Tuesday, 29 November 2016

It Is Prohibited in Norway

Norway is famous for a number of doubtful prohibitions – some of them are outdated and some are introduced by politicians who think that they "know better" and are sure that it is necessary to protect people from themselves.

It Is Prohibited in Norway

 BOXING 

Professional box is forbidden in Norway because, according to the law of 1981, of "unhealthy economic interest and medical side effects". In 2001, a new law was adopted that prohibits all competitions in sports that allow knockouts.

DRINKING BEER IN TH ELECTION DAY 

The Wine Monopoly (Vinmonopolet) forbids selling alcoholic beverages on Sundays, holidays and election days. However, in 2005 a law came into force that allows to sell beer after 1 pm on election days.

It Is Prohibited in Norway

DRINKING BEER AND WINE IN PARKS 

Drinking alcoholic beverages in public places is punished with a fine of 1500 crones or even a detention in a jail up to six months. However, the experience shows that the police is not that strict and may turn a blind eye to drinking people whose behavior does not violate the norms. 

SOLARIUMS 

Since July 1st, 2011 it is prohibited to people younger than 18 years old to attend solar booths.

Studies show that the risk of getting a malignant melanoma increases by 75 per cent when solarium use starts before 30 years of age. "When the use of solariums among young people goes up, we have to react. The goal is to change attitudes and promote change in behavior in the population," the Minister of Health and Care Services, Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, says.

It was also decided that all solariums must have competent staff from 1 January 2014. 

FIREWORKS 

It Is Prohibited in Norway

In Norway, fireworks can only be purchased by people 18 or older. Class 1, 2 and 3 fireworks are for sale from December 27 to December 31, and can only be fired between 6 pm and 2 am on New Year's Eve.

SEGWAYS 

For a long time politicians and lawyers could not decide what a segway was. Is it closer to a bike, roller skates or a skateboard, or is it a real transport? Finally, the issue was solved.

It Is Prohibited in Norway

As a maximal speed of a segway can reach 20 km per hour, it has to comply with all the demands applicable to a car: breaks, indicator lamps, registration, insurance and an age limit of 16.

SHOPS WORKING ON SUNDAYS 

According to the law of 1995, permanent sales areas should no work on Sundays. The exception were the shops with the area size less than 100 square meters and gas stations with the area size less than 150 square meters.

It Is Prohibited in Norway

Such shops were nicknamed "Brustadbuer" ("Brustad shacks") – after Sylvia Brustad, a Norwegian politician for the Norwegian Labor Party – until the law was quietly repealed in 2003. Brustad herself claimed that she had not personally advocated the law, but that she was required to follow through on a decision within the Party.


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Friday, 25 November 2016

The Most Beautiful Summer Festivals in Norway

Imagine that you are on a beautiful small island in the ocean, listening to your favorite group under midnight sun. Or pretend to be a Viking at the Lofoten islands. In summer, Northern Norway wakes up and offers you a variety of festivals. We will tell you about four the most interesting ones!

The Most Beautiful Summer Festivals in Norway

TRÆNA MUSIC FESTIVAL 

Since 2003, the Træna Music Festival provides fantastic memories to thousands of music lovers. A unique combination of nature, location and the atmosphere make people return there year after year. 

The Most Beautiful Summer Festivals in Norway

Træna is idyllically situated in 61 km from the Helgeland coast. The festival is held on the islands of Husøya and Sanna, and getting there by boat is an adventure in itself. There you can enjoy quality music and art under midnight sun, walk in the most beautiful sceneries and taste the best seafood. You will never forget this exceptional festival! 

RIDDU RIDDU 

Riddu Riđđu Festivàla, which means “little storm on the coast,” is an international indigenous festival that takes place in July each year in the coastal Sami Gáivuotna – Kåfjord municipality in Northern Troms. Through 25 years, the festival has worked to establish and strengthen proudness in Sami culture. The festival has an indigenous profile. In 2009, it gained national status as a key festival in Norway. 

The Most Beautiful Summer Festivals in Norway

The festival has grown to become one of the most significant international indigenous festivals in Europe. The festival has a focus on Sámi and Indigenous people’s art and culture with a diverse program for children, youth and adults; like music, films, seminars, workshops, art, literature and theatre. 

