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A Year In Norway

Updated on April 26, 2013

Norway: Quite possibly Heaven on Earth

Let's go on a journey together to a land of incredible beauty and wonder. To a country of nature-loving, friendly people. To a kingdom where fjords wind their way around the landscape and create pockets of civilization, nestled on the slopes of mighty mountains. A land of timeless wonder and majestic beauty. Through the midnight sun and the darks of winter. Where trolls hide under bridges and have roads named after them. Where children are born with skis on their feet. I promise, it will be a magical ride.

Image credit: Laura Peterson. Look closely at the rock on the right that juts out. There in white is the tiny image of my little (host) brother sitting on the ledge. You cannot see the rope my host father tied around him!

Stranda, Norway - A 16 year old's dream come true

Arriving in Stranda for the first time
Arriving in Stranda for the first time

Image credit laurapeterson215. Driving off the ferry with my host mother in the family's blue Volvo, I had my very first glimpse of Stranda. My host father was waiting for us, ready to capture this moment. Then he drove ahead to our house where he snapped another picture. I felt incredibly welcomed.

The journey we take might not be a typical, where to go, what to do while you are in Norway. I want to share with you my view of Norway, from when I was a 16 year old exchange student. So I may not give you all the details and historical facts, but I can give you a unique glimpse of a country that is still near and dear to my heart, 25 years later.

My journey began in July as I traveled from New York with a group of exchange students with Youth for Understanding. Once we landed in Oslo, we boarded a bus for a five hour drive through the mountains to our mountain school in Høvringen. There we learned a bit of the language and culture of Norway before heading to our host families.

When the time came to head out, my host mother picked me up from the school and we drove through the mountains to the place I would call home for the next year, Stranda. My new home was about as completely different as it could possibly be from my home in Florida. Mountains, fjords, snow. Oh and the switch backs! One of the most famous mountain passes in Norway is Trollstigen Road. Closed from around October to mid May due to snow, this 6 kilometer stretch of road is amazing and a tad nerve racking to traverse! I am only glad I wasn't driving. And the name gives you an idea of the norwegian fascination with trolls.

On to Vestland! The western side of Norway, laced with fjords and steep mountains that rise up from out of the seas in seemingly impossible steep cliffs. How could one girl be so incredibly, insanely lucky to have lived in such a place?

My Everyday Life As A Norwegian

The view from my house
The view from my house

Please indulge me as I share my personal experience of my life and the people of Norway for just a moment here. I believe that seeing this glimpse into everyday life with a family in Norway will help convey what a wonderful place it is.

I was fully immersed into everyday life with a beautiful host family. My family had 5 children, 2 of which lived at home while I lived there. One sister had traveled to the United States the year before I was in Norway so she had a pretty good understanding of both my cultural background and the challenges of being an exchange student.

My host parents were both teachers and my father was the superintendent of schools while I lived there. Every member of the Overvoll family was warm, inviting and treated me as a welcomed and loved addition to their family. I even got to know my host father's mother, bestemor. Our house was typical Norwegian, beautiful in design. And we lived on the side of a mountain with a fjord out the window. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

I went to the equivalent of a high school and took classes in Norwegian (rather challenging in the beginning since I didn't speak the language when I first went there!). My favorite class was English (taught in Norwegian, though we spoke English most of the time). Outside of school, I sang in a church youth choir and met most of my close friends there.

As I've been flipping through my photo albums, the most striking thing to me (aside from my hair and weight gain from all the incredible breads, cakes and more!) is how often I am laughing in pictures. I truly had the time of my life while living there. So often, people thought I would find their little village boring, coming from suburban Florida and Disney World. But I never did. My entire year was one of wonder and discovery and delight. To this day, my heart is filled with love and joy and fondness when I look back.

*Image credit: Laura Peterson view from my home in Stranda, Norway

Norwegian Folktales (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
Norwegian Folktales (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)

There are so many Norwegian fairy tales. And more than a handful contain trolls!

 

A Brief Glimpse of the Language and Culture of Norway

When you live in Norway for any length of time, you learn quickly that there are two official languages, Bokmål and Nynorsk. And there are countless dialects. And people can tell exactly which county you are from (often even more specific than that) by the particular dialect you speak. I happened to live in Sunnmøre and therefore spoke a dialect of nynorsk. It was amusing to me, toward the end of my stay, I was mistaken for a Norwegian preparing to be an exchange student in the United States, rather than a U.S. citizen living in Norway, because I spoke with that dialect. Most foreigners will speak Bokmål which is spoken in Oslo. Hearing a foreigner speak a dialect was a rarity. And great fun for me. While I'm rusty with my Norwegian nowadays, I still speak my dialect when I start speaking. It's what I learned! Oh, and as a side note, I highly recommend living in a country for an extended period of time as an excellent way to learn a language!

