RoadTrip #20: New Christmas tradition : Spending the holidays in a cozy cabin a.k.a. Juleborte (@Bø Camping)

During this adulting process, I’ve realized that it’s never too late to start new family traditions. Last Christmas, we took the cat and the car and stayed in a cozy cabin in the woods surrounded with snow. It went so well that we plan to do it again next year, and the years to come.

Driving away in winter

Christmas is a nice time and of course, for many, a time to spend with the whole family or closest friends. However, it comes with so much stress for the preparation and the cleaning afterwards. We want and have always wanted a peaceful Christmas, away from the fuss and the social pressure. Since our families are far from us in distance, and we have no kids, a getaway to somewhere nice and cozy sounded wonderful. We chose to stay in a cabin in Bø because it’s an all-year-round camping ground and pets are allowed.

I visited Telemark county for the first time in 2016 during the Oslo University ISS excursion. We visited the biggest stave church in Norway, the Rjukan valley and the popular Telemark canal.

Bø municipality is about an hour and a half away from Drammen by car. Not a big distance, so we took a sidetrip to Heddal stave church – the largest of its kind from the remaining 28 stave churches in Norway. You can find my entry about visiting Heddal and the Open Air Museum nearby here: https://pinayodyssey.com/2017/03/11/norway-visiting-the-little-village-of-heddal-in-telemark-uio-iss-excursion-part-1/. I had the opportunity to see its interiors and to hear interesting legends and stories about it. I was eager to show Carl the inside of the church, but unfortunately, it was closed for the season.

Heddal stave church
Up close

Before taking Missy on real roadtrips, we practiced her first staying in a big carrier with nets. She hated tunnels at first, like most cats, but was a fast learner. During our recent roadtrip to Sweden, she was quietly sleeping in the carrier and was awfully quiet during tunnel passings. If we go on roadtrip for a couple of days, we would take her. If more than 3 days, we take her to this really nice, clean and comfy cat hotel.

Missy has learned to be a traveling cat. She behaved perfectly during the trip to Bø. We let her breathe from the carrier during stopovers.

Curious, well-behaved cat

The roadtrip continues…

Winter in Norway
Winter in Norway

We also passed by several frozen lakes..

Iced lake
Midt-Telemark kommune: A new kommune to tick off the list
Another frozen lake

After about a couple of hours, we reached the camping place. Bø Camping is situated by the foot of the Lifjell (mountain) and within close proximity to a favorite swimming park among Norwegians in summer (Bø Sommarland) and a climbing park (klatrepark). It was a holiday, so the reception was closed when we arrived. But just like other camping places in Norway and Sweden where the “trust system” often work, the owner left instructions for us and we were in the warmth of the cabin in no time!

Christmas ambiance at Bø Camping
Freezing cold outside! Let’s go in 🙂
Lovely living room (stua)
Double deck bed in bedroom
Bathroom and toilet

It was our first cabin stay with Missy, and the first thing one must do upon arrival? Cat-proof the place! I moved some vases and kitchen appliances for a while, and put them back in place when we left. Missy was very curious and easily found her perfect spot.

Too narrow windowpane perhaps?

We spent Christmas eve snuggled up, watching Christmas movies like Home Alone, the Grinch, etc, and enjoying some (Christmas) pizza! It was perfect for us ❤

Watching Christmas films

Then, we went for a lovely walk in the snow.

Christmas vibes
All I want for Christmas is peace of mind
Under the stars
And the moon in the horizon
How you doin’, Santa?

When we came back, Missy was waiting for us by the window:

We really had a quiet and peaceful Christmas in the cabin. There were a few guests there during our stay, but I can imagine it full with guests in summer. It was a refreshing place, surrounded by nature. The next day, the owner came to check us out! And I got to buy some nice postcards from the boutique, so I’m happy. 🙂

Bø Camping
Bø Camping
Bø Camping, surrounded by nature
Bø Camping
The climbing park beside the camping ground

On our drive back home, we passed by Bø city center and hunted some geocaches.

Bø church
Bø church from the corner
Bø cemetery

We passed by some interesting places, like the industrial park in Notodden and the Heddalsvatnet (lake), with stunning views!

Winter in Norway
Driving in winter
Driving in winter
Driving in winter
Driving in winter
Notodden airport

Sunrise over Heddalsvatnet (lake) and Elgsjø (lake) was amazing!

Sunrise over Heddalsvatnet (lake)
Setting in a movie?
Industrial area in Notodden
Frozen Elgsjø

Luckily, my work shifts didn’t fall on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Otherwise, the cabin stay would not be possible. In 2021, my shifts fell on New Year’s Eve and Day though, so I had to spend the start of 2022 at work. I just learned that by law, if a nursing shift falls on a holiday, requests for vacation leave will not be approved. Meh..

This roadtrip was the last one we took in 2021. It was a perfect way to end the year! And before I forget, the new tradition is called juleborte (directly translated as: jul (Christmas) + borte (away), so.. away for Christmas!). Until then! #spreadloveandpositivevibes

Missy peek-a-boo!


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