2 Downhill Ski Lillehammer’s main downhill ski venue is the Hafjell Alpine Ski Centre 14 km north of town, reached by regular ski-bus service. The ski area is on the eastern slopes of a deep glacial valley almost directly opposite the Olympic bobsleigh track.
While not Chamonix, the 33 km of runs and 830 m maximum drop give plenty for a weekend, especially for beginner and intermediate skiers. Hafjell was the venue for the 1994 Winter Olympics slalom skiing events. (November—April season. 28 runs: 9 green, 9 blue, 6 red, 4 black; 12 lifts. Full equipment hire available on-site, lift passes from 2 hrs upwards, 3 ca- fés.)
BOBSLEIGH W/E BLUEPRINT
1 Bobsleigh Bob-sledding is very much a minority sport, albeit an exotic and glamorous one. Without layers of commercialism and planet-sized egos, at Lillehammer you get right up close to the coal-face simply by rocking up and handing over your cash. Completely unvar- nished, and all the better for it, hold on to your hat for one hell of a ride.
Three sorts of trip are offered: bobraft, full-blooded bobsleigh and, for the lunatic fringe, skeleton. Bo- braft is the soft option, but useful as a warm-up. See Travel Choices for practi- cal info.
3 Lillehammer One of the best-preserved historic settlements of the Norwe- gian interior, Lillehammer’s self-reliant, mountain town at- mosphere is set by its traditional architecture. Storgata, its pedestrianized main street, is lined by homespun wooden shops and bars vaguely reminiscent of the old-time American West. Nearby Elvegata and Lilletorvet are home to many popular bars and restaurants. The Lillehammer Art Mu- seum, housed in a striking modern building courtesy of the Olympics, is one of Norway’s finest, featuring paintings by Edvard Munch amongst others and a classy café. You can’t miss the ski-jump hills dominating the slopes above town.