The so called “cherry” on the top of my summer travel chill down plan, was not only would I stay cool, I would also be a happier traveller.
Since I was travelling to the happiest country in the world-Norway.
Norway tops the chart according to the World Happiness Report. This jovial country with its extraordinary landscape is also listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Visitors come to Norway to enjoy its’ austere natural beauty, chiseled by eons of battles between the land, sea and ice. The collateral damage is stunningly dramatic Norwegian fjords, flowing waterfalls, blue glaciers and deep gorges across the coastline.
Despite the fact that Norway is well known for its temperamental weather – ok let’s face it, it’s cold and wet. Life here happens outside, as hiking is a national pastime and honestly there is no better way to get face-to-face with Norway’s jaw-dropping landscapes. Here is my list of the some of the most beautiful and interesting places I visited.
Stavanger is a tale of two cities, once a tranquil, coastal market town, its fortune changed in 1969 with the discovery of oil, lots of it, which transformed it into a bustling, wealthy place. Still, visitors are offered a glimpse of its simple past when they stroll through old Stavanger a small historic area lined with rows of beautiful and cozy wooden buildings.
Bergen is known as the rainiest city on Earth- it rains 240 days per the year. It is surrounded by stunning feathery, forested slopes that form the backdrop to some of Norway’s most impressive towering rocky fjords. While visiting the fjords are a must, so is sampling some Norwegian seafood in the busy fishing market located in the central harbour. The offerings of seafood are impressive, fresh, tasty and even a bit peculiar. This market was the first place I saw blue lobsters. As a UNESCO World Heritage City and a European City of Culture, the Bergen region has the ideal combination of nature, culture and exciting urban life all year around.
Alesund is a port town on the west coast of Norway, at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord-a World Heritage Site. For me, it is by far the most beautiful fjord town in Norway. If you are seeking nature and culture-based activities Ålesund is a great place to be with plenty to capture your interest: architecture, fjords, outdoors adventures and even the panoramic view from the Mount Aksla lookout.
The capital of Southern Norway is Kristianstad. During the summer months it is a family getaway, full of attractions and activities on and off land. The town itself is very chilled and pedestrian. With remarkable samples of architecture spread around to discover.
Beyond Norway’s natural beauty and interesting landscape are its people. Their way of life, history and culture are equally as fascinating. These ancestors of the rugged Vikings are hardy and robust. Under some of the harshest conditions on the planet they strike a balance between themselves, nature and the environment and have become a model of happiness, economic sustainability, social welfare and a champion of green living.
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