Sunday, September 11, 2011

Summer Destination: Land of the Midnight Sun

Do you remember the first time you arrived in a foreign country? The first time you landed in a place that was not home, where everything was new – the place, the people, the language, the food.

I do. And that memory is indelible. 

It was excitement, curiosity and exhilaration for me. And something about that feeling is addictive too. Every trip to a new place has left me with impressions of this world that I couldn’t have got by reading books, gazing at pictures in glossy magazines or browsing the World Wide Web.

From the never ending list of ‘places to see when I am still physically fit (and sane)’, it was Norway this summer!

11 fun (and funny) facts that would put the Norway I saw, in a nutshell:

  • Most parts of this country looks just as beautiful as it does in the travel magazines
  • You never have to wonder about what to eat for dinner, because it is always fish :-) (and hey,  usually you can put the pan on the stove and then go fishing somewhere close by)
  • In some of the bigger cities and towns in Norway it is easier to get Chinese food than Norwegian food. And I don’t know why.
  • Ordering wine in this country can lead you to bankruptcy faster than gambling can. 
  • Fjords are stunning, but they all look the same - the same mountain, same creek, same waterfall, and the same billy goats.
  • You don’t need a guidebook to find your way, since the locals are a friendly lot and yeah, I forgot to mention, there’s only one way (and that too a single lane) between any two towns or cities. 
  • You will know the meaning of the word ‘astronomical’ when you pay for car parking in Oslo. (You could save on car park by simply driving around and not getting off your car and what more!? the money saved would be enough to buy back the car you rented :-)).
  • Some towns in this country are so small that often the address comprises a name followed by the P.O Box
  • International media coverage around an untoward local incident is just hype
  • It is possible to have a free sumptuous meal by simply sampling smoked sea food in a local fish market.
  • Some Norwegian homes are soooo far up a mountain that in the interests of the postman, they hang their postboxes at the point where the mountain intersects a motor-able road.
    Below are some pictures from this trip. 

    I agree, my photographs cannot capture the essence of this Scandinavian beauty, but I would still like to share them with you - for fun!

    Harbour Front, Oslo

    This sculpture close to the Oslo Opera House is called 'She Lies'. It even turns on its axis...pretty cool!!

    A sculpture at Vigeland Park -  Bottoms-Up should be its name!

    An old kindergarten

    The Sod roofs you see atop many Norwegian houses

    A Norwegian Clap Dance at a Museum -very touristy, but very sweet

    The typical red houses of Norway (surrounded by blue blue water and green green grass)

    At the fjord

    Would love to rent this on-the-foot of the-mountain-by-the-river-cabin (or is it a shack?)

    Fjord cruising
    Gudvangen, near Flam

    ah! you can even meet a Viking in Norway ;) I wish I did, when I was struggling with History lessons in school

    The mythological Troll

    My new Norwegian friend...(pity! we can't reconnect online).


    The widely advertised edibles in the Fish market in Bergen

    The board outside the most crowded fishmonger in the market

    Apparently the longest road tunnel in the world!

    Even cabins at camping grounds were red!

    An elaborate exhibition of Nobel Peace Prize winners. The usual facts presented in a very visually appealing and intriguing manner


    1. This makes me want to go there right now! Such is the power of well-written travelogues like this one.

    2. Nicely written and beautiful pictures!!! Makes me wanna pack my things and go there right away!
      I would enjoy reading more like this....

    3. citizen from rainy citySeptember 13, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      nice memory. although I'd love to travel, being a strict vegetarian, you made me think twice. Glad that I read your blog, I will be well prepared before my trip to Norway!

    4. more chinese foood in Norway?? not sure about that - but like you take on car parking and agree 100%.

    5. Did you see the Northern Lights at all? Love the pictures. When I visit Norway I will think of this blog.

    6. Thank you!
      Nikki - I'll try to investigate why.
      Ram - Thanks. No luck with NL but maybe I'll see it in your blog?? :-)

    7. I wish Norway wasn't so expensive otherwise I would pop over in a heartbeat!

    8. Wow Uma!!! Breathtaking images and well written wonderful experience....

      You had brought Norway in front of my eyes...

      Excellent writing skill, keep it up... I am your ardent fan..