Destination

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Photo: Wolfmann
Oslo Airport encourages people who travel abroad to be aware when buying souvenirs made from plants or animals. Do not contribute to organised crime or the extinction of endangered species.

“Oslo Airport does not want to be a port of entry for illegal souvenirs that contribute to crime and the extinction of endangered animal and plant species,” says Joachim Westher Andersen, media manager and spokesperson for Oslo Airport.

Many species are currently threatened with extinction. Despite this fact, they are used in the production of souvenirs, jewellery, leather, health foods and so on in many countries.

“The Customs Service at Oslo Airport uncovers a large number of attempts to smuggle endangered species. The most common seizures are belts, shoes and wallets made of snake and crocodile skins, as well as supplements that supposedly have slimming, energising and protective effects,” says Tor Fredriksen, office manager for Norwegian Customs and Excise at Oslo Airport.

“We take a very serious view of these things, and confiscate everything we find,” he continues.

Typical products you must be aware of include items made of ivory, tortoiseshell, snakeskins, conch shells and coral.

Importing such products without special permission is illegal and punishable by law. The Customs Service at Oslo Airport therefore reports all such cases to the police.

“Both organised smugglers and ordinary tourists risk being charged for importing such products. We hope we don’t see much of this during the summer season,” says Fredriksen.

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Norway will soon have the world’s first floating snowflake hotel.
Dutch Docklands is currently working on a project of a floating 5-star hotel in Norway in one of the most beautiful natural surroundings on earth. The design is based on an icecrystal which blends-in naturally with the “winter environment” between the most beautiful fjords. The hotel with a diameter of 120 meter will have 86 rooms, conference rooms, spa & wellness facilities and is completely self supporting and self-sustainable.
A wall of windows will offer views of the snow-capped Norwegian coast, as well as the potential for some epic northern lights shows, writes Huffingtonpost.
The snowflake will be situated near Tromsø, a popular tourist town in the Arctic Circle known as a superb place to see the northern lights. Developers will tether the massive snowflake to the fjord’s floor, though it will be able to float about six to 10 feet from its center.
The Krystall is schedueld to open at the end of 2016, a hotel rep told The Huffington Post in an email.

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Photo: Hans Splinter

Marion Fjelde Larsen, curator of the Lofotr Viking Museum, picks for Visit Norway five places in Norway well worth a visit.

1. The Viking Ship Museum, Oslo

The Viking Ship Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in Viking history. The world’s two best-preserved wooden Viking ships, both dating from the ninth century, are displayed here. Smaller vessels, sledges, a cart with exceptional ornamentation, plus a range of tools, harnesses, textiles and household utensils complement the exhibition. Read more about the Viking Ship Museum.

2. Lofotr Viking Museum, Borg, Lofoten Islands

Travel back in time and experience life in a Viking household in Borg, near Leknes, where remains of the largest known Viking Age longhouse were found. Hear Viking stories of power, glory and wealth. Join in a Viking feast, where you will be entertained and taken care of by the governor, his wife and their slaves. In summer you can also row a Viking ship, ride, and try your hand at throwing axes and shooting with bows and arrows. Read more aboutLofotr Viking Museum.

3. Karmøy and Haugesund, Rogaland

After the battle of Hafrsfjord in 872 AD, Harald Fairhair established Norway’s first throne at Avaldsnes. Follow in his footsteps and discover the rich history of the Vikings at Karmøy Kulturopplevelser. A Viking Festival also takes place there.

4. Stiklestad National Culture Centre, Nord-Trøndelag

The St Olav Festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year. It features a medieval market, an art exhibition, concerts, theatre performances, seminars and more. Also popular is the St Olav Drama, which is performed each year at the end of July. It started in 1954 and is the longest running open-air play in Norway, and the purpose-built amphitheatre is also the largest open-air theatre in Scandinavia. Read more about the Stiklestad National Culture Centre and the Viking Settlement at Avaldsnes.

5. Viking Valley Market, Gudvangen, Fjord Norway

The Viking Camp in the tiny village of Gudvangen, located on the banks of the picturesque UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2012. Get a taste of Viking life at the Viking Market, where you can watch as traditional handicrafts are produced, taste Viking food, take a peek into the Viking tents, or even get to row a Viking ship (well, a replica anyway).

Source: The Nordic Page

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Rivingen Lighthouse by Grimstad, Southern Norway | Credits: Johan Wildhagen - Visitnorway.com

Norway promises more than its stunning natural beauties. Would you imagine to stay at an ice hotel or a cozy cottage? How about an unforgettable night at a lighthouse?

