Norway is Where it All Began

By: Douglas Scott

Norway is a beautiful and sparsely populated land of towering mountains, spectacular fjords and clean cities and towns. The people are friendly and often speak English, and youll find you feel at home here.

South East Norway is a land of contrasts. In the south the coast is a succession of lovely coves, islands and inlets, dotted with quaint fishing ports. Oslo is at the northernmost point of this enormous arm of the Skagerrak. Inland the scenery becomes progressively wilder and more mountainous, culminating in the wilderness which includes the Jotunheim, Rondane and Dovrefjell national parks.

The fjords as spectacular as their reputation and perhaps the main draw for tourists coming to Norway. Mighty peaks towering over deep blue water, with occasional towns of brightly coloured houses clinging to the shoreline. Plunging waterfalls born in the snow fields which in some places never melt. Wonderful walking and hiking and an excellent public transport network to help you get around. Plus the larger towns, especially Bergen and Stavanger.

Northern Norway stretches for over 1000 miles, from below Trondheim in the south to the borders of Finland and Russia, well north of the Arctic Circle. Trondheim and Tromso are the two main cities, both well worth a visit, especially Trondheim with its impressive cathedral and attractive old centre. The main road north crosses the Arctic Circle before reaching Bodo, and from here on the scenery is true wilderness, punctuated with the occasional small town.

Norway is a great country for a driving holiday, as the roads are well maintained and relatively quiet. But watch your speed, as the limits are low and strictly enforced. On country roads the general limit is 80kph, often dropping as low as 60, and even on motorways the top speed is 90kph. So youll have plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent scenery.

Many believe that Norway is where it all began, with the need to move across snow over vast distances. During the winter, most of the towns and cities in this wild and beautiful country have access to a ski area. These vary from the high quality slopes and lift complex around Lillehammer, scene of former Winter Olympics, to small local complexes with just a couple of lifts. Theres certainly something for everyone and you could even combine a trip to Oslo with some skiing in the easily reached hills behind the city.

All the major hotel chains plus many independent hotels are located in Norway.

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