“The Land of the Midnight Sun”---this is what Norway is sometimes called
because a third of the country is within the Arctic Circle and the sun
shines continuously in this region from May through July. If there was
ever a place when a watch or clock is absolutely necessary, it is in
this place since you can easily get disoriented because of the 24-hour
daylight. But many visitors say that they feel more relaxed here
precisely because there seems to be no concept of time, thanks to
During midwinter months, the northern area is dark all the time. The
nation’s most famous son, composer Edvard Grieg, tried to capture the
moods created by the drastic changes of the seasons from light to dark
through his music.
the midnight sun is only one thing that brings fame to Norway. Another
one is the Northern lights, or “nature’s light show”, the Aurora
Borealis. Technically, this phenomenon is caused by solar flares that
come in contact with the Earth’s gasses which result in this fantastic
display of color and light.
The aurora borealis can be seen in all countries within the region of
the North Pole but the spectacle from Northern Norway is one of the best
in the world. The lights are sometimes multi-hued, sometimes just
computer green curtains or wisps of light. No two sightings are ever the
same so you can never tire of this natural phenomenon.
Norway is generally a land of rugged, pine-topped mountain ranges,
glacier gouged valleys, and fjords. The skerry guard, a line of
off-shore islands, acts as a shield along the nation’s coastline and
forms an inland waterway. “Norway” actually means “northern way” and its
inland waterway links the numerous fjords which should have been
isolated by the country’s rugged terrain.
Vikings, pirates of the sea who plundered and killed, founded many
modern day cities and colonies including Dublin and Greenland. It is
from the coasts of Norway that these marauders took off on their
longships. But plundering and murdering was not all they were known for.
They were also skilled administrators and traders. It is just that most
history books emphasize and romanticize the terror these invaders
brought to its neighboring countries, though their ruthlessness as
warriors was all too true.
Nordic mythology is another legacy of this
race which is comparable to those of the Greeks and Romans with their
own pantheon of gods and goddesses.
But the Vikings were not the first people
to live in this part of the world though they were most definitely the
most famous. Less glamorous and more “earthy” are the Sami or Lapps.
They populated Norway 11,000 years ago and are essentially “nature
people”, much like the Native American-Indians of North America. And
like them, the Samis had once been in danger of dying out but today
their culture and people live on and they have their own flag and
parliament separate from that of the rest of Norway. They generally live
in Northern Norway, an area which is also known for its wildlife.
Though Northern Norway is obviously a “must-see” area of Norway, Eastern
Norway also has its own unique attractions. Oslo, the nation’s capital
is located in this region, so is the Jotunheimen National Park, famous
for its wild and tall mountains, especially the Galdhopiggen, its
For history buffs, Central Norway or the Trondelag is the country’s
center of history and heritage. Its islands of Hitra and Froya located
on the Trondelag coast are the best places to go fishing for salmon and
experience the way of life of early Norwegians. Don’t forget to visit
Trondheim, Norway’s capital of technology and home to the Nidarosdomen
Cathedral, its famous cathedral.
Known for its white wooden houses, rocky
coastline and small villages, Southern Norway is the country’s summer
capital, especially Sorlandet with its beautiful coastline and skerries,
cosy towns and villages.
Norway is a beautiful country full of natural wonders, scenic landscapes,
and a rich historical past and heritage. Norway is truly as romantic as
it sounds; the aurora borealis experience itself is already something to
write home about and that’s just one attraction in this “Land of the