My Cabin Trip to The Planet Hoth

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In 1997 I, my younger sister, my father and my mother all stayed at a cabin in Finse, a small mountain village in Hordaland county, Norway.

Only eighteen years earlier, director George Lucas had used this area to film the outdoor scenes for the ice planet Hoth, featured in the fantastic movie ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back’.

I was soon to share in some of the same icy experiences as Luke, Han Solo and Chewbacca..

finse train

We traveled to Finse from Bergen by train, and arrived at Finse Station, the station located at the highest elevation of the entire Norwegian railway system, at 1,222 metres (4,009 ft) above sea level.

The cabin was owned by the tech-company my mother worked for at the time, and was loaned out to employees. It was located quite a bit up a hill from the train-station, and its conjoined hotel.

From what I remember, everything in the cabin was outdated by at least ten years. Old radio, old furniture, a tiny old TV with one channel. That is part of the charm of cabin trips, and I bet a lot of cabins would not feature any modern luxuries at all.

finse hoth

I was only six at the time, so I may be wrong, but I think we stayed there for an Easter weekend. In Norway, some days of Easter are recognised as national holidays, so most people don’t work during easter. So we probably combined that with a normal weekend to have a little vacation at the end of winter.

I probably spent the time inside by reading Disney duck-comics, and my parents probably read some Easter crime.

finse 1997

At some point, while or before we were there, the entire cabin was snowed down.

We spent some hours digging tunnels in the snow, from outside to the window.

It was weird looking into a cabin from the tunnel I had been digging, and just as weird to see a tunnel when looking out the window.

young sindrelf finse hoth snow

The day we were leaving became very dramatic.

Due to the fact that this was a company cabin we had to leave it just as we found it, and I think my parents had miscalculated how long the cleanup process would take. I’m sure it did not help to have a two-year-old and a six-year-old stressing them out either.

We were starting to get worried that we were not going to catch the train on time, and we didn’t know when the next train would be leaving.

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The weather had also become increasingly worse, and Finse was now in the middle of a snowstorm.

I remember struggling down the hill, with icy wind and snow whipping up at us. The only way we knew the direction, was to go down the hill, as the snow obscured our vision beyond a few meters ahead.

Finse downhill

My father had taken my sister down to the hotel by pulling her on a small sledge down the hill. On the way down, she had complained that she could barely breathe, due to the wind and cold.

After leaving her in the care of the receptionists, he hurried back up to help me and my mother down.

FinseInWinter

I don’t know how dramatic this whole event actually was, but to my six-year-old head, this was all very exiting and scary.

And the perils were only heightened by the time pressure!

Hoth ice planet cabin trip

The train turned out to be extremely late..

 

36 thoughts on “My Cabin Trip to The Planet Hoth

  1. Oh the things we remember as kids…. Such a fun memory! That’s a great picture of you looking in the window.

    • Thanks 🙂

      I can thank my mother for those two pictures, she found and scanned them for me.

      I had to find all the other images on google, as those two were all she had.
      This was from a time where it cost you to take pictures 😛

      • From the photos, it looks to be quite the experience. I think we always remember more of a moment in our childhood, when we have a picture to look back on.

        • I think so.

          I sort of remember what I remembered when I saw the photo many years ago.
          So my memory of it is more a memory of a memory, if that makes sense.

          • Yes, I know exactly what you mean. It’s like the photo sparks the memory, but without the photo, you might not have ever remembered it at all. And it sort of makes you wonder if you’re truly remembering the experience, or just the photo, or just the story that your parents have told you.

            • Yeah 😛
              But I do have a vision of my view from the window, and there is no photo of that.
              Like, I’m pretty sure there was a couch up against the wall on my left.

  2. I didn’t knew that the movie was recorded in Norway! Strange because I live in Sweden and Norwegians always brag about everything.😁😁😁

    • Ha! 😛

      I think only the Hoth parts were recorded in Norway.
      When they were there, it was the worst winter storm there in fifty years.

      I feel like the storm when I was there must have been somewhat close to that 😛

    • Thanks 😀

      That is why I wrote this now.
      I may have at some point anyway, but when I remembered the date earlier this week, I felt this need to be written sooner than later 😛

  3. Great to have those memories. What an adventure for you then, and fantastic you have some childhood photos to show for it now. Would love to visit one time and try and soak up some Empire Strikes Back Hoth feeling, as well as just enjoying all that snow and scenery.

    • You should totally go!
      It is a great location for cross-country skiing too 🙂

      And I think the hotel may have some production-photos somewhere, but I may be wrong.

  4. Great recollections of memories from your 6-year-old self Sindre! I may be the only person in the world who has not seen a single Star Wars movie, but I do know it is “May the Fourth be With You Day”. This is very picturesque with all the snow and doesn’t it figure after all that effort to arrive timely that the train would be late!

    • I had some help from my parents to fill in some blanks, but this is one of my clearer memories from that early in my life.

      You should totally give Star Wars a shot.
      Just be aware that a few of them are not as good as the others, you’ll maybe want to skip a few.

      • I never even saw E.T. when it was such a big hit. Years later I mentioned that to a co-worker and they were incredulous and brought their copy of it for me to watch the next day. I will think on Star Wars – I cancelled my cable in 2010 and I have not even rented a movie nor have Netflix. I’m a little bit of an oddity I guess. 🙂

        • I have not seen E.T. from start to finish myself, only happened upon the middle of it on tv.

          Visual entertainment is one of my main hobbies, but I don’t find it that odd that you have your own preferences 😉

    • Thank you again, and for tipping me about checking the comment spam-folder 🙂
      With this comment, I have now gone thorugh all the filtered non-spam comments.

  5. You should send the story to Lucas it would make a good movie.Its hard to say the real intently of events remembered from childhood,probably they are greatly amplify but still it looks like this was a scary but sure exciting adventure to tell to future generations😉😎

    • I could try :p

      After reading this, my mother told me she was scared then aswell.
      So the storm must have been as bad as I remembered :S

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