As We Travel » Norway http://www.aswetravel.com Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog Sun, 03 May 2015 13:43:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 A Chilly Outdoor Experience – Exploring Spitsbergen, Norway http://www.aswetravel.com/a-chilly-outdoor-experience-exploring-spitsbergen-norway/ http://www.aswetravel.com/a-chilly-outdoor-experience-exploring-spitsbergen-norway/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 17:31:40 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=44980 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Midnight sun and polar nights, extreme temperatures and dramatic landscapes, all this awaits visitors to Spitsbergen, Norway. Arctic cruises up to the Svalband archipelago is a simply unforgettable experience. This is one of the best places in the world to see polar bears and a number of other wildlife that live on the ice floes, […]

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Midnight sun and polar nights, extreme temperatures and dramatic landscapes, all this awaits visitors to Spitsbergen, Norway.

Arctic cruises up to the Svalband archipelago is a simply unforgettable experience.

This is one of the best places in the world to see polar bears and a number of other wildlife that live on the ice floes, such as walruses, reindeer, foxes, seals, and seabirds.

Hidden History

The population of the archipelago is just 3,500, divided among small settlements. Longyearbyen is the capital of Svalband and has the most inhabitants at 1,800 people, and is worth a day’s exploration.

This area started out as a whaling site in the 17th and 18th centuries, and then saw a resurgence for coal mining.

Visitors can explore these old mining towns, some of which are deserted while others remain inhabited.

There are also kooky legends of UFO crashes in the area.

Winter Wonderland

However, the main attraction here is the fantastic natural scenery, and the best way to experience this arctic environment is through a ship-based excursion.

It’s possible to live an outdoor experience with the commodities of a cruise ship, you can focus on exploring the glaciers, fjords, tundra, and alpine scenery of the region.

Snowmobiling, skiing, trekking, and kayaking, are popular daytime excursions, and exotic activities such as kite-skiing and dogsledding are also possible.

Less-adventurous types can enjoy taking zodiac boats out to observe wildlife and simple walks across the icy terrain.

When to Go

The best time to visit is from June to September when the famous midnight sun occurs – this far north, the sun never sets!

This means any time of day or night is fine to explore the region’s six national parks.

It’s equally possible to visit in the off-season, but be forewarned that the temperatures are extremely cold and the polar nights are very long. It’s not for everyone!

Once you arrive, be sure to check out the museums in town in Longyearbyen to better understand the history of the region including the strong Russian influences, and stop and shop at local art galleries for souvenirs.

Karls-Berger Pub Café is a great place to warm up by sampling some of the thousands of whiskies, brandies, and spirits available.

Although it may be chilly, Spitsbergen, Norway, is an unbeatable destination for arctic adventure and epic sight-seeing.

(Photo 1, 2, 3, 4)

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4 Quirky Things About Norway http://www.aswetravel.com/4-quirky-things-about-norway/ http://www.aswetravel.com/4-quirky-things-about-norway/#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2012 13:00:27 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=38627 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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During our month in the woods of Norway we learned a lot about the beautiful country and its proud people – some things were exactly as we had expected (such as the overload of Swedish workers), while other things surprised us. Here are a few quirky things we learned from Norway … Norwegians are happy […]

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During our month in the woods of Norway we learned a lot about the beautiful country and its proud people – some things were exactly as we had expected (such as the overload of Swedish workers), while other things surprised us.

Here are a few quirky things we learned from Norway …

Norwegians are happy – even when they’re not.

Norwegians sound like they are constantly in a good mood – they even sound (and look) happy when they are mad, although that doesn’t seem to happen very often, as they tend to ‘look on the bright side of life’.

A common saying in Norway is that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing (det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!) – which proves just how optimistic and outdoorsy they are.

Cash is overrated.

In Norway, we never saw anyone paying with cash – anywhere…

And pretty soon we stopped too – it’s the closest we’ve experinced to a country with a cashless society – you can pay with your credit card everywhere, even in the public toilets..!

Simple things get complicated.

A friend of Nathan’s told us about the two years he spent living in northern Norway, and how people there seemed to get very stressed despite having so little to do.

This is something we found equally true where we lived.

As soon as something is slightly out of routine, they don’t know how to deal with it – so they simply choose not to deal with it at all, hoping that everything somehow, sometime, will work out by itself.

They have an interesting attitude to life, which can be described as “if we don’t do it today, we’ll do it tomorrow”.

I also have the feeling that they suffer from the same habit like us Swedes of the need to have “meetings” all the time – only to never quite come to a decision anyway.

The sun sets all day.

What struck us the most in Norway was how the sun looked like it was about to set the entire day – always low, and always orange.

This had a strange effect on the landscape, which by the way was already pretty odd in itself – the nature with its endless rolling hills and winding river was beautiful, but had an eery vibe over it.

Skiing from the top of the mountain kind of gave you the impression that you were skiing on a different planet.

What are some quirky things you know about Norway and Norwegians?

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Snowy Photo Essay – Trysil, Norway http://www.aswetravel.com/photo-essay-trysil-norway/ http://www.aswetravel.com/photo-essay-trysil-norway/#comments Sun, 09 Dec 2012 13:00:56 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=38667 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Those who have climbed Mount Everest often say it changed something in their relation with mother nature – they realized that she was more than a commodity, more than just a piece of land. Many say they gained a new respect for her, and realized that not only is she alive, but she is powerful and […]

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Those who have climbed Mount Everest often say it changed something in their relation with mother nature – they realized that she was more than a commodity, more than just a piece of land.

Many say they gained a new respect for her, and realized that not only is she alive, but she is powerful and has her own will.

Climbing that mountain made them see how small and helpless we all are in her hands.

That sort of relationship with nature is becoming increasingly rare in our world today.

Being brought up in cities and locking ourselves inside with electronics, nature has become a stranger and is something we fear rather than love.

But on the Scandinavian countryside, that quiet, solemn energy that has become so hard to find, is still there.

There is something so pure and serene about the countryside of Norway that is really lovely, and for some reason being outside there makes you feel more energized than usual.

Sadly, many people today don’t like being outdoors. I used to be like that myself, but traveling and learning to ski changed all that.

I learned to love winter, to see the opportunities in nature, to be like a child again, and most importantly: to trust myself.

Nature can be boring, if you don’t know what to do with it, scary, if you don’t trust yourself, and dangerous, if you don’t respect it.

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Oslo, Norway – Europe #28 [VIDEO] http://www.aswetravel.com/oslo-norway-travel-video/ http://www.aswetravel.com/oslo-norway-travel-video/#comments Sun, 13 Nov 2011 07:00:08 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=24913 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Norway is the beautiful but kind of strange country, where you can find the strangest of foods, parks crowded with naked statues and the most beautiful views. It is also one of the most expensive cities we’ve been to… You think Denmark is expensive? Then go to Oslo and you will laugh at the mere thought of […]

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Norway is the beautiful but kind of strange country, where you can find the strangest of foods, parks crowded with naked statues and the most beautiful views.

It is also one of the most expensive cities we’ve been to… You think Denmark is expensive? Then go to Oslo and you will laugh at the mere thought of it, in Oslo you can experience first hand what expensive really means.

I never thought I would say “let’s wait to buy that until we get to Sweden”, as prices were pretty much half there.

YES – Sweden is cheap compared to Norway …

To read more about our time in Oslo, make sure you check out:

We hope you enjoyed our Oslo video, and stay tuned for at least 1 new video every week – Next stop Sweden!

(Our Oslo Episode was Sponsored by InterRail & Sentrum Pensjonat)

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Oslo, Norway – Expensive And Lots Of Swedish People! http://www.aswetravel.com/oslo-norway-expensive-and-lots-of-swedish-people/ http://www.aswetravel.com/oslo-norway-expensive-and-lots-of-swedish-people/#comments Sat, 12 Nov 2011 13:00:56 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=21339 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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I’ll probably get a lot of people disagreeing with me on this, and maybe I’m totally wrong to say it – but Oslo didn’t leave much of an impression on me. It was small, cute and nice, but I have a very strong feeling that the country side of Norway, places like Bergen and Stavanger […]

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I’ll probably get a lot of people disagreeing with me on this, and maybe I’m totally wrong to say it – but Oslo didn’t leave much of an impression on me.

It was small, cute and nice, but I have a very strong feeling that the country side of Norway, places like Bergen and Stavanger – are completely different and amazing.

I can hardly wait to organize a trip to Bergen, Tromsö and the fjords, but Oslo?

Well, this time it was a bit of a lukewarm experience, which is ok, you don’t have to love every place you visit.

There really was nothing wrong about the city, but for some reason it failed to leave much of an impression on me, although there were a few things which really did stick out:

Experience REALLY Expensive For The First Time

You think Denmark is expensive? Go to Oslo! In Oslo you can experience first hand what expensive really feels like.

I never thought I would say “let’s wait to buy that until we get to Sweden”, as prices were pretty much half there.

Yes, Sweden is cheap compared to Norway.

A local bus ride through town would cost you 40 NOK (7 dollars), and a take away pizza 246 NOK, 44 US dollars!

I don’t know how all the homeless people made it through, it would have to be the worst place to be with no money.

Understandably it’s not that easy finding cheap hotels in Oslo, but there are a few cheap hostels around and we made it through by avoiding eating out every night.

Every Second Person Is Swedish

Every second person you’ll meet working in a supermarket, shop, restaurant or hotel – is Swedish.

According to the Swedish media (I don’t know myself if this is true), many young Norwegians don’t want these types of jobs, and meanwhile tons of Swedish people move to Norway and take any job available to save some money.

It was crazy to see how many Swedish people lived here, and I can’t quite understand why.

Yes, you earn more money, but you also spend a lot more – so in the end, doesn’t it even out?

The Closeness To Nature

Oslo is surrounded by green pine forest, blue ocean and the typical Scandinavian red houses with white corners, it’s easy to get out of the city and experience more of the landscape that Norway is famous for, which was great.

I will definitely return to Norway, hopefully soon, but next time I want to see what Norway is actually famous for, and see if it lives up to its rumors of being the most beautiful country in the world…

Have you been to Oslo? What were your impressions and experiences?

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