Norway, home to Norse Gods and Vikings. Home to past Olympic Glory. Home to some of the best landscape in the world. Come to think of it, it's not fair to summarize Norway like that.
It's a country of stunning landscape, full of fjords that'll leave even the most chatty person speechless. Hopefully you can brave the cold, since it gets mighty frigid up here--especially in the areas above the Arctic Circle. Then again, how else are you going to see the aurora borealis (or the Northern Lights, as its called)?
Days of darkness in the winter means a land of the Midnight Sun in the summer. One of the most popular things to do this time of year is a "coastal voyage", stopping at as many as 35 destinations along Norway's 25,000km of coast. Everyone wants to get a glimpse of the Sognefjord, the longest fjord in the country.
It seems everyone wants to see Norway's Voeringsfossen Waterfall, a 984-foot drop in the countryside between Bergen and the capital of Oslo.
Don't even bother to try to choose between Bergen and Oslo, you got to do both. Oslo's full of museums and a Royal Palace (only open between June and August). Bergen's the UNESCO town with a fish market and funicular.
Also near Bergen in the Hardanger Fjord; and Trolltunga--or the Troll's Tongue. This rock formation is the ultimate seat to see the fjords, but it'll cost you. Not in money, but sweat--this is one heck of a hike, but so worth it to feel like you're on top of the world.
Pulpit Rock will do that for you, too. Cruse along its blue waters as the cliffs jut some 1,969 feet above you.
Glacier hiking is great, too. And if you don't mind elk coming into your backyard, rent a little lakeside cabin for a few nights.
Roasted elk (and reindeer) are some regional Norwegian dishes, if you're willing to give 'em a try. Not so adventurous? Try the Lutefisk (cod), or brunost that's a brown cheese. You'll be lucky if you're here in the summer--that's when you'll get cloudberries called multer.
Nothing says food more than festivals, and one of the biggest is the St. Olav Fest, celebrated since 1030 when Christianity came to the country; that's predominately Lutheran today.
Another way to see what religion has done to Norway, look no further than its 28 medieval churches. Yes, it doesn't sound like a lot--but these are all wooden churches, the oldest one dating to 1130.
How ever much you choose to see of Norway, you'll love it; more so since getting around is very easy. Bikes and ferries are the best modes of transportation; trains (both express and overnight) are punctual and inexpensive. Catamarans and hydrofoil are also good. The roads are excellent, but expensive because of the all the tolls.
Norway is lucky enough not to have any major health concerns or safety issues--but medical insurance is a good idea, only for all its major winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and anything else you can do on the white stuff. Now, isn't Norway nifty?