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Traveling Norway

September 30, 2013

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Although Norway has many nice cities, the country’s main attraction is the land itself. The country offers beautiful nature, magnificent landscapes, wilderness, as well as a number of man-made sights in rural districts and cultural treasures.

Oslo, the capital city of Norway, is considered a global city and was ranked number one in terms of quality of life among European large cities by the Future 2012 report published by FDI Magazine.  The city was also ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world with a population rate increasing at record rates. The population growth is a result of immigrants and the birth rate among immigrants.

THERE IS SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE IN OSLO

A large number of festivals are held in Oslo annually, such as the Oslo World Music Festival, The Oslo Chamber Music Festival, The Oslo International Church Music Festival and The Norwegian Wood Rock Festival.

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Norwegian Wood is a 4-day festival held in mid June in the open-air bath Frognerbadet in Oslo. They always present big international stars, but also unknown Norwegian bands.
Through the years, the main stage has hosted artists like Bob Dylan, Sting, David Bowie, Roger Waters, Tori Amos and Lou Reed. In between the headliners, the Underwood stage gives up-and-coming Norwegian bands a chance to present themselves to the festival crowd.

GREAT RESTAURANTS IN OSLO

Norwegian is a very straight forward language and can be mistaken as somewhat unwelcoming, but it is customary in Norway to thank the cook for the food in a private home. You can explore modern Norwegian food, seafood or traditional Norwegian specialties at one of the many restaurants in Oslo or you can enjoy delicious and traditional Norwegian food in a restaurant in the hills surrounding the city.

  • For traditional Norwegian food such as moose or reindeer, you can visit Engebret Café at Bankplassen 1, 0151 Oslo (phone: +47 22 82 25 25).
  • Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin at Tjuvholmen allé 14, 0252 Oslo (phone: +47 23 89 77 77) you can enjoy succulent fish and seafood.
  • Maaemo is the first restaurant in Norway where all the food is made from only organic and natural ingredients. Here you will get to taste the very best meats, seafood, poultry, vegetables, berries and herbs from Norwegian producers. Arrival from Statoil in Schweigaards gate: cross the street in the direction of the Opera House, to Annette Thommessens plass. Go up the stairs to the walking bridge. Maaemo is located at the top of the stairs.

SENSATIONAL SHOPPING IN OSLO

Grønland Torg is a square in Grønland, Oslo.

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Here, one can experience the world in one street and shop at an array of shops, including Grønland Bazaar. You will also find that the prices are cheaper here than in the rest of the city.

Grünerløkka boasts many outdoor markets, bars and cafes and is popular amongst the younger crowd. Markveien is a long street and home to many small shops selling vintage clothing and unique gifts.

Bogstadveien is popular amongst the local people and home to many shops such as Platekompaniet, Diesel Store, Westside, The Body Shop, Min Butikk, Elkjøp Express Bogstadveien and Arts & Crafts. At the Majorstuen end you will find well-known chain stores such as H&M, Monsoon, BIK BOK and Helly Hansen.

Glasmagasinet dates back to the 18th century and here you can shop for souvenirs, crystal, china, fashion, kitchenware, interior design and much more. The department store is also famous for their large variety of cosmetics. You can explore more shopping centers in Oslo, such as:

  • Paléet – Address: Karl Johans gate 37, 0162 Oslo, Norway – Phone: +47 23 08 08 11
  • Aker Brygge Shopping – Address: Stranden 3, 0250 Oslo, Norway – Phone: +47 22 83 26 80
  • Linderud senter – Address: Erich Mogensøns Vei 38, 0594 Oslo, Norway – Phone: +47 22 72 76 00
  • Lambertseter Senter – Address: Cecilie Thoresens vei 17, 1153 Oslo, Norway – Phone: +47 22 86 54 76
  • Tveita Senter – Address: Tvetenveien 150, 0671 Oslo, Norway – Phone: +47 22 98 14 95
  • Manglerud Senter – Address: Plogveien 6, 0679 Oslo, Norway – Phone: +47 22 27 92 08

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN AND AROUND OSLO
The city and its surroundings offer beautiful nature, magnificent landscapes, wilderness, as well as a number of man-made sights in rural districts and cultural treasures.

