It is certainly an impressive country.
Norway is not the first place adventure-seekers think of when they want somewhere to escape the stresses of city life, to experience nature up-close and to have what is sometimes referred to as a ‘spiritual’ experience in which the mundanity of our daily chores are replaced by a sense that there is something much bigger than ourselves.
This would be a mistake however as Norway is a land of nature, home to some of the most stunning scenery on earth, and best of all for European adventure-seekers it requires little in the way of innoculations, visas and the other stresses of travelling to hotspots such as Thailand.
In addition the people in Norway speak great English, crime is low and the chance of being hustled out of your cash by a tout is bordering on the impossible. Indeed you are more likely to be attacked by a polar bear than you are by an armed robber in most Norwegian towns, allowing you to properly enjoy your adventure.
Yet when I think about it, the fact that so few Europeans think of Norway in this way is rather bizarre. I suspect it may be due to ‘Janteloven’ or ‘Jante’s Law’ the cultural norm throughout the Nordics that discourages loudly proclaiming you are the best at something.
As a result rather than having huge posters on the tube proclaiming the incredible adventures you could have upon taking a two-hour flight, the country is instead mainly visited by those ‘in the know’ that appreciate natural beauty.
One potential obstacle that is mentioned to fully enjoying Norway is its high costs. True, Oslo is said to be the most expensive city for a beer, however when I made one of my more recent visits I managed to do the whole weekend for less than £350 including flights. I didn’t stay in a hostel (not my style unfortunately), I stayed in a four-star hotel and I ate and drank out and didn’t particularly scrimp on spending money.
True the food and drink was expensive, but the whole experience was far, far cheaper than any adventure I could undertake elsewhere in the world (flights alone to Thailand are over £500!) and unless you intend to travel solely to buy clothes you should find it a surprisingly cost-effective option.
So for those thinking of heading off on an adventure and who are slowly losing their mind in the overcrowded metropolis of London, Paris or many other cities, a visit to Norway will reconnect you with nature, relax you as you look at out miles of nature and unspoiled beauty and help you contemplate the vast power of the earth we live on as you contemplate much of the wisdom in the Norse myths. Particular places to look at are the fjords of Norway, the island of Svalbard and Bergen, which is close to much of the natural beauty of the nation