Norway is an ancient land, created when the ice retreated some 10,000 years ago, powerful in its raw beauty with dazzling glaciers and thundering waterfalls. Its Arctic wilderness is a haven for wildlife including seals, walrus, huge orcas and magnificent sea eagles. Watch the beautiful Northern Lights from an isolated winter anchorage or appreciate the Midnight Sun of the summer months as the days stretch into the night.As well as enjoying the beauty of the pristine waters, take some time onshore to experience skiing against a backdrop of ice blue water, the challenge of hiking trails that rise from the sea with breathtaking views over Nærøyfjord and Geirangerfjord or explore the region’s prettiest sea towns and villages, including Kabelvag, Skrover and Henningsvaer.
During the winter holidays, the Norwegians organize a lot of festivals. They take advantage of these occasions and advertise their culture. From folk music to food, all the elements of their culture is displayed somehow. The traditions are very important in Norway and some of the national dishes are related to religious holidays, for example. Pinnekjøtt is a Norwegian dish based on Lamb or sheep meat that is served at the Christmas dinner. Smalahove and lutefisk are two other dishes that are prepared in Norway on this occasion. Of course, such a traditional meal cannot lack the desserts. Some of the traditional cakes are lefse and lompe.
Wilderness in Norway has become more of a leisure pursuit, an idea that Norwegians embrace, escape to and explore with great fervour. Nowhere is this more evident than in the country’s national parks – shining symbols of the nation’s desire to protect the environment as much as they are showpieces of Norway’s peerless landscapes and otherworldly natural grace. At the same time, Norwegians worry about their impact upon the environment, over the consequences of global warming for the country’s glaciers and Arctic ecosystems, and about Norway’s contributions to this decline and the decline of wilderness the world over due to their massive oil reserves and exports.
Norway is, by any standards, one of the most beautiful countries on earth, but that beauty brings with it a responsibility that weighs heavily upon Norwegians. For here is a people with an enduring love for the natural world that is profoundly etched into the national character. In the past, this was expressed in the Norwegian tradition of isolated farmsteads that colonised the most secluded corners of the country’s wilderness.