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Norway: Land of the Midnight Sun

Norway: Land of the Midnight Sun

Norway is a small country of 4.5 million people in northern Europe. This stunning country has a lot to offer: Vikings, Leif Eirikson who first discovered America, the Nobel Peace Prize, Henrik Ibsen, and Edvard Munch among others. Nevertheless, what makes Norway so extraordinary is its beautiful and unique nature, which has shaped Norwegian life throughout the centuries.

norwayNorway is one of the few countries in the world with four very distinct seasons. Exciting activities such as skiing, rafting, walking in the mountains, climbing, and fishing, are possible all year round. Western Norway has magnificent mountains, fjords and waterfalls. It is the place to go for complete freedom and relaxation. You may even go skiing in shorts or a bikini during the summer months. If you travel south, you will find the “Norwegian Riviera.”  The cities along this coast are called idyllic pearls as the houses are white with flowering gardens and sand beaches.

Another aspect of Norwegian nature is the midnight sun and the Nordic light in the northern region of the country. Throughout the summer the sun never sets, creating an extraordinary sight. During the winter, darkness prevails 24 hours a day, highlighted by the Nordic light shining across the heavens.

Although nature plays an important role in Norway’s identity, the country’s history is of great value to its people. Oslo, the capital of the nation, houses the most important museums of the country, such as the Viking museum, the Kon-Tiki museum, and the Munch museum. Visiting a “stave” church, built in the Middle Ages, offers a unique experience. These wooden churches are typically small and simple, however have beautifully carved interiors. Of the 750 churches originally built, only 30 remain.

Central Norway boasts the Nidaros Cathedra, also built in the Middle Ages. Hundreds of years ago, this beautiful cathedral was a pilgrimage site. Norway’s kings and queens have been crowned here for centuries.

Very proud of their modern-day society, Norwegian people are interested and proactive in their government and political issues. Norway is one of the first countries in the world to allow women to vote and elect a female prime minister. While a contemporary society, the culture has very strong and old traditions due to its long history. Children grow up listening to old folk tales that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Norwegians are understandingly proud of their beautiful country and heritage. With sound ethical values and respect for their environment, it is a wonderful place to experience life.

–Anita Larsen


NORWAY: Suggested Reading

norway“Living in Norway” by Elisabeth Holte is as much a pleasure for the eyes as for the mind. Flipping through the pages of this beautiful coffee table book will make you dream of the chance to experience life in Norway. The photographs are stunning and highlight the many contrasts of style and nature this country has to offer. Holte and photographer Salvi dos Santos chose to use Norway’s powerful nature theme by organizing this book according to the different seasons. Through their texts and photographs, they take you through the diverse landscapes and invite you into some of the country’s beautiful homes. The interior decor seen on the pages of the book reflects the character and history of the people of Norway.

“Living in Norway” is only available in hardback and is an investment in price. It is, however, of great value for anyone moving to this fascinating country. The visitor’s guide at the end of the book explains where to find the homes highlighted throughout the book and gives a list of restaurants, hotels, and other visitor information.

–Lorraine Gachelin