Explore what Norway has to offer
Norway is renowned for its incredible beauty…this place is a mixture of serene wilderness…breath-taking fjords…quaint, colorful fishing villages…and traditions. Here it’s possible to really appreciate the wonders of nature. Norway is also a wealthy country, with a highly developed economy.
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- Population: 4,722,701
- Capital City: Oslo
- Climate: Temperate along coast; colder interior with increased precipitation and colder summers
- Time Zone: GMT+1
- Language: Norwegian
- Country Code: 47
- Location: Northern Europe, west of Sweden
I pull back the curtains, feel the crisp refreshing air, and look out over the waterfront at the colorful buildings of this Art Nouveau town…excited about the “work” day ahead. I’m in picturesque Ålesund, Norway. This jewel-like coastal town is the gateway to Norway’s spectacular Geiranger Fjord making it the perfect base from which to explore the region—and that’s my job for the day.
Not the safest religious tradition we’ve ever heard of, but the Fire Wheel Festival in Sinca Noua, located near the city of Brasov, Romania, does sound like quite a sight. Celebrating the start of Orthodox Lent on March 3, the village asks its young men to roll hay wheels to the top of a local hill before each wheel is set alight. What follows is a true feast with music, drinking, and dancing.
One advantage of living in Europe is that cheap airfares make the rest of it so accessible. I’ve just got back home to Ireland after an unofficial three-day jaunt to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This tiny country holds the title for the highest per capita consumption of wine in the world, so there was a good reason to go bar-hopping.
We’ve all seen the phrase “new and improved” countless times. It’s on everything from cereal boxes to cosmetics. No doubt someone in a lab somewhere tweaked the latest wrinkle cream and declared it new and improved. I think I should have a “new and improved” tag on my life—it has certainly had some tweaking in the last few years!
This has been quite a year. It started in January with a weekend in West Virginia riding all-terrain vehicles on the Hatfield & McCoy Trails…hand-feeding black bears…and dancing to bluegrass music. In February I drove a reindeer sleigh through a winter wonderland in Roros, Norway. I kept myself warm by sampling aquavit along the newly developed Aquavit Trail around Trondheim.
I’ve always been one of those people who won’t settle for “ordinary.” Sure, I have done my share of everyday things…but if I can find a way to step beyond the run-of-the-mill, you can bet I will! One of the ways I left “ordinary” behind was with my career. I spent many years working as a tax accountant—I knew there had to be a better way to spend my time.
Most folks know Norway for spectacular fjords, Viking history, and midnight summer sun. And any one of those attractions makes a visit worthwhile. But in the central Trondelag region, famous for its moonshine, you’ll find another national treasure…aquavit.
Norway is uniquely placed to protect wealth. It is outside the euro zone, has low public debt, ultra-low unemployment, and a strong and stable currency. It also has the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund…with a staggering $664 billion under management. Think of Norway as the Saudi Arabia of Europe.
Wherever vines grow, life is usually pleasant. So no surprise that France heads IL’s latest Quality of Life Index. A first-class health care system…a culture that isn’t based on inane celebrity worship…food that’s fit to eat.
<!– –> We’ve all spent enough vacations lying on the beach…day after day…only to return to the office feeling like we’ve somehow wasted our precious time away. How many people do you know who stand at the water cooler recounting the time they led a team of dogs across the Norwegian snow plains…or were guided […]
Norway is known for its glacier fjords, and Bergen (Norway’s second-largest city) is the departure city for travel to the most notable of the western fjords. Bergen was Denmark’s capital most recently during the early 17th century and today has a youthful, energetic feel thanks to its university population. Despite its weather (there are 275 […]