Lighthouse Holiday in Norway

A night at a night house sounds to be a legendary experience, right? But it is possible to do all over Norway. Lighthouses offering accommodation can be found all along the coast of Norway, from Vardø in the north to the Grimstad in the south.

Until quite recently lighthouses were manned and keepers lived in them. But by the 1990s automation had largely taken over and the living quarters were abandoned.

Today more than 60 historic lighthouses have found new roles offering accommodation to travellers in search of something a little bit different.

For a fan of fresh air and sea views, a lighthouse is a unique holiday home. Usually you live in the keeper’s cottage where you can make your own meals.

Among many, Haugjegla Lighthouse in Smøla in Nordmøre,Ryvarden Lighthouse near Haugesund and Kråkenes Lighthouse in Stryn and Nordfjord are three lighthouses that offer accommodation.

At some lighthouses you will be entirely alone on your own personal rock. Elsewhere you will become part of the local community. The small coastal villages tend to be extremely hospitable places, and a stay at a lighthouse may also involve late nights at the local pub or fishing with the local fishermen.

The lighthouses’ extraordinary locations and striking designs have enormous evocative power. In Norway the sense of history is especially powerful. After all, the sea and ships have for ages been the very lifeblood of the coast.

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta

Couple at Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Finnmark | Credits: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life – Visitnorway.com

Another dream like place to stay is Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta. All interior and exterior is made of snow and ice in this luxurious hotel, even the glasses in the bar. The front door of Norway’s Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta would be indistinguishable from the rest of its snowy surroundings were it not covered in reindeer fur. Step through the door and you enter a long corridor leading to a bar, chapel, gallery and 30 bedrooms; all are carved from ice.

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel opens its door in January each year and melts away again in the spring.

The beds are made of reindeer fur and warm sleeping bags to keep guests comfortable in the hotel’s constant inside temperatures between 24.8 and 19.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

But do not worry, no icy toilet seats here. A large wooden building next to the hotel houses the bathrooms. They are warm and link through to the sauna. Take a stint there, before running outside across icy decking and into the bubbling hot tub.

As for the food variety, The Lakesestua Restaurant, constructed from wood in the shape of a tepee, stands next to the igloo and serves breakfasts of porridge, eggs, cheese and ham and dinners of reindeer stew and fish dishes. The hotel bar serves one drink only, bright blue vodka served in ice glasses.

Kirkenes Snow Hotel

Kirkenes Snow Hotel, Finnmark | Credits: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life – Visitnorway.com

Alta is not the only destination you have to go to experience an icy stay. You can alternatively go to Kirkenes and spend a night with David Spinx in a snow hotel in Northern Norway. And be sure to order a northern lights wake up call before you sleep. You will not freeze when you stay here. The beds are warm and comfortable with reindeer fur, and there are toilets and showers with hot water in a building next door. Here you will also find a restaurant serving local, Arctic food.

The Kirkenes Snow Hotel is built from scratch every year. This year it has more than 40 rooms, a bar and a chapel. All made out of snow and ice. You can choose between queen and king size beds, and all rooms have snow decorations on the walls. Ice sculptures are also on display throughout the hotel. And the hotel offers northern lights wake up calls.

In addition to the snow hotel, Radius Kirkenes offers Sami experiences, dog sledging and snowmobile safaris. You should definitely sign up for a northern lights safari while you are here. Start by watching David Spinx hunting the northern lights.

Cottages and Holiday Houses in Norway

Cottage at Beitostølen | Credits: C.H. – Visitnorway.com 

Last but not least, cottages and holiday houses are popular hire accommodation among both Norwegian and foreign tourists. You will find cottages and cabins to hire along the coast and fjords, in the woods, valleys and mountains. Some are available for very short periods, others for a minimum of one week.

Standards vary from the extremely simple to the very luxurious. What they all offer, however, is the opportunity to experience the traditional Norwegian cottage cosiness that just cannot compare with staying in a room in the city or at a hotel. At the cabin you organise your time as you like. Or more to the point not organise it at all.

Cottages and cabins can be hired through local and regional tourist offices or professional agencies like Norgesbooking and Norbooking.

For those interested in hiking in Norway, more than 400 cabins throughout the country is offered by The Norwegian Trekking Association. Also BookNorway offers the largest available selection with more than 2500 cottages, apartments and holiday houses in Norway.

The Nordic Page March 2014 Issue / Visit Norway
Photo Credits: Johan Wildhagen – Visitnorway.com

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