Now, for the culture...here are some fun things I encountered along the way!

  1. When your host mother points you to the downstairs cellar for your salmon dinner, be forewarned. You may just see salmon eyes staring up at you when you open the lid!
  2. Bread, bread and more bread! Oh the beautiful, scrumptious bread we baked! Fantastic! (And not so great for the waistline...)
  3. When you go to a Norwegian celebration, be it confirmation (a huge deal for many Norwegians), a wedding, a birthday, expect lots of cakes. I mean, LOTS of cakes. Possibly one per person. Seriously. And all delicious. Again, not so great for the waist line. But oh how I enjoyed it!
  4. Norwegians in general (and I hate to generalize) tend to be reserved, however, when you get to know them, they can be downright jovial and full of hilarity. They love a good joke, love to celebrate and gather with friends and love to have fun.
  5. The midnight sun is amazing. It really looks like noon at midnight. And it messes with your internal clock.
  6. In the middle of winter, dark days abound. And that also messes with your internal clock. It's dark on the way to school and dark on the way home. Way up in Northern Norway, there are a few days a year that are dark all day long.
  7. Knitting isn't just for women. I had several Norwegian male friends that could knit and actually knew some American exchange students, also male, that picked up knitting needles and made sweaters themselves. And students often bring knitting with them to class and knit away while the instructor is teaching. What a great way to pass the time!
  8. Finally, it's good to be humble, especially when your (Norwegian) English instructor reminds you that "refrigerator" is not spelled with a "d" and perhaps you were thinking of "fridge?" silly American girl?

Ole and Lena Jokes
Ole and Lena Jokes

Ole and Lena jokes are quite popular...perhaps you've heard some?

 
Vestland, Vestland
Vestland, Vestland

Beautiful music by one of Norway's top female singers (at least in the 80's!), Sissel.

 
25: Very Best of
25: Very Best of

Aha, that fabulous Norwegian 80's band!

 

All About Stranda. How I love my beautiful Stranda - Image credit: Laura Peterson

Click thumbnail to view full-size
From the mountains behind my house, in full autumnal beauty.  This is a great view of the town of Stranda and Stranda fjord.  Hard to believe I lived in such a place!The main street through downtown Stranda.Stranda's center, complete with river running through it (on the right side of the picture).Red and blue Russ, the graduating class from high schools.  I was allowed to participate in some of their activities during the 17th of May (Norwegian Independence Day) festivities.The night before May 17th, the youth of Norway celebrate in many ways.  Here we are on a rocky beach, roasting hot dogs and being together.  This is a group of my friends from my choir.   We stayed up quite late (perhaps all night even!).  The next mMe on a sparker.  I have no idea what the english word for this sled like device is.   Anyone?  Never had seen one before, not seen one since.  But it was fun to ride to the store and back!My beautiful home covered in snow!Stranda, seen from the road in to town.Only in Norway.  Two of my good friends sunbathing.  On top of a sheet of snow.  In June.  What a wonderful place!
From the mountains behind my house, in full autumnal beauty.  This is a great view of the town of Stranda and Stranda fjord.  Hard to believe I lived in such a place!
From the mountains behind my house, in full autumnal beauty. This is a great view of the town of Stranda and Stranda fjord. Hard to believe I lived in such a place!
The main street through downtown Stranda.
The main street through downtown Stranda.
Stranda's center, complete with river running through it (on the right side of the picture).
Stranda's center, complete with river running through it (on the right side of the picture).
Red and blue Russ, the graduating class from high schools.  I was allowed to participate in some of their activities during the 17th of May (Norwegian Independence Day) festivities.
Red and blue Russ, the graduating class from high schools. I was allowed to participate in some of their activities during the 17th of May (Norwegian Independence Day) festivities.
The night before May 17th, the youth of Norway celebrate in many ways.  Here we are on a rocky beach, roasting hot dogs and being together.  This is a group of my friends from my choir.   We stayed up quite late (perhaps all night even!).  The next m
The night before May 17th, the youth of Norway celebrate in many ways. Here we are on a rocky beach, roasting hot dogs and being together. This is a group of my friends from my choir. We stayed up quite late (perhaps all night even!). The next m
Me on a sparker.  I have no idea what the english word for this sled like device is.   Anyone?  Never had seen one before, not seen one since.  But it was fun to ride to the store and back!
Me on a sparker. I have no idea what the english word for this sled like device is. Anyone? Never had seen one before, not seen one since. But it was fun to ride to the store and back!
My beautiful home covered in snow!
My beautiful home covered in snow!
Stranda, seen from the road in to town.
Stranda, seen from the road in to town.
Only in Norway.  Two of my good friends sunbathing.  On top of a sheet of snow.  In June.  What a wonderful place!
Only in Norway. Two of my good friends sunbathing. On top of a sheet of snow. In June. What a wonderful place!

