Norway Travel

Norway is a great place to travel to, it’s an indescribable beauty that is rarely seen. It’s making contact – with nature.

It’s not unusual to see the guests aboard a ship walk out on deck in the middle of a cold winter night; to catch a glimpse of how the sea brushes upon the fjords.

This ranks as one of natures most interesting experience – especially when it’s 12:00 a.m. and the sun is shinning as bright as it does on any afternoon.

Unlike many countries, this is one of the things that makes Norway a great winter getaway.

In the late 19th century the coast line from Bergen to Kirkenes was a busy route for all sort of ships.

Norway is a great place to take a cruise. A popular route is Bergen to Kirkenes.

 One of the exciting things about visiting Norway  is being able to take a picture of the sea at 3:00 a.m. without a flash.

In the last few centuries the North Pole has became synonymous with Santa Claus, reindeers, vikings, trolls, salmon and cod fish.

Norway is famous for it’s different types of excursions:

There are ski expeditions, dog sledding, kayaking, birdwatching, snowmobile trips, sea eagle safari, mountain hikes, whale watching, sailing to Geiranger fjord, and naturally fishing in Lofoten – a great place to catch cod.

As you approach the coasts of Norway you might see penguins – they are very communicative – lots of noise in their area.

You may also see Polar bears – they are the opposite – no noise in their area- loners, quiet types – serious – very family oriented. You can see that in the interaction they have with their youngs.

Walrus – on the other hand are very observant –  as you approach them – you get the feeling – that they are the ones doing the sight seeing. Besides that – they have great teeth. One glance and you find yourself smiling at them.

Reindeers are and always have been magestic animals – they are a large part of the Norwegian culture. Up north it’s not unusual to see reindeers running thru the mountains in all colors. The white ones – are the most unusual and – photographed ones.

Visiting a Sami Camp in Honningsvag, Norway, (The North Cape) is a great way to learn about them.

Norway is one of those countries you just want to visit in the winter, summer, spring and fall.

Each season in Norway is an indescribable experience. From skiing to sailing.

Seeing the fjords covered in snow as you ski – it’s an incredible experience; then seeing them completely green – as you fish or sail is awesome.

This type of experience can only be matched by seeing the fjords in  transition (spring and fall).

Then when is it best to visit Norway? I’ll let you figure that one out.

Below are some must see places while your there:

Bergen
Bergen was founded in 1070 AD,  was the capital of Norway. It’s a colorful city that has retained the history of Norway.

Enjoy a trip on the Floibannen Funicular during your visit to Bergen and see all of Bergen.

This exciting trip up to the mountain is a magnificent experience in itself. Mount Fløyen, it’s approximately 320 metres above sea level.

From above you can enjoy the cityscape, the seaward, and the fjords surrounding Bergen.

Lofoten
The arctic circle marks the border to the Arctic region. During the summer months they have 24 hour sunlight.

This is what is referred to as the midnight sun.

The charm of the Lofoten islands are the small fishing villages with granite cliffs and white sand beaches.

You will find lots of fish racks and traditional fishermens huts.

Great place to try a fish cake.

The Northern Cape
The Northern Cape is the northern most point of the planet. A popular place for the snowmobile tours. There you will see the Sami people grazing reindeers.

Near the top, there is a exciting nature reserve called Gjesvaer Tappan. Great place for bird watching.

The Seven Sisters
When in Norway crossing the Arctic Circle on a ship is an important part of the experience.

Most tours celebrate it by asking all the passengers to meet on deck and there ritual begins. Here’s a tip: wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet during the ceremony.

Along the way you will pass the Seven Sisters.

The seven sisters are beautiful mountains that have influenced social myths, according to some Norwegian folk tales – trolls are turned to stone if they do not hide before the sun rises.

This was the case with the seven sisters – at least they are still beautiful. See for yourself.

Oslo
Oslo is the capital of Norway, the winter capital of the world. A multicultural city with modern architecture, a sculpture park named Vigeland, a Royal Palace, a Nobel Peace Center, Museums, and home to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump.

Clearly there is so much to do and see in Norway – below is a video that Expedia put together it features some of the most amazing places in Oslo.