  • The islands Ormøya and Malmøya are located just east of the city centre, and are connected to the mainland by bridge. To get to Ormøya, you cross Ormsundbrua – a beautiful wrought-iron bridge from 1922. From Ormøya another bridge takes you to the larger island Malmøya. Malmøya has lush forests and a part of the island is a nature reserve.
  • Bygdøy is a peninsula on the western side of Oslo, and here you find several of Oslo’s most popular museums.
  • The Sneak Peak (Tjuvtitten) is a 90-metre lookout tower at Tjuvholmen with a glass elevator.
  • The 80-acre Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park in western Oslo features 212 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. Every year over one million locals and tourists visit the park, which is open around the clock daily.
  • Akershus Fortress Oslo’s rich history is on display in the grand buildings and museums at this13th-century fortress in the city centre.
  • The famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump features the world’s oldest Ski Museum and an observation deck with panoramic views of the city.
  • Viking Ship Museum The world’s two best-preserved Viking ships from the 9th century are on display at the Viking Ship Museum on the Bygdøy peninsula.
  • TusenFryd features over 30 attractions, including several roller coasters, children’s rides and a water park. Norway’s biggest amusement park is located just 20 minutes south of Oslo.
  • The Norwegian Opera & Ballet The marble and glass building in Bjørvika features award-winning architecture and world-class opera and ballet performances.

CLIMATE IN NORWAY
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May to mid-June is when the scenery in Norway is at its most spectacular. Spring is the season when the temperature differences between the southern and northern part of the country are largest.  Late June to early August is when the weather is warmest and the days are long and bright. The summer weather can be wet and changeable, especially in Fjord Norway, Trøndelag and Northern Norway. If you want to experience the midnight sun, you will have to travel to the northern part of the country, above the Arctic Circle.
Average daytime temperatures in Oslo during January: -4.3°C; February -4.0°C; March -0.2°C; April 4.5°C; May 10.8°C; June 16.4°C; July 16.4°C; August 15.2°C; September 10.8°C; October 6.3°C; November 0.7°C and December -3.1°C.
The weather and temperatures can change quickly, especially in the mountains. Whether it is summer or winter, autumn or spring – prepare for the wilderness and bring good footwear and warm clothes.
SPECTACULAR NORTHERN LIGHTS
The aurora borealis has been fascinating travellers to Norway and locals alike for generations, but what is the science behind the northern lights?

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According to Wikipedia auroras result from emissions of photons in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, above 80 km, from ionized nitrogen atoms regaining an electron, and oxygen and nitrogen atoms returning from an excited state to ground state. They are ionized or excited by the collision of solar wind and magnetosphere particles being funnelled down and accelerated along the Earth’s magnetic field lines; excitation energy is lost by the emission of a photon, or by collision with another atom or molecule. Typically the aurora appears either as a diffuse glow or as “curtains” that approximately extend in the east-west direction. (Source: http://www.Wikipedia.com)
Theoretically, you can see the northern lights all over Norway. However, the best places are above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. In practice, in northern Norway you are restricted to the period starting at the beginning of September and extending until the middle of April. If the Northern Lights are strong enough, they may still be seen against a twilight sky, and it is not unusual to see them from Tromsø on an August evening.
Tromsø, Northern Norway, is an easily accessible location with numerous excursions. Skibotn, Northern Norway, enjoys an extremely dry climate, and provides excellent chances to observe the Northern Lights.
BEST BOOKS ABOUT NORWAY

  • Norway: the Best of Norway in Glorious Pictures Hardcover, by Inge Stikholmen
  • Rick Steves’ Snapshot Norway, by Rick Steves
  • The Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule, by Joanna Kavenna
  • Norway: The Northern Playground, by Cecil Slingsby
  • Fellowship of Ghosts: A Journey through the Mountains of Norway, by Paul Watkins
  • Summer Light: A Walk across Norway, by Andrew Stevenson
  • Arctic Dreams, by Barry Lopez

ENTERING NORWAY

When entering Norway you are allowed to bring Norwegian and foreign bank notes and coins at a total value of NOK 25,000. If the currency you are carrying exceeds this amount it has to be declared on a form available from the customs authorities.

Norway is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As a U.S. citizen, you may enter Norway for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.

Norway offers beautiful nature, magnificent landscapes, a number of man-made sights in rural districts and cultural treasures. We hope you have an amazing journey while exploring the beauty of Norway.

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