‘Hello, is there anybody in there?’ If Pink Floyd sung this in Norway, the answer would probably be ‘no’, or perhaps the sound of a distant, echoey ‘hei’ from somewhere a couple of hundred metres down a fjord. Norway is one of the most sparsely (and, it should be said, beautifully) populated countries in Europe. This leaves huge, spectacular swathes of natural scenery hewn in the Ice Age for you to explore in peace.
As with her Scandinavian neighbours, Norway is a very different place in the summer and in the winter. During the summer months, the mountains are perfect for hiking and cycling. Rafting, kayaking and cave exploration are also on offer, if you’re feeling adventurous. The sun doesn’t set until late at night in Oslo and doesn’t set at all in the Arctic Circle! In the winter, skiing, shooting and snowboarding are popular choices, but the daylight doesn’t last long: in Oslo the sun sets at around 3.30PM in December while in the far north it doesn’t rise at all.
Norway is as exciting culturally as naturally. Capital city Oslo has an internationally-recognised restaurant scene and excellent nightlife. Around a quarter of Oslo’s inhabitants were born overseas, making for a multicultural city. The native Norwegians may seem a little reserved at first but are genuinely welcoming to visitors who make the long journey north to visit their beautiful country. When you make a friend here, you have a friend for life.
National Day on 17th May is the best time to sample traditional Norwegian food, such as "Rømmegrøt", a sour-cream porridge, served with cured meat. But you could just stick to the salmon, which is said to be the best in the world. Learn Norwegian in Norway with ESL and discover Norway on your own terms.