Having graduated as a teacher, Jildau came back to Norway this summer. From May to August she walked and hitchiked along E1, European Long-Distance Path 1, that goes all the way from the top of Norway down to Sicily.
With a 20 kilos heavy backpack, a tent and food sent to several depots along the way she set out into the Norwegian wilderness.
- I fell in love with Norway when I studied at QMUC, smiles Jildau. - My stay in Trondheim taught me a lot about Norwegians. I feel quite related to them and their love of nature. In Norway all your senses are being sharpened, you can hear the birds and walk for hours without meeting anyone. That is not possible back home where the nature is more artificial and there are people everywhere.
During her stay at QMUC she got to go to Røros, a quaint little mining town that has earned it`s place on Unesco`s Wold Inheritance List. - I looked out of the coach window and dreamed of walking in the mountains, as I always do when travelling in Norway. I knew I had to come back.
After trekking for some weeks the snow became to much for Jildau.- With snow coming up to my waist it was to heavy to walk without skis. She hitchiked for a bit, then she got problems with her Achilles tendon.
- I had to stop in Lapland for 1 month for my heel to recover. I worked in a campsite for food and lodging. Here I got to learn a lot about Sami culture and traditions. I was invited to traditional celebrations such as birthdays and weddings.
She continued walking and suffered badly from mosquitos in the warm summer nights. But the spectacular scenery made it all worthwhile. - I got to see so many different birds and animals. Once I stumbled across 10 000 reindeers. The sight, the smell and the sound of the calf calling for his mother was amazing.
She met several nice people on her journey and some fellow travellerws taught her fly fishing. The last week she walked together with a Swiss boy, and they got invited to many cottages on the way.
- Whenever I needed help people were there for me, Jilday says. - I was given food, lifts and a warm welcome wherever I went. I felt very safe on the way, it was a great experience doing this on my own. I got to learn a lot about myself. Next year I`ll be back.
Jildau has made a Facebook-site with more photos from her adventure: www.facebook.com/alleendeE1
All photos: Private