Norway Henry Rivers

Henry Rivers

Norway is the most northerly of the Scandinavian countries and home to the most northerly town on earth (Longyearbyen) where it is not beyond the realms of possibility to bump into a roaming polar bear (unless he eats you, which he may do if you get too close). This country holds the current title of ‘world’s greenest country’ but some say it gets points knocked off for still hunting whales (often served to unsuspecting tourists as ‘steak’).

Janteloven is the Scandinavian social code, that says no-one is better than anyone else, simply to an achievement. Many people think this is key to why Nordic countries are happier. If you own a boat, fine. But if you boast about it, you’ll be frowned upon.

So ready for your quick-stop tour of Norway? Then la oss begynne (Norwegian is apparently the language our children should learn, as it has the same vocabulary and is easy to learn).

Outside of this big caveat, Norway does most things right. It’s nearly all powered by clean energy (hydro water power) and has a wonderful public transit system with trains and buses to take you through the most beautiful scenery, even if you are freezing to the bones. Even fjord ships tend to use electric power.

Like the rest of Scandinavia, it’s easy to walk and cycle everywhere, and a wonderful place for people who love the quiet outdoors. Oslo is (like Copenhagen) one of the world’s most walking-friendly cities, and you could easily live here without a car. Or if not, catch a ferry to wherever you’re going. There are over 10,000 electric bike charging stations nationwide, and Oslo even has a restaurant that serves Michelin-grade food, made from leftovers.

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