I just returned from a three-week vacation in Norway
. Here are some of my impressions and observations.
From the airplane:
• It is so green – the forests, the fields, the meadows, etc. How beautiful. It is so much different from sun dried California
• It gets dark really late. At 11:00 p.m., there is still plenty of daylight outside. Strange!
• Everything is much more expansive than in California. Gas, for example, is 12 Norwegian krones per liter. That’s about 8 dollars per gallon. Good Lord!
• Everybody speaks English
• There are not so many overweight people as in California
• People don’t smile at each other. It seems people don’t even notice each other
• People here smoke more than people do in California (or, at least, it seems so)
• Many people drive small cars
• People eat whales
(but, of course, not all people and not all whales)
• Customer service in California is better.
• Most stores and services are closed on Sundays and close early on Saturdays.
• Alcoholic beverages are only sold in specialized stores. For instance, you can’t buy beer on a gas stations (as you could’ve done in California).
In Lillehammer and nearest countryside:
• The countryside is magnificent. So peaceful.
• Norwegians are proud to wear traditional clothes, called bunads
, on special occasions such as weddings, national holidays, etc.
• People like to keep the old traditions alive. Traditional dancing
, for example.
(a small fishing village
in the north):
• Fjords! They are just as splendid as I imagined them.
• Despite all the beauty of the mountains and water, I don’t feel comfortable here. I feel trapped. Even though it’s not an island, the glaciers prevent from getting to the rest of the mainland. The only way of transportation is ferry. But if, by some reason, it doesn’t come, there is no way to get out
• Twenty-four hours of daylight (the village is beyond the Arctic Circle). There are no mornings, afternoons, evenings, nor nights. You simply go to bad when you feel like taking a nap.
• People don’t lock their houses. At first, it seemed very strange to me. But there are only about 100 permanent residents in the village. Everybody knows each other. They all are like a big family.
• As I said above, the landscapes
are very beautiful, but mosquitoes and wasps make taking a walk awfully unpleasant.
• The entire village is powered by the water
coming from the glaciers.
• The are not many activities here. Fishing
, picking berries
, picking shells
, hiking, sleeping, reading, dreaming, and simply enjoying the nature