LOFOTR VIKING FESTIVAL AT THE LOFOTENS 

Vikings of Borg at the Lofoten islands have been waiting for you for 1000 years. Here you will smell tar and fire, try real Viking food and find new facts about the Viking's history. Lofotr is a popular festival that is held every year. 

The Most Beautiful Summer Festivals in Norway

During the festival, you will see how Vikings lived, participate in a fair, and watch shows and concerts thematically connected with the Viking era. School history becomes reality in Borg. This festival may become a splendid supplement for your travel around the Lofoten islands. 

TROMSO OPEN AIR FESTIVAL

Among high mountains and green trees of Tromsø, you will find Telegrafbukta Beach. It is a favorite place for camping and swimming. And once a year it hosts a music festival for all ages! 

The Most Beautiful Summer Festivals in Norway

The festival attracts people from all over the world who appreciate quality music, picturesque views and excellent atmosphere. Festival Bukta Open Air Festival welcomes such bands as Kaizers Orchestra, The Hives, Kvelertak, Shining and many others. 


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Thursday, 24 November 2016

New Facts about Norway

Norway is one of the three Scandinavian countries. Thanks to its geographical position, the country possesses vast natural resources that are used extremely efficiently. 

New Facts about Norway

1. In 2014, Norway came 1st in the world economic ranking. 

2. However, the country has the highest price for gas – $2.67 per liter of quality gas. In the same time, Norway is one off the biggest oil importers in the world. 

New Facts about Norway

3. Public universities in Norway are free for students from all over the world. 

4. Popular Japanese sushi with salmon appeared because of Norwegians who created the recipe in 1980s. 

New Facts about Norway

5. Norway is an ideal place for writers. The government buys one thousand of copies of each newly published book and distributes it among public libraries. 

6. Hornindalsvatnet is the deepest lake in Europe and is located in central Norway. Its depth reaches 514 meters. 

New Facts about Norway

7. Vinnufossen (860 meters) is the highest waterfall in Europe and number six in the world. 

8. Norway offers one of the most beneficial systems of maternity and paternity leaves. Women can have a leave up to 44 weeks and financial support of 80 per cent of their salary or 34 weeks and 100 per cent of the salary. Young fathers have a supplementary paid paternity leave of 12 weeks. 

9. By 2012, Norwegian scientists received the Nobel Prize 12 times, including 3 prizes in economics, 3 in chemistry and 2 Peace Prizes. The ceremony is held every year in Oslo

10. Jostedalsbreen lacier is the biggest in Northern Europe. 

New Facts about Norway

11. Laerdal tunnel is the longest underground road in the world. Its length is 24.5 km. 

12. Traffic rules are very strict in Norway. Drunk driving leads to 30 days in jail, possibility to lose the driving license for a year or a fine up to 10 per cent of the yearly income. 

13. Prices for food are so high in the country that many Norwegians travel to Sweden to buy everything there. 

14. Frozen pizza Grandiosa is so popular in Norway that it can be called an unofficial national dish in Norway. According to the company's statistics, they produce 24 million pizzas per year for just 4.67 million inhabitants of the country. 

New Facts about Norway

15. Norwegian national football team is in a small list of teams that never lost to Brazil. Norway won twice and twice tied the game with the multiple world champion. 

16. The majority of Norwegians take an opportunity to go to their 4-week vacations in summer. It means that considerably less people stay in the offices or shops. That is why so many tourists wonder why almost nothing is working. 

New Facts about Norway

17. Norway receive 98-99 per cent of its electrical energy from water power plants – it is the highest number in the world. 


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Friday, 18 November 2016

Who Is Ola Nordmann

Ola Nordmann is a national personification of Norway. The name is often used by the media to describe trends in the Norwegian population. For example, a headline in a newspaper "Norwegians drink less milk" could just look as "Ola Nordmann drinks less milk".

Who Is Ola Nordmann

In caricatures, Ola Nordmann as a national personification of Norway is usually depicted as a blond man in a traditional bunad with a woolen red top hat – a traditional headwear of a Norwegian gnome or nisse. This headwear was usually worn by the Norwegian farmers.

