Mountain scenery, Spitsbergen Svalbard

Norway, The Land of Trolls - in a Nutshell

Author: Sue
Date: 19th March 2022

A (Very Brief) History of Norway

The Kingdom of Norway was established in 872, as a merger of many petty kingdoms and has existed continuously for over 1,150years. From 1537 to 1814, Norway was a part of the Kingdom of Denmark and Norway, and, from 1814 to 1905, it was united with the Kingdom of Sweden. The country was neutral during the First World War and remained so, until April 1940, when the country was invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany, until the end of World War II.

Facts and Factoids

  • Norway, includes the remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard. At the other end of the globe, Bouvet Island, located in the Sub-Antarctic, is also a dependency of Norway. It’s the Earth's most isolated island.
  • The country has the second or third longest coastline in the world, depending on which ranking list you believe. Canada has indisputably the longest coastline. I suppose it depends on whether you include all the islands and Svalbard etc. Not to mention trying to measure the distance along all those fjords. It seems to be at least 36,000 miles long.
  • There are two written variants of the Norwegian language: Bokmål is used by the vast majority of the country, while Nynorsk is found in rural areas.
  • Skiing was invented in Norway, which possibly explains why the Norwegians win more medals at the Winter Olympics than anyone else. Finnmark is home to the oldest preserved ski ever found, an incredible 2,300 years old.
  • In the northern tip, of Norway, above the Arctic Circle, and in Svalbard, the sun shines 20 hours a day from mid-May to mid-July. So, the most common nickname for Norway is Land of the midnight Sun. But that's also the soubriquet for Greenland. Norway is otherwise known as: The Land Of Fjords, The Land Of Trolls and The Land Of Vikings. Vikings came from the whole of Scandinavia (seafaring peoples who, from the late eighth, to the late 11th centuries, raided, pirated, traded and settled throughout Europe and beyond. Trolls originated in Norse mythology, cave dwellers growing increasingly antagonistic to humans, as the stories developed, over time.) Fjords are long, deep, narrow bodies of water, which reach far inland. They are famously found in Norway, but also Chile, New Zealand, Canada, Greenland, and Alaska, amongst others. So, I'm settling for trolls.
  • Around 98% of Norway's domestic power usage is drawn from hydroelectric power plants.
  • The Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King's Guard is a king penguin from Edinburgh Zoo. He’s called. Brigadier Sir Nils Olav III.
  • Norway supplies Trafalgar Square in London with a Christmas tree every year, to say thank you for the UK’s help during World War II.

Is Norway a Safe Country to Visit?

Norway has a very low crime rate.

Is Norway Expensive?

Norway has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world. It ranked first on the World Happiness Report for 2017 and currently ranks first on the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity, the Freedom Index and the Democracy Index.

Is Norway in the EU?

Norway is not a member state of the European Union (EU). However, it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA).

What is There to See and Do in Norway?

  • Norway is an expensive, but gorgeous country. The mountains and the fjords, for which Norway is famous, are a must-see, and there are plenty of outdoor activities. Two fjords, the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord, feature on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
  • Cruising works well here – road journeys are long because of all the fjords and ferries. Hurtigruten ferries avoid the big ship carnival atmosphere.
  • Oslo, the capital, is a pleasant weekend visit
  • Svalbard is exciting – searching for polar bears, close to the North Pole.
  • If you are fortunate The Northern Lights can be seen from the country's Arctic Circle, Lapp areas. No other place on earth offers better chances of spotting the aurora borealis. The northern lights belt hits Northern Norway in the Lofoten Islands, and follows the coast all the way up to the North Cape. This is where you experience Polar night in winter or the Midnight Sun in Summer. I went on a Northern Lights cruise (and I saw them).

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