Traveling to a new place serves to shake us out of our normal patterns, to wake us up, to remind us, if only for a moment, to open our eyes to the wonder that is this life we live. ~Laura Peterson

Bergen, Drommen, Trondheim, Ãlesund, Geiranger, Oh My! - A tiny glimpse of some of the beautiful places I visited in Norway

Click thumbnail to view full-size
On the streets of Bergen, Norway.  The famous Bryggen buildings are on the right side (A World Cultural Heritage Site).The fish market in BergenTrondheim, Nidaros Cathedral in the midst of a snowstorm.  This is the traditional location for the consecration of the King of Norway.Peaceful, pastoral fjords (I believe this is along the way to Geiranger Fjord, however, I wasn't always observant to where we were when we travelled around - I was 16/17 remember - and I didn't take notes always.  Still beautiful!).The ski slopes in Stranda are some of the best in the world (no really, other, more important ski type people have claimed this, not me!).    The tiny people in the center of the picture are friends of mine, way ahead of me because they were skiing dGeiranger Fjord, arguably the most famous tourist attraction in all of Norway and one of the most beautiful places on earth.The switchbacks of Geiranger.My host sister and little brother overlooking the city of Aalesund.Drammen, Norway (near Oslo), where one of my host sisters lived.Aalesund.  I love how every inch of this strip of land between water is used.  Such a unique place!
On the streets of Bergen, Norway.  The famous Bryggen buildings are on the right side (A World Cultural Heritage Site).
On the streets of Bergen, Norway. The famous Bryggen buildings are on the right side (A World Cultural Heritage Site).
The fish market in Bergen
The fish market in Bergen
Trondheim, Nidaros Cathedral in the midst of a snowstorm.  This is the traditional location for the consecration of the King of Norway.
Trondheim, Nidaros Cathedral in the midst of a snowstorm. This is the traditional location for the consecration of the King of Norway.
Peaceful, pastoral fjords (I believe this is along the way to Geiranger Fjord, however, I wasn't always observant to where we were when we travelled around - I was 16/17 remember - and I didn't take notes always.  Still beautiful!).
Peaceful, pastoral fjords (I believe this is along the way to Geiranger Fjord, however, I wasn't always observant to where we were when we travelled around - I was 16/17 remember - and I didn't take notes always. Still beautiful!).
The ski slopes in Stranda are some of the best in the world (no really, other, more important ski type people have claimed this, not me!).    The tiny people in the center of the picture are friends of mine, way ahead of me because they were skiing d
The ski slopes in Stranda are some of the best in the world (no really, other, more important ski type people have claimed this, not me!). The tiny people in the center of the picture are friends of mine, way ahead of me because they were skiing d
Geiranger Fjord, arguably the most famous tourist attraction in all of Norway and one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Geiranger Fjord, arguably the most famous tourist attraction in all of Norway and one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The switchbacks of Geiranger.
The switchbacks of Geiranger.
My host sister and little brother overlooking the city of Aalesund.
My host sister and little brother overlooking the city of Aalesund.
Drammen, Norway (near Oslo), where one of my host sisters lived.
Drammen, Norway (near Oslo), where one of my host sisters lived.
Aalesund.  I love how every inch of this strip of land between water is used.  Such a unique place!
Aalesund. I love how every inch of this strip of land between water is used. Such a unique place!

Norway or Bust - What is your favorite part of Norway?

Are you a mountain fan? Fjords? Or the cities? What part of Norway strikes you the most

See results
Granite sculpture from Vigeland's Parken
Granite sculpture from Vigeland's Parken

Vigeland Parken

Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, located in Oslo, is the world's largest sculpture park made by one artist. As you stand among the statues, it's mind boggling to grasp that one man created all of them. A work of a lifetime! Gustav Vigeland created over 200 sculptures from bronze, granite and wrought iron.

