In the beginning of this summer (early June 2019) two adventurous (nice way to say crazy!) best friends from Crete were hosted by an amazing Norwegian family on the longest Norwegian fjord, that being Sognefjord. We stayed at the beautiful village of Leikanger and our stay included hiking the stunning Vassvarden (1024 m) and an amazing reindeer experience!
Per and Giorgos enjoying warm tea on the summit (top) and wonderful views out of Vassvarden (bottom)
Our great host (Per) is a top expert in reindeer hunting and we had the privilege to learn from him almost everything that an outsider can learn in short time about hunting deer, reindeer and moose. Our reindeer experience included an amazing meal of slow cooked reindeer calf (cooking was very skillfully done by our hostess, Agnes). The meat was cooked in a cooking bag in its own juice with some shallots for a number of hours. Without exaggeration, this was some of the best meat (if not the best!) we have ever tried. Reindeer calf was so tender and at the same time very lean. Our meal ended with wonderful hand-picked cloudberries, those being really special berries grown in high altitudes of alpine climates.
Extremely succulent slow-cooked reindeer calf with shallots. It can be greatly enjoyed plain (the meat is so great that does not really need accompaniments!) or with a light cream sauce (bottom right). Cloudberries were a surprise that topped our experience (bottom right).
The deer experience included a visit to the vast hunting grounds that Per hires to hunt deer in absolutely stunning scenery.
Snapshots from Per’s stunning hunting grounds.
All in all, we were hosted by some of the most hospitable people we have ever met, in a really stunning country and had amazing food. This describes in short one of the best weekends of my life!
Per and Agnes, thank you so much for the hospitality!
And of course, Giorgo thank you for being my friend!
Giorgos Charalampakis and Agisilaos Papadogiannis on Vassvarden summit (1024 m)