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Norway is undeniably one of the most fascinating places in Europe. Nature has shaped this country with a wonderful varied landscape over the years. The fjords in particular are among the world’s most spectacular geological formations, with their typical narrow inlets stretching into the mountains, on the side of which majestic waterfalls cut vertically. These formations were created by the gradual process of erosion of the glaciers during the last Ice Age. The depth of a fjord can well be more than 1000m while mountains peaks can reach heights of as much as 2000m! The whole coast of Norway is punctuated by fjords where often seals and whales can be seen. Also the inner land offers some of the most fascinating scenarios on Earth, with more than half of the total surface covered by forests incredibly rich of wildlife.

Norway is a constitutional hereditary monarchy. Norwegians are generally quite proud of their sovereigns as they see them as the prototype of the modern monarchs. People here in general are very relaxed and pretty hospitable. It is not a rare event to spot local people stop to give a help to tourists and foreigners. Sometimes they also welcome guests in their homes and offer a piece of cake and hot beverage, but this is more common outside big cities and has its roots in the rural life.

Oslo, the capital, is a lively city with an exciting nightlife especially during summer. The city initially originated more than one thousand years ago from the area today called “Eastern Oslo”. What was originally a market town quickly developed into a flourishing commercial port. Unfortunately in the year 1624, Oslo was totally destroyed by a fire and that is when citizens started to build also in peripheral areas, increasing significantly the size of the city. Oslo is today a quiet and laid-back capital compared to the standards of other European capitals. The city is pretty busy at any time but peace of life is not so hectic after all. Most of Oslo’s attractions are actually located outside the centre but they are all easily accessible by the super-efficient public transportation. Oslo’s citizens, as Norwegians in general, are great nature lovers and they do not miss any chance for a relaxing walk in parks and natural reserves. In summer there are also many places to go swimming in the proximity of the city and in winter there are many ski tracks and slopes all around the boundaries of the capital and everywhere else in the country.

Norway is well-known globally as the home of skiing, being universally considered as the birthplace of this winter sport. All Norwegians are excellent skiers and they practise this activity either professionally or just for leisure. Every March the Annual Birkebeiner race takes place from Rena to Lillehammer to celebrate the rescue of the young Prince Hakon in 1206. This cross-country competition stretches for over 58 km and it is definitely something worth trying for the lovers of this sport!

 

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