The cold climate and the glaciers are what usually come to mind when Norway is mentioned. Thus, it can be said that there is no shortage of hiking in the snow and skiing in this area. Vesteralen offers the finest experience one could ever dream of. It has cross country skiing and a mind blowing killer whale safari. Not for the faint of heart, of course, but if you wanted a more cultural take on this country don’t be sad because there is a perfect activity for you. The Norway Oksnes Museum and Losmuseet Lodingen are also interesting places to visit and experience. Once you take a breath and sip some coffee in the most amazing cafes in the area.
Norway – Important and interesting Facts
- Although Finland has been named “land of 1000 lakes”, Norway’s countless lakes do in fact far outnumber Finland’s. About 450,000 (half million) lakes in Norway are identified, compared to a mere 60,000 lakes in Finland!
- One of the most popular cheeses in Norway is brown and called as brunost. It is made out of whey, a dairy product from whole milk, and it is the liquid remaining after the milk has been curdled and strained. While boiling whey with milk and cream for several hours, the milk sugar will slowly caramelize, the water will gradually vanish and turn the mixture into a solid state ready to be served. It is usually thinly sliced and served with waffles, rye toast or crisp bread.
- The Lærdal road tunnel on road E16 is the world’s longest road tunnel (24.5 kilometers/15 miles).The Laerdal tunnel with its 24.5 kilometers is the world’s longest tunnel. The tunnel connects the villages of Aurland and Laerdal in the heart of Sogn. The road gives a ferry-free road between Oslo and Bergen.
- The Norwegian national football team is one of the few teams to have never lost against Brazil. Two victories and one draw is our record against the five times World Champions. The Norway national football team represents Norway in association football and is controlled by the Football Association of Norway, the governing body for football in Norway
- The name “Norway” means “path to the North” because the country comprises the Western and Northern parts of the Scandinavian Peninsula, as well as the nothern territories of Jan Mayen and the Svalbard Archipelago. Despite our far northern location, we have a surprisingly mild climate. Norway’s climate fluctuates greatly from year to year, especially in the northernmost parts of the country, which are located at the edge of the global temperate zone.
- The Jostedalsbreen, in Norway, is the largest glacier in Northern Europe. It is situated in Sogn og Fjordane county in Western Norway. Jostedalsbreen lies in the municipalities of Luster, Sogndal, Jølster, and Stryn. The highest peak in the area is Lodalskåpa at a height of 2,083 metres (6,834 ft).
- Norway also has the world’s deepest underwater tunnel. Eiksund Tunnel, the deepest subsea road tunnel in the world The Eiksund Tunnel is an 7776 m long subsea tunnel on the north-west coast of Norway. The tunnel will shorten the travel distances between the mainland and Hareidlandet island. The world’s deepest undersea tunnel, reaching a depth of 287 m below mean sea level at its deepest point was open for traffic in 2008
- Norway is often described as the “Land of the Midnight Sun”, because during the summer months of late May through to late July the sun never completely drops below the horizon in northern Arctic Circle areas of the country and other areas have around 20 hours of sunlight a day. However, it is then the opposite in winter.
- The troll plays a significant part in Norwegian and Scandinavian folklore. The troll is an ugly, messy, nasty creature that lives in caves or forests and will turn to stone if sunlight hits them. There are even a few areas in Norway that have been named after the troll.
- Norway is the most successful nation in the world at the Winter Olympics. The country has collected the most medals of any country over the game’s history and it is one of just three countries (along with Austria and Liechtenstein) who have won more medals at the Winter Games than at the Summer Games.
Norway – Cool, Fun, and Funny Facts
- American movie Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back (episode V) was partly recorded at Finse, near the Oslo-Bergen railway, in March 1979. The Finse area appears in the movie as Hoth, the snow & ice planet. Many Norwegians contributed as extras!
- Norway was regarded as the birth place of modern skiing. The word “ski” is Norwegian and simply means “piece of wood” or “cleft piece of wood”. Contrary to English, the word “ski” is not a verb (only noun) in Norwegian, so Norwegians say “to walk on skis” (cross country) or “to stand on skis” (alpine skiing).
- The Vikings of Norway (and Scandinavia) are well-known, they had a reputation as fierce and fearless fighters. Vikings did not have helmets with horns (as shown in the popular comic strip Hägar the Horrible). In fact, it is not clear if Vikings used helmets at all. While tens of thousands of Viking weapons has been uncovered, only one helmet from around the Viking period exist. The Viking helmet is a merely a legend. Although the word “viking” is now used about people from Scandinavia, thousands years ago in west-germanic languages it possibly referred to pirates, seaborn warriors or seamen of any origin.
- The Internet web browser Opera is Norwegian. Opera began in 1994 as a research project at Telenor, the largest Norwegian telecommunications company. Opera is a web browser developed by Opera Software. The latest version currently runs on Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems and uses the Blink layout engine.
- Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Norway or the Kingdom of Norway has the world’s fourth highest per capita GDP – $54,397 – allowing its five million populations to reap the profit of its strong economy. Having large-scale reserves of natural gas, petroleum, minerals, seafood, and fresh water, Norway is the third biggest exporter of natural gas, eighth biggest exporter of crude oil, and ninth biggest exporter of refined oil in the world.
- While Norway’s freshwater lakes are modest in area, several lakes are among the deepest in the world or in Europe. Hornindalsvatnet in Nordfjord district is the deepest lake in Europe and the 12th deepest in the world (at least 514 meters), but only 50 square kilometers surface area. This lake is only 50 meters which means that most of the lakes volume is below sea level. Mjøsa, Norway’s largest lake and located in central eastern region, is also the 2nd deepest in Europe and the 19th deepest in the world.
