A week of cheese and ice cream—and some nature

I’ve been in grad school now exactly one year. Now, I’m not sure that means I deserved a vacation: I’ve only just chosen a lab, haven’t even come up with a thesis project yet, and in any case, this year has been far less stressful than any of my three years at Cambridge. I’ve even had a “winter break” for the first time, and finally learned what it feels like to look forward to a relaxing weekend. Nonetheless, when my parents proposed a short trip to Quebec (flying to Norway was too expensive), I couldn’t refuse.

On the way, my parents warned me that the week ahead would involve copious quantities of food. That was perfectly fine with me. Our very first meal of the trip (lunch in Montreal), consisted of ice cream. While I usually maintain that ice cream is never a bad idea, this time, it was. The ice cream was tasty, but far from the best I’d had—and far from the best I would have during the remainder of the vacation. (And afterwards, my stomach rebelled against the entire meal of sugar.)

The rest of the vacation made up for this one slip-up—our meals ranged from bread-and-cheese picnics to the wild mushrooms my dad could not resist gathering to beautifully arranged dishes at fancy restaurants. Food-wise, I couldn’t ask for more.

Between meals, we found time for a 10km hike up a mountain, whale-watching (both from land and from a boat), and, well, scavenging for nature-food. On every trail, we were met with wild blueberries, raspberries, lingonberries, gooseberries, all of which I shoveled into my mouth, ignoring the thorns and mosquitoes that tried to deter me. Of course, as I already mentioned, there were also fields of mushrooms. My dad was even more interested in these than in the berries—I have to admit, they made a pretty fantastic dinner, but when it comes to nature-food, I prefer the instant gratification of a berry plucked from a bush.

Anyways, below are some pictures of the more memorable moments—views from the hikes, beluga whale sightings, and of course, some nature-food!

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