The Magnus Valley


This is a picture of the same road, taken in spring. Yes, I have been there before sometimes. You can’t really see from the picture that the road is rising steeply, because there is nothing flat to compare it to, but you certainly notice when you walk it.

This evening, I took a walk to a place called The Magnus Valley.  Well, actually since this is Norway, it is called “Magnusdalen”, but it means the Magnus Valley.  I did not even know that until today, when I checked again for some new place to live.  This house I am renting is about to be sold, so I have to be out before December 1. There is still plenty of time, but my experience is that suddenly there is not plenty of time anymore.  So pretty much each day I check the on-line database over houses and apartments for rent in this province (and parts of the neighboring province as well).

Today there was one in the municipality where I live now.  In fact, it was within walking distance. Well, if you’re willing to walk for more than half an hour each way.  And mostly uphill to get there, and downhill to get home.  There is a vertically divided house for rent (only for one year though) and from the map it looked like it was in the general area of Magnusdalen. Actually it is on the neighboring hill, SvalÃ¥sen, which means the Pleasantly Cool Hill. Sounds like somewhere I’d like to live, although the name is probably exaggerated now.  It probably used to be covered in trees, like the surrounding hills, which would account for the pleasant coolness in summer.  Or it could be named for the bird swallow, which is called “svale” in Norwegian.

Anyway, I took a walk, though I did not actually go to that particular house,  just the general area.  I am not going to go see it until I have talked with the owner. I tried to call today but did not get through. And anyway, it is about kr 1000 (roughly $200) a month more expensive than the others I have looked at, which are only slightly more expensive than where I live now.  There is a large apartment near where I used to live before I moved here, for instance, at that price.  On the other hand, finding a place within walking distance would mean I could carry all the small stuff there and only need help to move the stuff that is too heavy to carry.  I could probably get a friend to help with that. This may or may not save me $2400, but probably something in that range since movers are ridiculously expensive.

Also carrying a bag of books or clothes there each day would be awesome exercise.  As I said, it is a lot of uphill.  There is a steep hillside from the valley where we live and up to the surrounding terrain.  Well, two hillsides with a short walk between them really. Then there is a more gentle ascent, and finally  you have to walk up the actual “pleasantly cool hill” to where the houses are.  I took it easy today, but it was still a useful workout. Actually walking down the steep hills is harder on my legs and knees and toes. I would not be surprised if I am terribly stiff and sore tomorrow. After all, I have reached the age where you have to warm up before warming up…

Still, I remember from the botched move, where I carried things over to the new apartment pretty much every day (and sometimes twice a day) that it was quite good exercise, and that was a much less extreme terrain – mostly flat actually – and perhaps half the distance.  Combined with my carrying a bag of used books or comics to the used book store (taking the bus to the city of course), I actually had calluses after the move was finished. Seriously. Thick hard skin where I had held the handle of the bags, day after day for more than two months. I lost weight too, but then I lost weight a lot during that year.  It was the same year that I had to stop eating fat because I could no longer digest it, so it took me some time to get adjusted to eating twice as much carbs instead.  But I still think all the carrying stuff each day had something to do with it as well.

Anyway, this is the kind of things I think about these days.  Oh, and other things too: I think a lot.  But having to move does tend to grab one’s attention somewhat.