Not in a bikini, of course. I was actually on the hunt for horses and an art museum called Galleri F15 accessible from a hiking trail that curves around the island of Jeløy, but I found a beach (and sheep!) instead. Let me start with a map.
ACN is located somewhere above where it says “Moss” on this map. The skinny part that “Moss” is covering is a canal that’s about a 20 minute walk from school. The green part at the bottom of the island called “Søndre Jeløy” is a “cultural landscape” and there’s hiking trails that go all through that area. That’s where the art museum and the horses are…somewhere in all that.
Here’s a closer view, with the art museum on the map. I made it to this beach area called “Reierbukta”. I didn’t look up directions to the art museum, but I wasn’t too far off. I didn’t press farther than the beach because I’d already walked for about an hour and I kind of had to pee. The museum adventure remains on the horizon, but the walk was gorgeous.
I left my apartment around noon, and I immediately had to go back inside to get sunglasses. It was about 30 degrees (F), sunny, and almost no wind. Perfect day for an adventure. Last time I tried to find the trailhead, I missed it entirely. Things get a little dicey by the marina, and it’s easy to get distracted by all the pretty sights and lose the path.
Today, however, I was determined. And I found the trailhead (which was not marked) in a round about way, but find it I did. There were lots of other people out hiking, so that helped.
The trail was snow-packed with tiny ice crystals catching light all over the ground. Some sections of the trail dipped into the forest, and the bright sunlight cast tree shadows all over the trail. The water was very still today, and very blue. The sunglasses were an absolute necessity.
When the trail opened up to the beach (Reierbukta) it was breath-taking. The trail forked and I could see animals grazing in a pasture up ahead. I was so excited that I found the horses! But as I got closer, I realized that they were just sheep. I mean, sheep are fine, but they’re not horses. Anyway, here are some sheep. I guess they’re pretty cute.
Then I made my way down to the beach. I’ve never seen a frozen beach, and I’ve certainly never smelled that fishy beach smell in the winter. It was strange but lovely. Seaweed curled in frost, long-dead barnacles still clung to icy rocks, snow and ice met sand with lapping water only a few feet away. A big shadowy boat haunted the horizon.
I stayed for a little while, taking in the calm atmosphere and snapping pictures. Of course, I snapped a selfie because you know, I was there.
I’m glad I adventured out today. It couldn’t have been a more lovely day for a hike. And now that I know how to access the trail, I’m going to walk all over that island. And I’m going to find that museum because art…and also because a little birdie told me there’s a cafe that serves the most delicious apple cake. As a former art museum cafe employee, I think it’s my duty to investigate other museum cafes…cakes…you know, so I can report back…for work…purposes.