Guides teach a respect for nature and any visit heightens one's awareness of the impact of climate change. But I find excuses to return to Norway almost annually. The main square, originally created as a fire break in this fire-plagued city, is lined by big department stores. For centuries villagers trekked across this pass to reach the coast. Post questions and answers about travel in Norway. With a setting like this, Grieg fans become tuned into nature and nature lovers become tuned in to Grieg. This title will be released on July 7, 2020. All the sights were as beautiful as described. The Hanseatic Museum, on the edge of the wharf, helps bring to life the salty economy that made Bergen prosper. As the wealthier parts of Europe were building grand churches and castles of stone, Norway built with wood, and little survives from centuries past. It was all about this fish: cod — a form of protein that could be dried, preserved, and shipped anywhere. Survival suits keep everyone cozy and comfortable at thrillingly high speeds. Colorful wooden warehouses mark Bergen's touristy historic quarter. Today, Otternes welcomes visitors with a rare look at Norway of old. Some remote farms are connected to the outside world only by ferry. Norway is first and foremost a place of unforgettable natural beauty — and Norway's greatest claims to scenic fame are her deep, lush fjords. In the late 19th century, Norway's greatest artists and musicians called Bergen home. Stylized dragons — reminiscent of those that once adorned Viking ships — probably functioned like gargoyles: to keep evil spirits at bay. For me, driving in Norway can be treacherous — not because of the speed or traffic — but because of the scenery...it's simply hard to keep your eyes on the road. Northern Europe's highest mountains are here — called Jotunheimen, or Giant's Country. The surrounding countryside is decorated with medieval stave churches, fishing boats, cascading waterfalls, dramatic glaciers, and brightly painted shiplap villages. Bergen's popular funicular climbs 1,000 feet in seven minutes to the top of Mount Fløyen for the best view of the town, surrounding islands, and fjords all the way to the west coast. It all culminates with a rich spread of local cheeses and berries. All the full length Rick Steves Europe PBS Episodes that I could find. "Rick Steves does nature.". This viewpoint makes sure car hikers get out and appreciate the view. Terms of Service | Privacy, Bergenhus Fortress: Håkon's Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower, Balestrand, Norway: Smörgåsbord with a View, Sognefjord, Norway: Boating Through the Fjords, Norway’s West: Fjords, Mountains, and Bergen. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. Relaxing before dinner, guests feel right at home in the salon. The 22 rooms are divided into two types: nicely appointed standard rooms in the modern annex, or recently renovated "historic" rooms with all the modern conveniences in two different old buildings: rooms with Old World elegance in the main house, and brightly painted rooms with countryside charm in the Tingstova house next door. I recently told my TV producer, "Everyone in Norway looks like my brother." Having traveled with me for 12 years, he was shocked: "I didn't know you had a brother!" The elegant Old World public spaces in the old section make you want to just sit there and sip tea all afternoon. Glad to know Norway in a Nutshell is still available. see our FAQ. People slept cozy as they could in cramped cupboard beds. And just outside of town is Troldhaugen, the home of Norway's greatest composer, Edvard Grieg. These traditional Norwegian churches are called stave churches. Visiting a glacier is a quintessential Norwegian experience, bringing you face-to-face with the majesty of nature. Until 1919 the only road between Aurland and Flåm passed between this huddle of 27 buildings, high above the fjord. Slowly, they gouged u-shaped valleys that later filled with water. Travelers with their own wheels can dig deeper into fjord country — just like those glaciers did in the last Ice Age. Severnty-five years ago, this glacier filled most of this valley. American travel authority Rick Steves guides viewers through his favorite European cities. His little studio hut near the water makes you want to sit down and modulate. I'm Rick Steves. Otherwise, however, the various Snapshot guides for Scandinavia are simply excerpted chapters taken directly from the complete Rick Steves Scandinavia guidebook. And tunnels — this is one of the world's longest for cars, at 15 miles — save lots of time. It's popular with cruise ships, and an essential refuge when heavy winds drive in the boats that serve the North Sea oil rigs. Much of Norway's affluence is fueled by the oil it drills just offshore. The farmstead's population dwindled a century ago, when — like so many Norwegians — its residents emigrated to America in hopes of a better life. see our FAQ. Customers ate it up — then as well as today. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. It's located in an atmospheric old merchant house furnished with dried fish, antique ropes, an old oxtail (used for wringing spilled cod-liver oil back into the bucket), sagging steps, and cupboard beds from the early 1700s. Post questions and answers about travel in Norway. Paintings romanticized both the nature and the traditional folk life it fostered. Those glory days of early tourism still echo in the venerable Kviknes Hotel, which remains the grande dame of Balestrand. 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