Norway is one of the five nordic countries lying in north to continental Europe. The country is long and narrow and is best known for its rugged coastline. Along the coast huge inlets are formed over the years, some extending as long as 200 kilometers inland, are called fjords and make the coast look the most jagged and dramatic coastline in the world. Including all the fjords and peninsulas the coastline measures 21350 kilometers; almost half the distance of the world!

The rest of the country is covered with mountain ranges, forests and glaciers in the north. Many rivers and lakes are naturally formed near mountains and give a beautiful scenery to view. The climate is much milder then that of other regions that far north. The warm North Atlantic Current
of the Gulf Stream keeps nearly all seaports ice free, even in the Arctic. Inland, however, temperatures are much colder because high mountains block the warm sea winds.

Norway is one of the least densely populated countries in Europe. North sea oil and gas fields around Norway are the cornerstone of the economy. Other thriving industries include fishing, forestry, mining and shipping. Norway’s per capita ranks one of the highest in the world and this gives Norwegians a high quality of life.

Norway has a population of about 4.4 million. Far north, in Lapland, roughly 20.000 Sami people live. The Sami people don’t have a fixed place or town they live in but follow their herd of deer they usually have. The Norwegian language has two forms: Bokmal and Nynorsk. Though both dialects gradually become one, Bokmal is spoken predominantly. Bokmal is strongly related to Danish and was formed during the Danish ruling from the early 1400 into the 1800. Nynorsk (translated as New Norwegian) was formed in the 1800 as a reaction against the Danish influence.

About three quarters of the population live in urban areas. Norway’s high standards of living have kept the cities free of slums and substandard housing. Many Norwegians also own small cottages in the mountains or near the sea in which they reside during holidays and weekends. When Norwegians get together they prefer to stay home and snuggle near the fire with a cup of black coffee. The younger generation, however, tends to go out for dinners and chatting more often.

Norwegians are the second richest people in the world (Switzerland comes first) and are the proud inventors of the paperclip! It is also claimed Leif Ericson, a Viking, discovered America in AD 1000, a cool 492 years before Columbus did.

When visiting Norway, beware of the trolls! Some say they only originate from storytellers, some say they really exist. If you see one, feel free to send a photo of them to us (please don’t send those pictures of your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend!!)