Norway's lore extends back eons, to the days of fearsome Viking warriors sailing through the country's breathtaking fjords above their fabled ships. Visiting today means getting up close and personal with Norway's long history — but there's much more to it than Norse explorers. Here, three things you'll learn on a trip to Norway that you might not have expected:
1. It can get pretty green
Given its northern longitude, you would be forgiven for assuming that Norway is chilly — and snowy — year-round. But while the country is on the temperate side most of the year — temperatures only go above 15C (59F) in June, July and August — Norway can get extremely verdant, and extremely beautiful, when the temperature is above freezing. During warm weather, Norway's waterfronts are vibrant with bright flowers and green hillsides (to make no mention of its striking mountainscapes). And it's not just the scenery that's breathtaking: Norway's characteristically Nordic penchant for brightly coloured buildings means even the country's manmade landscapes are a sight to behold.
2. How, exactly, a fjord is formed
Among Norway's most famous features are the fjords — pronounced FEE-ords — that cut into its coastline at regular intervals. Fjords are, basically, inlets surrounded by tall, tall cliffs, that were formed thousands of years ago by glaciers. A true fjord — like the ones found in Norway — is formed when a glacier retreats, and the sea fills the resulting valley; often, the floor of a fjord is actually lower than sea level. Norway has some of the world's most famous fjords; our Expedition tours through Norway sail these fjords, so you can get up close and personal with their awe-inspiring beauty.
3. Where the king of Norway was, traditionally, consecrated
You can Google the answer to this one pretty easily, but we'll save you the time: the consecration of Norway's monarch typically took place at the Niadaros Cathedral (built between 1070 and 1300), until 1906 (after which time Norway's kings have had benedictions, which are considered to be less archaic than the traditional consecration). But knowing about the cathedral is one thing — seeing it is a whole other matter altogether. Frankly, there are few better places in the world to see and learn about history, folklore and tradition than Norway — from the Sverresborg Folk Museum to legends of local gnomes; from Nusfjord, one of the country's oldest fishing villages to, yes, the Sagas of the Vikings, history buffs will be in heaven here.
Ready to board the Expedition to Norway? G Adventures can get you there. Check out our full roster of Marine trips to Norway here.