Perhaps the most famous of the scuptures is Sinnataggen, Angry Boy. Below are some of my photos and a couple of postcards from the park. If you ever find yourself in Norway, make sure Vigeland Park is on your list of places to visit.

For a complete look at the park (including a brief video tour) and information about the artist , including his work at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, click here.

Vigeland Parken - Image credit, Laura Peterson with the exception of postcards from the park (noted)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mother gathering her childrenThe Monolith (tower in the center) was carved from one block of granite (multiple spokes of statues lead up to the center tower of people)The MonolithMe in front of Sinnataggen in August 1987One of the scupltures on the bridge.  That's my little brother in front of it!A newspaper photo of one of the sculptures (from 1987)A postcard of SinnataggenOne of the beautiful wrought iron gates (another postcard)A postcard showing the fountain and the monolith behind.Granite statue
Mother gathering her children
Mother gathering her children
The Monolith (tower in the center) was carved from one block of granite (multiple spokes of statues lead up to the center tower of people)
The Monolith (tower in the center) was carved from one block of granite (multiple spokes of statues lead up to the center tower of people)
The Monolith
The Monolith
Me in front of Sinnataggen in August 1987
Me in front of Sinnataggen in August 1987
One of the scupltures on the bridge.  That's my little brother in front of it!
One of the scupltures on the bridge. That's my little brother in front of it!
A newspaper photo of one of the sculptures (from 1987)
A newspaper photo of one of the sculptures (from 1987)
A postcard of Sinnataggen
A postcard of Sinnataggen
One of the beautiful wrought iron gates (another postcard)
One of the beautiful wrought iron gates (another postcard)
A postcard showing the fountain and the monolith behind.
A postcard showing the fountain and the monolith behind.
Granite statue
Granite statue

Geiranger Fjord

Perhaps the most beautiful place on earth

I visited Geiranger Fjord with my family (it is not far from Stranda) and a friend of mine from the U.S. It is utterly breathtakingly gorgeous. Words cannot describe the place. This is one of the biggest tourist attractions in all of Norway. The small town boasts 250 inhabitants and thousands of toursits each year. Cruise ships come all the way to the end of the fjord to see the spectacular beauty. For more about Geiranger Fjord click here.

Image credit: Laura Peterson

Geiranger Fjord

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The view from the top.  You are looking at the town of Geiranger and the fjord beyond.Here's this one again, uncropped. My host brother is in the center, right.  The tiny little boy in white on the outcropping.  Wouldn't catch me there!The road to Geiranger.  More switchbacks.On the ferry that tours the fjord and the famous Geiranger waterfalls.Behind my friend and me is I believe the "Seven Sisters" waterfall.   How much water flows depends on the snow fall that year.More from the tippy top of the mountain."The Friar" water fall.And more waterfalls.  That's my host family and friend looking at them.
The view from the top.  You are looking at the town of Geiranger and the fjord beyond.
The view from the top. You are looking at the town of Geiranger and the fjord beyond.
Here's this one again, uncropped. My host brother is in the center, right.  The tiny little boy in white on the outcropping.  Wouldn't catch me there!
Here's this one again, uncropped. My host brother is in the center, right. The tiny little boy in white on the outcropping. Wouldn't catch me there!
The road to Geiranger.  More switchbacks.
The road to Geiranger. More switchbacks.
On the ferry that tours the fjord and the famous Geiranger waterfalls.
On the ferry that tours the fjord and the famous Geiranger waterfalls.
Behind my friend and me is I believe the "Seven Sisters" waterfall.   How much water flows depends on the snow fall that year.
Behind my friend and me is I believe the "Seven Sisters" waterfall. How much water flows depends on the snow fall that year.
More from the tippy top of the mountain.
More from the tippy top of the mountain.
"The Friar" water fall.
"The Friar" water fall.
And more waterfalls.  That's my host family and friend looking at them.
And more waterfalls. That's my host family and friend looking at them.
Successfully skiing down a gentle slope on a cross country trail
Successfully skiing down a gentle slope on a cross country trail

My Skiing Experience

It wasn't picture perfect

Ok, so I had never skied in my life before coming to Norway. I was most decidely NOT born with skis on my feet. It's a bit demoralizing to ski on a mountain slope (the baby slope for very young children) and watch 3 year olds and younger zip right on past you. And even more demoralizing to have trouble using the tow rope to get to the top of the baby slope. Though really, there are no such things as baby slopes in Norway. Norwegian children are taught to ski very early (sometimes before they can walk!). They learn by standing on their parent's skis while mom or dad moves along and in this way, they learn the feel of the movement. Truly the best way to learn. Unfortunately for me, I was an almost full grown 16 year old when I first learned and probably would have broken the skis of my host parents. So I had to endure the shame of the baby slopes (I'm kidding, it was only mildly embarrassing).

