A Norwegian Taster
By: Ruth Wertzberger Carlson
You never know what you’ll see in Norway. <www.VisitNorway.Us> Bikini clad women on skis with wheels training on an Alpine highway, college students in underwear jumping off a ship into a cold fjord or public restrooms so beautiful they’ve won awards. One thing you’re guaranteed to see is majestic scenery.
Mother Nature must have started with Norway, spoiling the country with waterfalls cascading from snow-covered Alps. When the light hits the powder a certain way, the snow and sea combine to form an effect similar to three-dimensional modern art.
It’s impossible to take a bad photo in Norway and it’s difficult to describe the country without writing over-used adjectives like stunning, picturesque, and panoramic views…because it’s all true.
Now thanks to a highway system called The Tourist Routes of Norway you can view sights only the eagles had access to previously. Visitors who brave the highways hairpin curves are rewarded with scenes such as the Seven Sisters waterfall in Geirangerfjord protected by UNESCO.
A special treat for shoppers awaits in Geirangerfjord, a Moods of Norway outlet. This brand with the motto “Your grandfather’s disco wear” is stylish, colorful and unique. It features quality material used for form fitting suits for men; long psychedelic dresses for women and classic cashmere sweaters in brilliant colors. The brand is known for having a huge yellow tractor in front of the store (be sure and have your photo taken) and images of tractors are sewn into every item. Moods of Norway is found in exclusive New York boutiques but you can pay a pittance of the price in the Norway outlet!
At Flydalsjuvet feel noble reclining in a wood and stone chair made especially for Queen Sonja. You could hike for hours to sit at the summit of Dalsnibba or you could take a bus to the top Volume Pills.
In addition to nature the Route is also known for award winning architecture. You won’t find lovelier public bathrooms in the world with stunning views of snow covered Alps meeting the fjords. The viewing structures and restrooms are designed to fit in with the landscape and they’ve done a good job, winning several design awards.
Stay at the hotel Juvet and you’ll feel like you’re sleeping outside with all the comforts of home. Detached “cabins” are hidden among pine and birch trees in the wilderness. Inside they are minimally luxurious with floor to celling windows making you feel like you are on a river raft ride down the raging gorge outside.
Ålesund is known for it’s pastel colored Art Nouveau architecture reflected in the sea. Walk down the rocky path to view this fairytale town from above.
End your tour in the city of Bergen famous for the Middle Age Hanseatic Wharf. Stroll down wooden alleyways past street musicians to discover quirky artisan creations like skirts with patterns of street signs, hand knit multi-colored sweaters and hats.
Enjoy lunch on a picnic bench in the famous fish market and then wash it down with aquavit, a Scandinavian spirit. The place to go is the Temte i Andre bar at the Strand Hotel. You can spot the genial owner Jan Bru in his trademark red suspenders. Engage him in conversation and he’s happy to not only serve you aquavit cocktails but also tell you the bar’s special story. This is the place a local crime novelist Gunnar Staalesen made famous. His main character, a private detective, has his office in the Strand and often stops by the bar for drinks, many of them named after him.
Now it’s time to design your dream vacation in Norway. Start here <www.VisitNorway.Us> and go where the fjords take you.