Breathtaking scenery, historic sights and modern cities are the big attractions for the traveler to Norway.
Norway is synonymous with nature: abundant with majestic mountains and mysterious fjords, imposing waterfalls and glaciers, lakes and rivers, and a coastline littered with bays, inlets and thousands of islands.
Its landscape is full of contrasts: beautiful and brutal, hospitable and hostile: barren rock submits to soft fertile plains. The Norwegians themselves have adapted rather quickly – the lusty Vikings have turned into global peacemakers.
Norway has both urban excitement and rural tranquility: shopping malls and big Tesla electric vehicles rub shoulders with compass and rucksack: high-technology parallels steadfast tradition. A thriving offshore oil industry has brought prosperity, and as a consequence, social habits are changing rapidly: however, in a society where the divorce rate is high and cohabitation the norm, the home and family still remain important.
Oslo may be reputed as one of the most expensive cities in the world, but visitors are invited to share the wealth of its cultural and recreational offering. The Norwegian capital boasts a world-class Opera House, a renewed World Cup ski facility, an Intercultural Museum, Human Rights Communication Center and a diversity of world cuisine.
In less than two hours from the city, one can escape to charming hamlets with historic fortresses, open-air museums and manor houses.
Norway is a long, narrow strip of a country, stretching north from mainland Europe, far into the Arctic. The ancient capital of Trondheim is 500km (350 miles) from modern Oslo, yet only a quarter of the way up the country’s jagged coast.
The southern coast is as far from Monaco as it is from the Nordkapp (North Cape), and Norway’s northernmost outpost, the islands of Svalbard (Spitsbergen), are hundreds of kilometers further still. With a population of just five million, Norway has, above all else, space.
Breathtaking Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): From Lofoten (Visit Norway)