva Hytte, book a week at the Bardøla Hotel in Geilo.

Posted: 27/09/2013 15:31:38 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: gastronomy, lifestyle, nature, Norway, snow

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