Clinging to the edge of a steep, forested hillside about halfway through the journey, our train grinds to a surprisingly rapid halt. There’s no announcement of the reason, not even in Norwegian, and heads are craning. Presently, we see the conductor walking past our window. We peer forward, then back; there are sheep scampering down the hillside, a few men and dogs doing their best to herd them down the precarious slope.
Our guess is correct: the train has hit a sheep, and there’s a collection of shepherds and train personnel gathered a few dozen meters behind us. As we’re pondering the length of the delay, and whether or not it will affect the scheduling of our onward journey, the conductor approaches our window once more. He yells ahead, and in response the train inches forward for a minute…just far enough to take us out of a line-of-sight view of what’s about to happen. For now, gripped in each of the conductor’s hands, is a pair of rather fierce-looking hatchets.