I should also mention that 2 days after I tried skiing for the first time in a field near my house, I broke my ankle and was out of commission for 6 weeks or so. So my ski season was cut short. Oh and for the record, I did not break it while skiing. I broke it falling down a flight of stairs. Much classier. And it gave me the opportunity to experience firsthand the inner workings of the Norwegian hospital system.

And then when I did try to go up the big, giant, full mountain side, I fell off the tow bar mere feet from where I first got on (it was the kind that was a pole, with a disc kind of thingy attached that you didn't sit on, but you let it pull you along). Then the second time, I made it much farther, but not all the way to the top. Thankfully, my Norwegian mom was with me and hopped off where I fell and we hiked the rest of the way up the steep mountain. On the way back down, there was no way I was going to ski. No way. So, instead, she hiked with me. Down a snow covered mountain. Plunged hip deep into the snow multiple times. It's amazing I didn't break something again! But it was a good time!

And here I am, on cross country skis, actually making it down a little hill on a cross country trail. I have since been skiing a few times. I still prefer the slower pace of cross country (never been much of a daredevil) though I have gone downhill skiing with my husband once. The idea of plunging downhill at breakneck speed is still not my idea of fun. I'll take hot chocolate in the chalet any day!

Oh, and take a look at the sweater! My very first sweater, knitted all by myself. I was so proud!

Image credit: Laura Peterson, ski goddess.

The Trolls of Norway

Trouble with Trolls
Trouble with Trolls

We LOVE Jan Brett books in our house and this is one of my boys' favorites

 
Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve?
Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve?

Another fabulous troll tale with beautiful drawings by Jan Brett. My kids love this one too.

 

Have you ever been to Norway? - Do you want to go?

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    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      I have never been - but hope to one day. I simply love the images - great.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @tvyps: You know, I really don't know these days! When I was there, I wasn't really aware of the economy, just that things were more expensive there than in the U.S. However, there is little poverty to speak of and most families live within their means and tend to live well.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      No. Although I lived in Germany for 4 years, I never made it "up North!" ha! A very beautiful country indeed. What is the economy like there?

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
      Author

      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @popztarr: WOW!!! I lived in Stranda, just across the fjord from Liabygda! And yes, I was part of Ten Sing. How wonderful! We did the vintertree and I believe it was in HÃ¥reid (I'm not at home so I don't have my pictures in front of me to remind me). And it was most definitely Jan/Feb 1988...I had a cast on my foot and had to be much more cautious walking around in the snow and ice! :) I remember it so well. I think I was also trying to be mindful of losing the weight I had gained (all those amazing cakes and desserts!!!) lol. Funny that I should remember that. Thank you so much for commenting! Where do you live? Would you have been at vintertreff in 1988? I remember the we sang U2's I still haven't found what I'm looking for. So much fun! Thanks for helping me take yet another trip back down memory lane!

    • profile image

      popztarr 4 years ago

      Hi! I found your lens more or less by accident, while working on some of my own lenses. Thought I would comment, as I live not very far from Liabygda where I understand you lived, during your stay in Norway. I'm glad that you enjoyed your time in Norway. I guess that the youth choir you are referring to is perhaps "Stranda Ten Sing"? At that time I was very involved in Ten Sing (KFUK/KFUM) myself, and Stranda Tensing was some of the youth choirs my choir cooperated with (vintertreff in january/february). In fact I was one of pioneers that traveled to (west) Germany in 1986 for one whole schoolyear, to implement Ten Sing in Germany (Ten Sing Norwegen/Ten Sing Norway).

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @accfuller: thanks for the likes! (both of them!) And for the comment. I appreciate it.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @Toytasting LM: I haven't been to Flam! I'll have to look into it! Thanks for the comment!

