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Nature of Norway

The natural beauty of the Norwegian countryside can be overwhelming at times. When the sun is shining and the sky is clear the grass here just seems more green and the fjords more blue than anywhere else in the world.

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Norway in Fog

When the fog lays down over the fjords Norway seems even more mystic than usual. You can imagine the Viking ships manoeuvring through the myst and some trolls hiding behind the trees watching them. Truly a land of magic and beauty.

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The Far North

The far north of Europe is actually pretty fortunate regarding the weather. The reason being the Gulf stream which makes it possible to cultivate even fruits around the Norwegian fjords (pictures 2, 6). Though if you go uphill from the fjords your surroundings change pretty quickly and you will experience marvellous but very alien ice deserts like the Hardangervidda (picture 1). That’s planet Hoth from Star Wars Episode V by the way – the scenes were shot there. One of the biggest and historically most important towns in the far north of Europe is Bergen at the North Sea. For centuries it was an important port and a center of commerce, especially regarding the trade with fish. Today it is a lovely student town with a lot of culture and museums (pictures 3, 4 and 5).

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Land of the Vikings

With all advantages of modernity living in the far north is still full of challenges. The deep fjords and steep surrounding hills make it difficult to reach the hinterland, that’s why Norway is investing a lot of money in tunnels and bridges to connect also the most remote village to the urban centers of the country. While in summer the days are long, in winter the nights are never ending as well. But the fjords also have their advantages, that’s why people settled here already many thousand years ago and that’s also why the Vikings as a society flourished in the middle ages. First and foremost the fjord land is very fertile, even fruits and vegetables can grow here. We speak about a country which is situated as far in the north as Canada. The reason for the favorable climate is the gulf stream, which makes northern Europe unusual warm. Also the fjords were perfectly secured against intruders and allowed for remote but also secure villages. At the same time the location of these settlements made it necessary to develop ships and make them better. It is no coincidence that the Vikings were the first European people to set foot in America.

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Oslo City Hall

The Oslo City Hall was build between 1931 and 1950 in a mixed modernist-historic style. On December 10th every year the Nobel Peace is awarded in the main hall of the building (pictures 2, 4). While looking relatively unpretentious from the outside, the inner decoration of this brick building is pretty impressive. Over forty artists from Norway worked on the wall paintings and sculptures to design a “palace for the people” (picture 5). The building is still in active use today. While the two towers house many offices of the city administration (picture 1), the city parliament is meeting on the first floor in the center part of the building (picture 3). The city hall is open every day in summer from 09:00 to 18:00 and in winter from 09:00 to 16:00. Don’t miss it if you visit Oslo!

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