parallax background

Detective work

House sit in Lillehammer
September 10, 2022
Dream place
September 22, 2022

Sunday 24 july - Brøttum


We stand on Peter's roof all day pulling out small trees. Peter lives in a Norwegian log cabin with a traditional green roof. It is a dream house. On a well-kept roof only grass grows, but in Peter's case the roof is full of flowers, little trees and even small raspberry bushes. It was time to clean the roof. If the little trees get too big, the roots can damage the roof structure. Besides, Peter has an excellent other excuse. In a few days the whole yard will be full of guests for his wedding to Tine. Not only Peter needs a haircut, but also the house. After work, we rinse off the sweat in the nearby lake. From the water, Zoë sees a house standing higher up the hill.
"Hey Peter, that hut over there?" asks Zoë.
"That's a beautiful place, really something for you," replies Peter.
After swimming, we go looking and discover a dream house. All senses are immediately turned on. Peter tells us that the owner's name is Per and it is only used as a vacation home. From then on, our feelings shift up a few gears. We fantasize and begin to dream.
"We just have to convince Per to sell his place," says Zoë optimistically.
But convincing a Norwegian to sell his vacation home that he has owned for twenty years is almost impossible. Norwegians love their hytte, their vacation home, which has often been family-owned for years. They spend almost all their vacations there, summer and winter. It is their place to escape from work, their place where they are the real Norwegian, where they are free and one with nature. Even though they come there only a few times a year, it is their most important possession. We know that the chances of convincing Per will be minimal.


A few days after the wedding, we move from Lillehammer to Peter and Tine's house in Brøttum. Their dream house will be our dream house for the next month and a half. Zoë has made a short presentation that she wants to send to Per. It contains an introduction about us, the basecamp-X project and a description of our dream place. Peter has Pers email address and so is our entry point. We have already researched Pers name on Google and discovered a public Strava profile. He appears to be an avid cyclist. We see that Per cycles mostly in Tromsø, in the far north. This year he was only on two bike rides around his vacation home. When Olivier shows the Strava profile to Peter in the evening, we see that Per is in Brøttum. Zoe's nerves are now completely coursing through her body. The house controls her thoughts, she can't think of anything else. She must and will give everything for this, although the greatest uncertainty is beyond her control. Still, she wants to do everything to convince Per. Now we get the chance to speak to Per himself and ask our question. There is only one way to know if he might want to sell his vacation home and that is to ask him personally. Tomorrow morning we are going to ask him.

There are two cars in the yard, the grass is cut, outside there is an old refrigerator. It is peaceful, but also looks used. Piet knocks on the door. A boy about ten years old opens the door.
"Who are you?" he asks cheerfully.
"I'm your neighbor," Peter replies.
Per comes out of the kitchen and immediately recognizes Peter. It is no surprise to Per that we are here. Piet sent an e-mail late last night that he would like to introduce two friends to him. Per invites us inside and leads us to the kitchen table. We can tell from the furnishings and furniture that the cabin is used and very well maintained. Our gut already knows the answer. Per is not selling this house. There is an uneasy atmosphere in the air. Per is curious and slightly thoughtful about our visit. At first he thinks we are interested in his neighbor's house, which has been vacant for a while. When Zoe replies clearly that she thinks it is an ugly house, Per realizes that we are interested in his house. With a clear "this house is not for sale," we are sure that he will not sell his beautiful vacation home.
The answer relaxes the nerves and uneasy atmosphere. Per tries to think along in other options and together with Piet they go over the options that are nearby. We have no idea what houses they are talking about, but we can tell from Peter's eyes that he has new ideas. Back outside, Zoe says with relief, "I'm glad we went and got answers. He was clear and we did everything we could."
Peter talks about the other two options. That same afternoon we head out for a run with Peter. On to the next dream spots? The detective work isn't over yet.

Unfortunately we don't have a picture of Pers' house.

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