    • Toytasting LM profile image

      Toytasting LM 4 years ago

      We visited Norway in the summer of 2008. My favourtite place was Flam. Loved the beautiful, quaint village with the majestic Fjords on display. Of course, mid night sun was simply awesome and mildly confusing. To be note, we missed our early morning flight that was to take off from Bergen at 6am. I like to blame it forstly on the mid night sun, secondly my husband. But, ya Norway is definitely the most beautiful Scandinavian country

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      ajmac 4 years ago

      A beautiful place.It will be on my list to vacation.

    • accfuller profile image

      accfuller 4 years ago

      What an amazing opportunity you had! You did a great job documenting it all. I gave you a squid-like and a g+1 ... :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I felt as if I am in Norway as I was reading your lens. Thanks for taking us there through words.

    • profile image

      ivanjones 4 years ago

      really want to go there

    • VeseliDan profile image

      VeseliDan 4 years ago

      I haven't been to Norway yet but I would surely want to go. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @Marja79: Norwegian athletes? Now you have me curious! And where do you live if you go to Norway every summer? So great!

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @Doc_Holliday: : ) GO!

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 4 years ago

      I want to go - now

    • Marja79 profile image

      Marja79 4 years ago

      I love that skiing picture!

      Norway is the most beautiful country in the world. I have visited Norway pretty much every summer and I love that country. There is one thing I do not like: Norwegian athletes... :P

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      hurdus 4 years ago

      Not been before but plan to now. :-)

    • MrComeback profile image

      MrComeback 4 years ago

      Great lens. I've never been to Norway, but it looks awesome.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @RaksTheBlogger: Dream big! Create a vision board. You do have the power within you to change things. Just because you can't go today, doesn't mean you can't dream it and change your tomorrow!

    • profile image

      RaksTheBlogger 4 years ago

      Lovely lens....wish I could go to Norway!But I can't even pay my rent ...so bye bye Norway !

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @RinchenChodron: How wonderful! We had 3 exchange students in our family and both my sister and I spent a year in Europe (She went to Denmark). I love the idea of exchange.

    • mcspocky lm profile image

      mcspocky lm 4 years ago

      I liked your lens and included it on my lens of the day!

      http://www.squidoo.com/favorite-lens-of-the-day

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      I formerly volunteered and recruited host families for Youth for Understanding - a great organization. Wonderful lens.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @mcspocky lm: Thanks so much! That's awesome! I liked your lens and shared it on facebook. :) What a great idea!

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @pheonix76: Thanks for reading! I loved my time there.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 4 years ago from WNY

      I've never been, but I want to go! Your photos and story are both amazing, thanks so much for sharing. :)

    • profile image

      petermahfouz 4 years ago

      you created a nice lens, i like the photos and maybe one day i will visit Norway

    • mcspocky lm profile image

      mcspocky lm 4 years ago

      I've never been to Norway, but I would love to visit there someday.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I'd love to visit the fjords, mountains and see the midnight sun and the northern lights.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens! I enjoyed your photos and descriptions of your life in Norway. I wish now I had been adventurous enough to be in the foreign exchange student program.

    • bluelily lm profile image

      bluelily lm 4 years ago

      Scenic beauty captured by you are simply awesome.

    • profile image

      Bartukas 4 years ago

      very nice lens about Norway i would like to visit this country. thanks for sharing

    • Klinetka profile image

      Klinetka 4 years ago

      I like "skiing expirience" photo

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
      Author

      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @captainj88: Go! Go! Do it now. And I've never heard the term ethnomusicology until today so thank you for that! I hope you get to go soon.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      This is my dream extended holiday space. I can't wait to get to Norway! My mom and I have a vision to go together exploring indigenous music; we both have a passion for ethnomusicology.

    • criysto lm profile image

      criysto lm 4 years ago

      Great lens! I would love to visit Norway one day. I have never been.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      No, I've never been but it's somewhere I've always, always, wanted to visit. Really, there's no reason not to go since it's not so very far away.

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      Ian Anderson 4 years ago from Asker in Norway

      Prices have gone up a bit since then lol! We've been living here for three years now and love it but I still can't believe the price of homes nad cars etc. Although the price of other stuff is like washing machines etc is about the same.

      Love the lifestyle and weather though. It's like living in two countries with the best of both worlds weather wise.

      Nice trip fro you!

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @ChristyZ: good thing it's not a requirement to know how to knit to go there! (and if you want to learn, I'm sure plenty of people would teach you!) Glad you liked my lens!

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      jura 4 years ago

      Great lens i love your photos Nrway have to be great country.