- The well-known paper clip made from a thin wire has long (probably incorrectly) been assumed to be invented and patented by a Norwegian. During the world war II, the paper clip became a symbol of resistance to Nazi occupation and of unity during the hard times. When Nazi authorities recognized the symbolic meaning of the paper clip, it was forbidden to wear.
- The Troll A gas production platform is the largest object ever moved by humans. The platform is 472 meters high (of which 369 under water) and weighs about 656 million kilograms. This huge structure is in other words two times heavier than Empire State Building in NY City, the underwater part of Troll is exactly the height of Empire State Building top floor.Troll A is mostly a concrete structure that contains reinforcing steel corresponding to 10 times the entire Eiffel tower.
- Norway and Sweden is separated from the rest of Europe by open water: The Baltic, the North Sea, the Skagerak (between Denmark and Norway) and the narrow strait between Sweden and Denmark. Norway and Sweden forms the Scandinavian Peninsula, and for this reason the rest of Europe (except of course the British Isles and Iceland) is simply referred to as the “Continent”, although Scandinavia is not island.
- While understanding basic Norwegian words is fairly easy for English, German or Dutch speakers, perfect pronunciation is notoriously difficult to learn because Norwegian is a pitch accent or tonal language – unlike most European languages, except Swedish, Latvian and Serbo-Croat, but similar to Chinese languages or Japanese. This gives Norwegian (and Swedish) a “singing” appearance that is easily recognized, this “singing” characteristic also vaguely resembles East Asian languages. This “singing” style usually spills over when Norwegians are speaking English, often to the amusement of native speakers. Whereas eastern Norway tone or pitch system is similar to Swedish, Western and Northern Norway is notably different.
Norway – History and Cultural Facts
- The original cheese slicer (“ostehøvel”) was invented and patented by Bjørklund, a Norwegian carpenter, in A cheese slicer, also called a cheese plane is used usually to cut semi-hard and hard cheeses. The cheese slicer’s mass production started in 1927. The design was based on the carpenter’s plane. This style of slicer is very common in the Nordic countries, and in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland.
- The aerosol spray can was invented in 1926 by the chemical engineer Erik Rotheim from Oslo. Aerosol spray is a type of dispensing system which creates an aerosol mist of liquid particles. This is used with a can or bottle that contains a liquid under pressure. When the container’s valve is opened, the liquid is forced out of a small hole and emerges as an aerosol or mist.
- Norwegian Vikings settled the Shetland Islands (circa 700 CE), the Faroe Islands (c. 800), raided the holy island of Lindisfarne in Northumbria (794), then invaded the coasts of Scotland and Ireland (between 795 and 821), where the founded Waterford, Cork, Dublin and Limerick. They went on to colonise Iceland (c. 860) and Greenland (982). It is now generally accepted that the expedition led by Leif Ericson to Vinland (probably in the Canadian province of Newfoundland) circa 1000 was the first discovery of the American continent by Europeans.
- The Norwegians claim to have invented modern skiing as a sport. Cambered ski were first developed in Telemark, in southern Norway, around 1850, while the Rat Trap Ski Binding, also known as Rottefella, was invented by Bror With in 1927.
- The unification of Norway was achieved in 872, the year the Kingdom of Norway was founded, with Harald Fairhair as its first king. From 1319 to 1905, the Kingdom of Norway existed as a union with Denmark, Sweden, or both. The modern Kingdom of Norway only exists as an independent entity since the dissolution of the personal union with Sweden on 18 November 1905.
- Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, is a reminder of the town’s importance as part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to the mid-16th century. Many fires, the last in 1955, have ravaged the characteristic wooden houses of Bryggen. Its rebuilding has traditionally followed old patterns and methods, thus leaving its main structure preserved, which is a relic of an ancient wooden urban structure once common in Northern Europe. Today, some 62 buildings remain of this former townscape.
- The national day of Norway is officially called ‘Norwegian Constitution Day’. It is celebrated on May 17th to commemorate Norway’s constitution of 1814. On 17 May, it is the colourful processions of children with their banners, flags and bands – not military parades – that play the main role. The day is celebrated with as much enthusiasm in Norwegian villages (albeit on a smaller scale) as in the capital city of Oslo, where tens of thousands line Karl Johans gate, Oslo’s main thoroughfare, every year to watch the parade. The Royal Palace Square is another popular spot – many gather here to get a glimpse of the Royal Family waving to the passing procession from the palace balcony.
- Radiohòla which in literal is the radio cave. It is a natural shelter used by the Norwegian resistance during the World War II. It served as a hiding place for a radio that brought news from the British, during a time of which radios were banned and the German occupants arrested and prosecuted those found in possession of one.
- Listed hamlet with 30 buildings ranging from the middle Ages to present-day. The unique court of appeals lodge was built by the knight Sigurd Brynjulvson Aga around the year 1250. Traditional costume exhibition ‘Gåva frå mor’ (gift from my mother).
- Military history in the middle of the Oslofjord. A beautiful island in the middle of the narrowest section of the Oslofjord, but primarily an interesting monument to Norway’s military history. It was from this fortress at dawn on 9 April 1940 that the cannons and torpedoes were fired that sank the German heavy cruiser the Blücher thus giving Norway’s King Haakon VII and the Government the time they needed to flee further north, from where they were evacuated to London to continue the fight against the Nazi occupation.