|Population||Ca 5,3 million|
Who needs magic when we have Norway’s magical nature…
You do not have to go very far to experience magical places among forests and land. Sometimes it is easy to think that we must go to the mountains in Switzerland or maybe even all the way to New Zealand for breath-taking nature experiences. But that is not the case, the fact is that up here in the Nordic countries we have a very varied landscape that is well suited for adventure both summer and winter. Neither picture nor text can really convey the feeling that comes into being when you are standing in the middle of a valley, on a shiny lake surrounded by magnificent mountains. It must be experienced.
Midnight sun or northern lights?
Why choose, really? If you get the opportunity, get on the train and hit around Norway once in the winter and once in the summer. Tromsö in northern Norway, also called the “gateway to the Arctic” because the city was the starting point for expeditions in the Arctic during the early 1900s, is an eventful student city with a surprisingly mild climate. This is the perfect city to experience both the northern lights and the midnight sun, whose seasons are between September to March and 20 May to 20 July respectively. Visit one of many restaurants that specialize in Arctic cuisine, experience the lively and exuberant nightlife – it’s a student city, after all – and if you come here in the winter, don’t miss the Tromsö International Film Festival, which takes place the third week in January. But the best thing about Tromsö is that you can easily get out on spontaneous excursions in the Norwegian wilderness just outside the city.
More adventures await in Narvik, which is a great place for those who love skiing and rock climbing. A little further south you will find Lofoten where you can sleep in old cute fishing huts, in Norwegian called “rorbu” and kayaking between the different islands. If you hop on the train in Bodö and go a long way in a south-westerly direction and hop off in Åndalsnes you are about 2.5 hours drive to a place listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, namely the Geirangerfjord. Experience the fjord by taking the Hurtigruten cruise. Here, snow-covered mountains meet with rippling waterfalls, greenery and green-blue water.
Small big cities and big small cities
Oslo is Norway’s capital and is growing faster than any other city in Europe right now. The population is approaching 700,000 and, although the city is growing at a rapid pace, it has been designated the green capital of Europe in 2019. Thus, there is no compromise on the environment and green areas even when there is a high demand for new construction. In Oslo you will find exciting architecture and in the district of Grünerløkka you can listen to live music at the jazz club Blå, which also holds a flea market on Sundays and taste the beers brewed in the microbrewery Schouskjelleren.
Bergen is Norway’s second largest city with a population of just over 200,000. It may be rainy, but we all learned well at preschool that there are no bad weather, only bad clothes … Because despite a little rain it is well worth visiting Bergen. The 900-year-old town has some well-preserved memories from the Viking era and there are many fine craft shops to look at.
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