Norway is among the most attractive places in the world. Some of Europe’s most spectacular sceneries can be found here and natural wonders are scattered throughout the land. Norway also has many beautiful cities ranging from quaint, peaceful towns to cosmopolitan hubs of art and culture. Here are 5 things that expats must do when living in Norway.
Norwegian Coastal Voyage
Hurtigruten or The Norwegian Coastal Voyage begins in Bergen and travels across the Arctic Circle to Kirkenes.The route follows the Norwegian coast and covers about 2500 miles. You can take the entire cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes, which lasts for 11 days, or take a shorter trip along the same route. You can even step off at a destination of your choice and then re-join the cruise. The cruise operates every day, making many stops along the way. Cars are accommodated on the cruise ships, making it convenient for those who want to spend some time ashore. Some of the destinations included on the route are the starting point of Bergen, where a sightseeing trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bryggen is organized. Trondheim, another stopover on the cruise, is home to the Nidaros Cathedral and Sverresborg Trøndelag, one of the largest open-air museums in Norway.
Nyksund is an old fishing village on the northern part of the island of Langøya in the Vesterålen archipelago. This abandoned village had turned into a ghost town during the 1970s but was brought back to life some decades ago when people began to move into the old houses. Today, there are just about 30 to 40 people who live in the little village during the summers and a few who choose to stay on even during the cold winters. Nyksund is known for its unique architecture that sets it apart from other fishing villages. Tourism is budding here and permanent residents have been involved in setting up art galleries and restaurants.
Maihaugen is an open-air museum in the town of Lillehammer. It is a popular tourist destination within Lillehammer, especially during the summer months. It is among Northern Europe’s largest open-air museums with nearly 200 buildings, and is an important cultural venue of the country. The grounds are kept open during winters and visitors can explore the location on their own. The many buildings include both old and new ones that reflect the history of the people that inhabited the Gudbrandsdalen valley since the Middle Ages. Their social institutions such as schools, churches, shops, prisons and military facilities as well as their ornaments, furniture and tools are depicted in the museum.
Hiking in Jotunheimen
Jotunheimen is an alpine area in southern Norway. It is part of the Scandinavian Mountain range and consists of many sharp peaks and deep gorges. The Jotunheimen National Park attracts a large number of hikers and climbers, as it has one Norway’s most stunning hikes, the Besseggen ridge that runs between two lakes. The highest peak of Northern Europe, Galdhøpiggen, is also found here. The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association has set up mountain lodges in the region and well-marked trails can be found between the lodges and up the peaks. The period between mid-July to mid-August is considered to be the best time for hiking in Jotunheimen.
Oslo-Bergen Train Ride
The best way to travel between Oslo and Bergen is by train on the Bergen Railway. A workforce of 15,000 men constructed this Railway over a period of 34 years. It is one of the most scenic train journeys in the world and is also the highest train journey in Europe. A highlight of the journey is the ride over the Hardangervidda, the highest mountainous plateau in Europe. The highest destination on the route is Finse, which stands at 1222 meters above sea level. The journey lasts for about seven hours. Since there are several ski resorts along the same route, commuters and tourists use the Railway and it remains busy during the summer and winter seasons.
Those who are still adjusting to the cold winters of Norway may want to avoid engaging in outdoor winter activities like skiing, snowboarding and dog sledding. As exciting as they seem, they may be too strenuous for beginners.