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      VIPMaster 4 years ago

      It's wonderful, i want to going there now

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      ChristyZ 4 years ago

      I have always dreamed of going to Norway one day. What a fabulous lens, it looks amazing there! I have no idea how to knit though!

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Awesome photos-wonderful lens and great knitting by everyone

    • bethann21 profile image

      bethann21 4 years ago

      It looks like a magnificent place. Thank you for sharing.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @Margaret Schindel: Thank you so much! I appreciate it ! I just read a second lens of yours and have to say that, topics aside, I love your writing. It's great to see wonderful wordsmiths with such wonderful information to share. I love squidoo for that. Thanks for commenting and glad you liked my Norway lens!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Laura, thank you for taking me on such an amazing and beautiful journey with you! Your writing, your photos, and your way of sharing your fabulous experiences are tremendously engaging. Fabulous lens!

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @mattcut: snakker du norsk?? :) thanks! It took me right back, as if 25 years melted away. I so love Norge.

    • mattcut profile image

      mattcut 4 years ago

      so much gorgeous natural Norsk beauty in one lens - thank you for creating this lovely lens !!!

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      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Thank you for publishing this wonderful tour.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @Michey LM: Then you'll probably also like my lens "Mountains I have loved" :) Thank you so much! have you been to Geiranger? It's amazing. Breathtaking.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      I love a mountain lover, so I enjoy the lens, photo and presentation.

      Geiranger Fjord is my type of place.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @penmypage: I don't remember mosquitoes being pesky when I was there. But I was coming from Florida where they can get pretty bad so I think in comparison, they were nothing. (Then I moved to Minnesota for college and wow! Mosquitoes are jokingly considered the state bird there).

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @EsotericAllusion: Thanks. I hope you get there! Make a decision to go. Set a date. Let me know!

    • EsotericAllusion profile image

      EsotericAllusion 4 years ago

      I am really fascinated and intrigued by the Scandinavian countries and I tend to idealise them. I hope to visit them one day, at least maybe Norway or Denmark. Your photos were wonderful.

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      penmypage 4 years ago

      I like the sound of Norway and reading what you mentioned about it rejuvenates my interest. I would like to camp in Norway to enjoy the countryside but I heard mozzies can be a pest. Would mosquito repellents work in this case? In the Scottish Highlands, Avon's skin-so-soft's oil spray is best to repel the midges. It works for most of the time - mmm...about 70% percent. I'm speaking from my own experience. But certainly, its very popular for locals to get them as midges repellent in the highlands.

    • itravel2004 lm profile image

      itravel2004 lm 4 years ago

      haven't been to Norway, would like to go in future

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @FB-Explorer: Thank you so much! And I love that your wife read the Trouble With Trolls book to her kindergartener's! How special! Thanks for commenting!

    • FB-Explorer profile image

      FB-Explorer 4 years ago

      This is a really great lens. I loved the pictures and everything you wrote. Another thing I found particularly endearing was your recommendation of "Trouble With Trolls" by Jan Brett - it was a favorite of my wife's kindergarten students when she was a school librarian (she used to read to them during story time.)

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @oyningen: 25! Hard to believe. This is my 25th anniversary of being there. Wow. Do I feel old. :)

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image

      CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

      This was fantastic to read! Thank you for sharing your experience. You were truly fortunate to take this trip.

    • Girlwiththorns profile image

      Girlwiththorns 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens with lots of fantastic images :)

    • oyningen profile image

      oyningen 4 years ago

      Nice lens, is this like 20 years ago?

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      lionmom100 4 years ago

      What a beautiful place

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      No, but this lens makes me want to! Thanks!

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 4 years ago

      I have never been to Norway but wow - it looks amazing and I would love to make it there for my next vacation!

    • hovirag profile image

      hovirag 4 years ago

      not yet but definitle want to visit

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @Elyn MacInnis: lefse, and cakes and breads and jams and so much more!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I haven't been, but it would be wonderful to go. Lefse... yum.

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      JayRockins 4 years ago

      Can't wait to visit next summer!

    • profile image

      JayRockins 4 years ago

      Can't wait to visit next summer!

    • CyberPappy profile image

      CyberPappy 4 years ago

      Used to live in Germany. Made it up to Denmark and Sweden. Would have been so easy to take E6 out of Malmo and up the coast to Oslo, but just never got that far. I would still love to visit Norway.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      Stunning views - thank you.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks so much! It was a labor of love! :)

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      No, but I'd love to visit someday!

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      miaponzo 4 years ago

      I haven't but I would LOVE to!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      You certainly are wetting our appetites for a tip to Norway here an you certainly back up your statement that it could be heaven on earth with your stories and those gorgeous pictures. I was thinking as I was reading along that you immersed yourself in the experience and wasn't at all surprised when you said that you did. Excellent and congratulations on home page honors!

    • Niagara Ghosts profile image

      Niagara Ghosts 4 years ago

      I made it as far as Denmark but Norway is definitely on the bucket list!

    • MusicMadness LM profile image

      MusicMadness LM 4 years ago

      Terrific story. Always interesting to hear about others lives. I had a buddy that moved to one of Norways neighbours a few years back Finland. His kids all learned the language, but he couldn't master it. They all ended up moving back after a few years.

    • NuttSoRuff profile image

      NuttSoRuff 4 years ago

      Would love to visit Norway! Great pictures...thanks for sharing.

    • chi kung profile image

      chi kung 4 years ago

      you're pictures are amazing - make me want to go and visit :)

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @Wish List Gifts: thank you! And those are pictures from the 16 and 17 year old me, so it really is majestic, it's not my phenomenal camera skills! :)

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @LouisaDembul: how wonderful! A secret part of me dreams of moving back with my family. Not sure I would do it, but it's fun to dream about now and then. And I totally agree...not that I've been to all the countries in the world, but it does have a spectacular beauty about it.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 4 years ago

      I haven't, but my Mom visited Norway last year, and she had the best time!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Really beautiful Norway.

    • alina nicoleta92 profile image

      alina nicoleta92 4 years ago

      Never been there but I will definitely want to go and the pictures are breathtaking!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 4 years ago

      I lived for several years in Oslo and still go back to visit my friends whenever I can. It's one of the most beautiful countries in the world, in my opinion.

    • Wish List Gifts profile image

      Wish List Gifts 4 years ago

      I have not been to Norway, but your pictures make it look quite majestic.

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @knitstricken: Hi! It's so great to meet other exchange students! I can't wait to hear about your exchange! I got to visit West Germany (so crazy that only 1 year after I was there the wall came down) while I was in Norway. I may have to write about that too! :) We had a german exchange student living with us the year before I went to Norway. I was a little nervous about my old photos scanning well (and they are all glued in to albums so scanning was challenging!). But it worked! Thanks for commenting!

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @JeffGilbert: Thanks so much! I really appreciate it. I loved writing it (and could have added so many more pictures, it was hard to choose!). I love that part of the world and it's so hard to describe the feelings that come up for me when I think of it...I think it must have shown through in my writing. Thanks for commenting.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      No! I have not been to Norway but have a dream to go there :)

    • Louise0711 profile image

      Louise0711 4 years ago

      I love Norway. It's one of my favorite countries. We have friends living there so we've been over quite a few times to Oslo and surrounding areas. Great to visit in Winter and Summer. Expensive though!

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      I have to tell you, this is such a great travel lens. You really have brought out the best of this part of the world and there's so many great pictures. Great lens!!!

    • knitstricken profile image

      knitstricken 4 years ago

      Hallo! I am working on a lens about my exchange student experience in West Germany in 1986. Your lens brings me lots of smiles! So much to relate with. Nice to "meet" you - and I love that you posted old photos. Thank you!

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @GardenerDon: what a great compliment! Thanks! You can always go back! What brought you to Sweden? I only went through Sweden on my way to Germany while I was there. (through Denmark briefly too).

    • Laurabpeterson profile image
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      Laurabpeterson 4 years ago

      @Zodiacimmortal: Thanks so much for adding! The food varies..some is peculiarly particular, some pretty normal. I may just have to do a lens on Norwegian food! If you like bread and cheese, you would definitely find that! (and not just brown cheese called brun øst which is an acquired taste).

    • frenchlingo profile image

      frenchlingo 4 years ago

      Hey great photos. I really loved how they capture the scenery so beautifully. Thanks for sharing your experiences in detail.

    • absolutelycreat profile image

      absolutelycreat 4 years ago

      Norway is one of my wishes place to visit. Wish it happen. Nice lens.

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      sadly no... I haven't but think I might like to, (only I'm a pick fussy eater so not sure how that would fare over there) anyway wanted to let ya know I've added this lens to mine https://hubpages.com/education/noble-norse-norns

    • profile image

      MissMalaprop 4 years ago

      I've never been to any part of Scandinavia, but I would love to go!