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Archive for norway

Norway’s Atlantis

By Linda Tancs

Lygnstøylsvatnet is an over 100-year-old flooded Norwegian farm area in Norangsdalen by Ørsta via County Road 655. The ruins of an entire town lie just beneath Lake Lygnstøylsvatnet, a place divers call “Norway’s Atlantis.” The old homestead at the bottom of the lake includes farm houses, rock fences, barren trees and paths built for horsedrawn carriages. This underwater wonder occurred as a result of a rockslide in 1908 that blocked the river there and flooded the town, forcing its residents to flee. The well-preserved time capsule is shallow enough for novice divers to explore.


Norway’s Hidden Gem

By Linda Tancs

Located just south of the Arctic Circle, Norway’s Vega archipelago is one of its best-kept secrets off the tourist trail. And you have 6,500 reasons to visit there—one for every island, reef and skerry. This UNESCO site is one of the oldest places of inhabitance in northern Norway, with fishing and hunting settlements dating back 10,000 years. Vega is home to 228 species of birds, including the prized eider ducks. In fact, the tradition of tending eider ducks can be traced to the 9th century when locals sheltered them, an important source for the supply of down. Hiking and kayaking are popular pursuits. History buffs should check out Ylvingen Fortress war memorial as well as the remains of bunkers, tunnels and cannon sites from World War II. And with Syttende Mai right around the corner, what a great time to be in Norway!

Dancing With Wolves

By Linda Tancs

Feared, loved and hated, the wolf is an apex predator with pride of place in stories, fables and myths. In fact, wolves figure prominently in the mythology of nearly every Native American tribe. You might naturally want to shy away from an encounter with an animal as powerful as this, but that’s far from the case at Norway’s Polar Park. The world’s northernmost animal park, the arctic wildlife centre offers visitors a close encounter with its wolves in an enclosure called WolfVisit. Those meeting basic requirements for entry will have the opportunity to interact with a group of domesticated wolves under the direction of an animal keeper. And in the middle of one of the larger enclosures is a luxury hotel experience called WolfLodge, where oversized windows give you and your furry friends ample opportunity to size each other up. The ambience is particularly spectacular in the winter because the wolves are most active now due to mating season from February to April.

The Pride of Norway

By Linda Tancs

One of Norway’s best loved attractions is just an hour’s drive north from Oslo. There you’ll find Skibladner, the world’s oldest paddle steamer, ploughing Lake Mjøsa, Norway’s largest inland lake. The pride of Norway, the oldest preserved paddle steamer in timetabled service is celebrating 160 years of sailing this year. Skibladner sails between the villages and towns around Lake Mjøsa as she has always done: Lillehammer, Moelv, Gjøvik, Hamar and Eidsvoll. Sailings began on June 22 and continue through August 14.

Celebrating the Sami

By Linda Tancs

The Sami are the indigenous who inhabit northern Scandinavia in a region called Sapmi, stretching across the high plains of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. They celebrate their own National Day on February 6 each year, marking that day in the year 1917 when they gathered for their first meeting in Norway to address common concerns. Nowadays around 40,000 Sami live in Norway, 20,000 in Sweden and some 7,000 in Finland. In addition there are an estimated 2,000 Sami in Russia. In the city of Tromsø, Norway, their culture is celebrated with a weeklong festival known as Sami Week. Taking place this year from January 31 to February 7, the celebration includes reindeer racing, lasso-throwing, food, art and language classes.

At the World’s Edge

By Linda Tancs

Located just north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, the former fishing village of Myken sits at the world’s edge. You might say the world is its oyster. Soon enough you can toast to that. Once the aging process is complete, the tiny hamlet of six full-time residents will be home to the world’s first Arctic whiskey, using desalinated seawater from Vestfjorden. The first bottle should debut in 2017.


Grieg’s Symphony

By Linda Tancs

Inspired by his country’s folk songs, Edvard Grieg became one of Norway’s most famous composers. On the grounds of his 19th century home in Bergen, Troldhaugen, visitors can enjoy daily lunchtime concerts at the chamber music hall. Each week a featured pianist plays Grieg’s most well-known and prized piano pieces. The annual event takes place from June 1 to September 30. Better hurry!

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