Who Is Ola Nordmann

The name Ola Nordmann is a default name that is used in templates for various forms and documents. Ola is a popular name in Norway, derived from Olaf. The female equivalent is Kari Nordmann, and collectively they are referred to as Ola and Kari Nordmann to describe a Norwegian family.

There is another composite character called Ola Dunk that is often used as a slightly negative stereotype of a Norwegian who likes travelling but drinks too much alcohol. Drinking makes him to perform weird acts or saying something inappropriate – that is why he usually finds himself in comic situations.

Who Is Ola Nordmann

Norwegian jurists, law students and high school and university professors are familiar with the character of Peder Ås. This character of national personification becomes usually a part of a curious situation with a legal collision as a background. Among Peder's friends there are other interesting people – Lars Holm, Hans Tastad, Ole Vold and Marte Kirkerud.

Peder Ås is portrayed as a common Norwegian who manages his deals on a slippery ground; sometimes his deeds can even be qualified as illegal or unlawful. From time to time, he violates traffic rules by driving being intoxicated, or performs acts of vandalism or rowdiness. In another story Peder Ås sells inferior goods.

Who Is Ola Nordmann

Marte Kirkerud is sometimes depicted as Peder's wife, and Lars Holm – as his friend participating in all his schemes. Hans Tastad is usually connected with Peder's deals – as a supplier or his lawyer that offers dubious legally-wise solutions. Sometimes Peder Ås is depicted as a lawyer himself, and he is more successful than his colleague Tastad.

Norwegian jurists trace Peder Ås back to the nineteenth century or even earlier: he was mentioned in the documents of 1897.


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Monday, 14 November 2016

Transportation in Norway

To take a train or a ferry? To fly from one town from another by plane? Or maybe rent a motorhome? Which transport to use while travelling in Norway.

Transportation in Norway

PLANES 

Because of the irregular landscape, going somewhere in Norway by train or by car takes a lot of time. That is why the majority prefer local airlines. The most popular of them are SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian and Widerøe. Planes that connect small cities are usually compact as well. During the flight, they can land several times to let passengers get off and on board. Unfortunately, plane tickets can be quite expensive.

Transportation in Norway

Curiously enough, the flights in the Southern part of Norway are less expensive than in the Northern.

TRAINS 

A network of rails connects Oslo with other major cities: Kristansund, Stavanger, Skien, Bergen, Trondheim, Halden, Trondheim, Bodø etc. All trains have toilets and vending machines, and are considerably more comfortable than buses. It is cheaper to buy tickets in advance. Norwegian Rail Pass will help you to save a lot.

Transportation in Norway

Unlike the majority European countries, Norway does not have high-speed trains. The time to get from Oslo to Bergen is approximately 6-7 hours.

FERRIES 

Prices for ferries vary depending on the duration of your trip. However, it is really convenient for those who travel by car. Usually ferries manage to get all the cars that queue in line on board.

BUSES 

The Norwegian towns are connected with multiple bus lines that shuttle even between national parks. The biggest bus operators are Nor-way Bussekspress, Timekspressen and FFR / Veolia Transport Nord.

Transportation in Norway

Every big city in Norway has its system of public transport. Trams, trains and subway in Oslo, trams and trains in Trondheim, cable road and trolley-buses in Bergen.

TAXI 

Taxi is expensive in Norway. It is better to take a train from the airport. Here are the names of some companies: Oslo Taxi, Christiania Taxi, Asker og Bærum Taxi, Trondheim Taxi, Bergen Taxi.

CARS 

Driving by car in Norway is quite pleasant as roads are usually not busy, and drivers follow the traffic rules. Renting a car or a caravan is a good option. Do not forget about winter tires if you plan to visit the country in winter.

BICYCES 


Transportation in Norway

Bikes are the best way to explore Norwegian landscapes. Buying or renting a good quality bike in Norway is not a problem, just do not forget about a helmet. Plan your trip in advance, take into account how mountainous landscape is and what the weather forecast says. Sometimes winds are so strong that can become a considerable hindrance on the way. Mind that it is prohibited for cyclers to pass through some tunnels.

