Steep mountain ranges, a wild and rugged coastline, and all the comforts of home are at your feet in Norway. The Norwegian population and its culture have a long history in the U.S., but visiting country itself will expose you to breathtaking scenery and welcoming hospitality unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else.
Besides hotels, you’ll find hostels and home sharing opportunities throughout Norway. You’ll not only cut the travel costs, but have chances to meet others and share experiences. Other alternatives are camping and traveling by motor homes, which they refer to as caravanning. Despite freezing winter weather, several campgrounds stay open year-round.
What to Wear
Fashion designers describe Norwegian style as more functional than fashionable, primarily because of the climate. Parts of Norway sit in the Arctic Circle, and while you may encounter warm to hot summer weather, odds are you’ll need more turtlenecks than T-shirts. Super warm winter clothing is highly recommended for those who visit in the winter, so be sure to invest in essentials like a parka and fur hat before you go.
Fish and game are the traditional meats of Norway, potato and root vegetables are common, and short-season berries provide plenty of fruit. Fishing was essential to the livelihoods of Norwegians for hundreds of years, and it’s is still a mainstay of their diets.
Most common is cod, and whale is still on the menu. If you grew up in the upper Midwest in the U.S., you may have some exposure to lutefisk, made from cod or ling. This Norwegian heritage food is preserved by soaking in lye before freezing. Before ordering it as an entre, ask for a small sample first. It may be a Norwegian tradition, but it has a small following.
Lefse, another heritage food, has much wider appeal. It’s a flat bread made from mashed potatoes, flour and butter or cream. Traditionally it’s buttered and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, then rolled up. Lefse is the Scandinavian version of a flour tortilla.
Places to See
Plan to stay a few nights in Lofoten Island to watch the spectacular Northern Lights in all but the peak of the summer. You’ll be able kayak to other islands from this location or try your luck at fishing.
Rjukandalen Valley will expose you to the waterfall now harnessed for hydroelectric power generation. The nearby Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum guides you through Norway’s emergence from an agrarian nation to its present state in the world as a highly developed and diverse economy.
Once you reach the airport, you can rely on public transportation to take you from place to place or city to city. Trains connect the larger cities, and buses operate within most places, large and small. You can also rent cars or take taxi cabs. Uber has a large presence only in Oslo.