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Experience the tranquil beauty of The Land of the Midnight Sun

Cruising the fjords was incredible
Larissa Visco, 35, Longreach, Qld

Why did you choose Norway?

After seeing pictures of cruise ships gently sailing through the amazing fjords - a narrow sea with steep land on three sides - I've dreamt of seeing the real thing. So I visited Norway as part of a 21-day trip through Scandinavia and Russia.

How did you get around?

I'd done a Contiki trip before and found travelling with a guided group was great value for money and lots of fun, so I booked with them again. It's great for couples and singles, aged between 18 and 35, but the days are full on. It's perfect if you're wanting to make the most of your time overseas.

What was the landscape like?

The country is covered in beautiful mountains and deep valleys, which reflect on the water like glass - it took my breath away! There are also many hidden flowing waterfalls to be discovered. In the rural areas I spotted a few pretty little farm houses. Some were very traditional and even had grass growing on the roof.

Norway's natural beauty is breathtaking
Was it cold?

No! It was August and the weather was ideal. I packed a light jacket, but lived in summer clothes like dresses, shorts and T-shirts. I only needed my coat in the evenings when it got chilly. But I was glad I packed an umbrella as it does rain unexpectedly. It saved me from getting soaked lots of times!

What tourist spots did you visit?

Our first stop was at Voss, which is famous for its mineral water and skiing in the winter. Catching a train from there, we took a day trip to Bergen. As we explored the picturesque village, I really enjoyed visiting the lively fish market and waterfront markets. I took a cable car to the peak of Mount Floyen - the views from the top are amazing. We also did a night tour of Geiranger, where we cruised through the fjords. Afterwards, we loaded back on the bus and headed to the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Frogner Park. It covers 32 hectares of land with stunning bridges, fountains and dozens of impressive sculptures.

What kind of activities were therefor adventure seekers?

There are lots of options if you want to get your heart racing, such as rafting, skiing, hiking and parasailing. Although I didn't get to try any of these sports I did go bobsledding in Lillehammer, which was great! When I climbed into the bobsled with three others, I closed my eyes and screamed as it zipped down the course used for the 1994 Winter Olympics. It only lasted a minute but it was the most exhilarating experience.

We explored markets in the village of Bergen
Did you try the local cuisine?

While I wasn't brave enough to taste the local delicacies, like moose and reindeer, I did indulge in a lot of salmon, which is a very popular dish.

What will you always remember about Norway?

The natural beauty, friendly people and feeling of tranquillity I experienced will never be forgotten. Everything was so picture perfect sometimes it felt like I was travelling through a postcard. It's something you need to see in real life.

Facts about Norway:

  • The coastline of Norway, including fjords and bays, stretches over 20,000 km.
  • It is regarded as the birth place of modern skiing.
  • The word 'ski' in Norwegian means 'piece of wood'.
  • Norway is nicknamed The Land of The Midnight Sun.
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