HITCH-HIKING

The best hitch-hiking routes are Oslo-Trondheim (Road Е6), Oslo-Kristansund (Road Е18), Kristansund-Stavanger (Road Е39). However, his way of transportation is not widespread in Norway, and hitching a ride is not an easy task there. Remember that if you want to stop a car, stretch you hand with your thumb down, not up!


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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Did you know about Norway (Part II)

Some more curious facts about the homeland of Vikings.

Did you know about Norway (Part II)

Did you know that Norway is one of the least populated countries in Europe with around 5 million inhabitants?
Did you know that 80 per cent of population is urban, and 85 per cent of population lives in Eastern and Western parts of the country?
Did you know that Norway is a constitutional monarchy?

Did you know about Norway (Part II)

Did you know that Norway offers the highest-quality food and the most expensive hamburgers?
Did you know that all groceries are closed on Sundays?
Did you know that in a supermarket you can buy whale meat? However, it is very expensive.

Did you know about Norway (Part II)

Did you know that it is considered rude in Norway to smile or to speak with a stranger in public transport?
Did you know that Oslo is the most expensive city in Europe?

Did you know about Norway (Part II)

Did you know that the Norwegians are the most reading nation?
Did you know that Norway is one of the best-educated countries in Europe with 38 per cent of population having higher education?

Did you know about Norway (Part II)

Did you know that Norway has the largest number of tunnels in Europe?
Did you know that instead of saying toasts the Norwegians say "Skol!" and clang glasses together?


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Monday, 7 November 2016

Six Ways to Drive a Norwegian up the Wall

Norwegians are really reserved and usually they do not show their negative emotions. However, there are several ways to make a Norwegian purple in the face.

Six Ways to Drive a Norwegian up the Wall

 ALWAYS COME LATE 

I think, only Germans care about being punctual more than the Scandinavians. Showing up late for any event more formal than a family dinner is a serious insult. And do not come too early as well, otherwise you will be granted with the host’s work. 

BUILD SOMETHING IN THE BACKYARD

The Norwegians believe that direct access to nature is an integral human right. For example, wherever you are in Norway, if you look in the right direction, you will see a forest. Even if no one goes there, the mere fact of its existence is important.

Six Ways to Drive a Norwegian up the Wall

That is the reason why Norwegian roads tend to take several kilometers-long detours around a forest on the way to the nearest village of no more than 50 people. Interestingly, skyscraper construction in Oslo has been impossible for several years because it might obscure a view of the woods.

 DO NOT SHOW COMPASSION TOO A HIGH COST OF LIVING 

All Norwegians agree that life in the country is expensive. For example, the price of a liter of gas is $2.60. Prices on meat, alcohol, and tobacco are lower in neighboring countries. Old Norwegian tradition is to drive to Sweden several times a year to buy almost everything at lower cost.

Six Ways to Drive a Norwegian up the Wall

From time to time, someone tries to point out that the incomes in Norway are high as well. Do not be that someone, the Norwegians will not appreciate it!

MAKE AN EYE-CONTACT 

You will soon discover that in all public places, including trains and buses, people stare in a slightly different direction. That happens because the Norwegians try to avoid eye contact. A stranger making eye contact with a Norwegian will be considered as a thread – and be treated accordingly. Sometimes it leads to surreal situations when new passengers in an overcrowded bus have to play with their mobile phones as all possible trajectories of indirect stares are already occupied.

Six Ways to Drive a Norwegian up the Wall

There is another particular rule about public transport: do not sit next to a complete stranger when there are other seats available. If you see unoccupied seats in public transport – go and sit there! But if you have to sit next to a stranger, never, never start talking to them!

SUGGEST THAT NORWEGIANS ARE NOT THE ONLY NATION THAT CAN HANDLE THE COLD 

Nobody knows how to handle cold weather like the people from Norway! They even ski to work if they have to. Every year they come through four months of polar night, ice and low temperatures. Do not even dare to mention Gulf Stream that makes Norwegian winters quite soft or Siberia where it is considerably colder in that time of year!

SUGGEST THAT SWEDEN IS BETTER 

Six Ways to Drive a Norwegian up the Wall

The same with Denmark or Finland. But Sweden is the winner. The Norwegians consider that they are better in everything than the Swedes: social welfare system, sport, life-style. If you doubt these assumptions – be prepared for a fierce reaction.


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