Wednesday, September 10, 2008


On the 8th day of our tour, we crossed Sweden’s border into Norway, heading for Lillehammer. Lillehammer is located at the northern end of Norway’s largest lake, Lake Mjxsa, and is considered to be Norway's oldest winter sport destination. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994.

It offers a wide variety of winter sports like Bob sledding & Luge, Dog and Horse sleigh rides, Ice-fishing, alpine skiing and more. Although I wasn’t there in the Winter, I can imagine that winter in Lillehammer must have been like a winter wonderland.

One more thing, if you are Lillehammer, you must visit the Sandiv Collection at Miahaugen, which ranks as the largest open-air museum in Europe. Visitors will have an insight of how the people of Gudbrandsdalen Valley lived 300 years ago, as it displays traditional houses, churches, tools and demonstrate the lifestyle then.

As we travelled further North towards Geirangerfjord, the forest & foliage started to look different from Sweden’s. The pictures that I took, took a dramatic feel, with the dark clouds hanging, and the sun peeking teasingly from a distance.

Geirangerfjord is a fjord, located in the southernmost part of Norway, is a branch of Storfjord. This fjord is one of the most visited tourist sites, especially when cruise ships dock in its deep waters.

The scenery is reminded me of New Zealand’s Milford Sound, yet as we spent days within the Fjords of Norway, we realized that it covered a far wider area, and were spectacularly beautiful, with it’s deep, narrow and long fjords. Exploring the Norwegian Fjords would require plenty of time and money!

Bergen was our second last stop of our tour. The city in the county of Hordaland is located in the center of Western Norway. Bergen’s old quayside, Byggen is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.

(Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia)

On the way to Oslo, we crossed the HardangerFjord Plateau, one of northern Europe’s biggest mountain plateau and Norway’s largest national park. The Hardangerfjord is the third largest fjord in the world and the second largest in Norway.

Our tour ended in Oslo, the capital and the largest city in Norway. The city centre of Oslo is situated at the end of the Oslofjord from where the city sprawls out both to the north and to the south on both sides of the fjord giving the city area more or less the shape of a "U".

(Picture: Courtesy of Visit Oslo)
When one thinks of Scandinavia, Vikings come to mind as well. The term Viking Age is used to denominate the period from about 800 til 1050 AD in Scandinavia. “A viking in that period meant somebody who travelled overseas for trade or warfare, but later the word has been used about all the inhabitants of Scandinavia in that period. The vikings built fast and highly seaworthy ships and were competent sailors, way ahead of their time. They sailed their longships south to the Mediterranean countries and west to Scotland and Ireland. Cities such as Dublin and Limerick were founded by vikings.” (Reference: Visit Oslo)

No comments: