The Kingdom of Norway
Norway is a wonderful country, located in the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Low mountains covered with dense forests, snow-capped mountain peaks, forbidding rocks, clear lakes and beautiful waterfalls create its unique colour.
Fjords – small winding and cutting deeply into the land bays – are the most famous feature of the Norwegian landscape. They are surrounded by cliffs reaching up to thousand meters high. Many years ago, Norway was covered with a huge layer of ice. Glaciers settled on the bottom of rivers and lakes, forming deep valleys and beautiful fjords. Vikings – ancient settlers – used the fjords and bays as thoroughfares during their campaigns.
In Norway, the climate is quite harsh and varied. To the west of the country, it is temperate maritime, formed under the influence of the warm North Atlantic Current. The climate of the central part of Norway can be described as temperate continental with cold winters and warm summers. In the farthest north of the country, the climate is harsh and sub-Antarctic. Polar days in summer and polar nights in winter are considered the country’s features. At this time, in winter sun shines twenty-four hours a day, and in summer it is sunny even at midnight. In Norway, you can watch an amazing natural phenomenon – the Northern Lights – an iridescent moving arc, playing from greenish-white to dark red. It is visible almost from all parts of Norway; however the best place to observe it, is within the Polar Circle in the northern part of the country. In October, February and March there are more chances to see the Northern Lights.
The capital of the country is located in the south-east of the country in the northernmost part of the Oslofjord. Oslo is a small and quiet town, located among 343 lakes and two big rivers. Numerous museums of the capital can tell you about the history of the cold northern country and its folk traditions. Oslo will win your heart with its romantic atmosphere that prevails here due to large number of parks, including one of the most famous – Frogner Park. Unique gifts for friends and relatives can be purchased in many shops located in Bogstadveien and Hegdehaugsveien Streets of Oslo.
Hiking is well developed in Norway. There is a huge number of national parks and nature reserves, including Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella, Rondane, Gutulia, Forollhogna, Finnskogen and Femundsmarka. For those who like to have a rest in the mountains, it is best to choose national parks Rondane, Dovrefjell, Forollhogna and Gutulia. Those to be fond of forest walks are well advised to visit national parks Femundsmarka or Finnskogen (Finnish Forest).
Norway is also known for its ski resorts, which are mainly located in the southern part of the country with average temperature in winter of −6 ºC. Tracks of ski resorts Trysil, Hemsedal, Geilo, Hafjell, Gala, Gausdal and others are great made for both experienced skiers and beginners.
One of the most visited places in Norway is Trollstigen or the Troll's Footpath. This serpentine mountain road is remarkable due to many windings, passing beautiful Stigfossen Waterfall. From the top of the mountain you can enjoy the local scenery, winding fjords and green valleys.
Fishing tours in Norway are especially popular among the tourists. Due to the fact, that the country is washed by three seas – the Barents Sea, the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea – you can fish there year around. Thanks to warm Atlantic currents in the west of the country, temperature in winter ranges there around zero degrees, so water does not freeze in the fjords. Marine and fjord fishing is possible in any season. Summer is a perfect time to fish pollack, skate, lancet fish, mackerel, tusk, halibut, molva, flounder, salmon, sea bass, herring, and many other fish species. The best time to fish large marine fish is from September to November, and for river and lake fishing the period from May to September is ideal. Salmon fishing is great from June to August. The town of Hammerfest is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. Tourists are offered to rent a boat there and enjoy great fishing in majestic beauty of the outlandish nature.
During an excursion to the North Cape you might feel yourself as of being at the world’s end. Beyond this cliff of 300 meters high you can expect only boundless expanse of the Arctic Ocean. Here you can see polar bears and reindeer.
Talking about Norway it is worth to mention its famous cuisine. Travelling around the country, you can enjoy distinctive national dishes, most of which are made of fish and seafood. Norwegian herring is famous around the world. Gravlax is a famous Nordic dish made of salmon, which is in favour in Norway. Before beginning the process of cooking salmon meat is buried in the ground for several hours to acquire the specific smell. No less popular in Norway is codfish – dried, smoked, salted, fried and baked with spices. Norwegian favourite beverage is coffee, which is drunk in quantity there and at any time. A variety of herbal tinctures and various drinks made of apples and honey are very popular among the locals.
Administrative division — Norway
Oslo Population: 575475
- Akershus Population: 550534
- Aust-Agder Population: 112105
- Buskerud Population: 247655
- Finnmark Population: 72665
- Hedmark Population: 188692
- Hordaland Population: 456711
- Møre og Romsdal Population: 245385
- Nord-Trøndelag Population: 129069
- Nordland Population: 236271
- Oppland Population: 183037
- Rogaland Population: 404566
- Sogn og Fjordane Population: 106194
- Sør-Trøndelag Population: 278836
- Telemark Population: 166170
- Troms Population: 152741
- Vest-Agder Population: 161276
- Vestfold Population: 220736
- Østfold Population: 262523