Have a safe trip. Let me know all about it…

 

Sweden Travel

Brief History of Sweden

Sweden is a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them.

8,000 BC to 6,000 BC
Sweden became populated by people who lived by hunting, farming and fishing, and who used simple stone tools.

800–1050 AD
The Viking set off from Sweden the Baltic coast and the rivers into Russia. They developed trading links with the Byzantine Empire and the Arab kingdoms.

1389
The crowns of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under the rule of the Danish Queen Margareta.

1397 – 1523
The Kalmar Union joined Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Norway and the Faroes islands under a single monarch.

1611-1632

Gustav II Adolf came to assume great political importance. During his reign Sweden became a leading military power. Gustav II Adolf was killed in 1632 at the Battle of Lützen.

1632-1654
Just before her 6th birthday Kristina succeeded Gustav II Adolf in 1632. She ruled for 22 years.

1654
In 1654 Kristina abdicated converted to Catholicism and moved to Rome, She was succeeded by her cousin – Karl Gustav.

1660
Karl Gustav died in 1660. When Kristina heard about it she returned to Sweden to claim her throne. The Parliament did not accept her claim and she returned to Rome.

During the late 19th centuries 1.3 million Swedish immigrated to America.

1973

Carl Gustaf became King of Sweden on 15th of  September 1973, upon the death of his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf. Crown Princess Victoria, the eldest child of the King and his wife, Queen Silvia is heir to the throne.

All members of the Royal Family belongs to the Church of Sweden, which is an Evangelical Lutheran Church.

1977
There are over 20,000 Sámi people in Sweden.

The Sámi people were first documented almost 2,000 years ago.  The Sámi were recognized by the Riksdag as an indigenous people first in 1977.

1993

The Sámi Parliament was established as both a democratically elected body and a national administrative authority.

A vast majority of them earn their living from reindeer husbandry.

2006

The moderate party won; together with the Center Party, the Liberal party and the Christian Democrats – formed a government coalition headed by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Stockholm

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden; an old town with modern architecture, includes 14 islands connected by tunnels and bridges.

Home of the nation’s capital, this region is known for it’s seaside cities, delightful cobblestone streets, old shops, churches, hotels, restaurants and government buildings.

Places to Visit

West Coast
The west coast is full of rocky islands, pines, forests, fishes, and cottages. The west coast is car free and a great place for boating, fishing, and seal safaris.

Skane County
beautifully region, with medieval churches, castles, and Renaissance-style villages.

Uppsala County
Home of universities, museums, medieval castles, and old streets surrounded by pine forests.

Vasterbotten County
Swedens natural wilderness full of mountains and forests, A great place to go hiking even in the winter.

Orebro County
Historical town great place to learn about Swedish culture and lifestyle.

Uppsala County
Hundreds of lakes ranging from the very small to very large.

Midnight Sun Coast
This area is known for the phenomenon that only occurs in Europe’s Arctic Circle between June and July–an uninterrupted 24-hour period of complete sunlight. Great to see from the see.

Gotland
Viking treasures were discovered there, historical churches and fortresses.

Gothenburg
Once serving as the center of Sweden’s shipbuilding industry, today this city’s musical festivals and cultural events draw visitors from all over the world with a youthful and energetic atmosphere.

Lund
Europe home of the oldest universities, small town youthful energy with old architecture.

Must see Attractions
You must see the Vasa Museum, Stockholm City Hall, the Royal Palace, The ABBA Museum:, and the amusement park it has over 50 – roller coasters, water rides, and Europe’s tallest freefall attraction, plus a gardens and a sculpture park.

Stockholm Canals
Explore the canals that wind through the capital by boat or on foot either way.

Cuisine of Sweden
Sweden is full of international choices of foods they always include bread, pasta, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, fish, or some other meat.

Public Transportation
The larger the city the better the transportation, lots of street taxis, water taxis, ferries, trains, and buses.

There are trains you can take to Germany, Finland, Norway, and Denmark from Stockholm.

Languages of Sweden
The official language of Sweden is Swedish, but many natives speak English as a second language.

Have a good time in Sweden, let me know about your trip…