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Guide to Norway

If somebody were to mention Norway, or any other Scandinavian country for that matter, the first thing most likely to come to mind is cold dreary weather and boring landscape. Images of a land covered in snow, is what comes to mind. The truth is far from this. Norway has a surprisingly beautiful mountainous landscape, and the summers can get quite warm. One of the incredible features of Norway is its fjords. In fact the word fjord itself comes from the Norwegian language. Apart from fjords, Norway is also well known for its midnight sun. In the northern part of the country, the sun does not go down as late as 11PM! This is where you will be able to see the famous Aurora Borealis lights.

The population of Norway is approximately 4.5 million. Majority of the population is Norwegian and the minority is a group called Samis. Norway’s capital is Oslo. The country is mainly mountainous in nature. It is located on the western side of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The coastline is where you will find the famous fjords. The entire coastline is teaming with thousands of fjords, which are basically inlets where the sea water cuts into the land. The longest one is named Sognefjords, and has a length of 120 miles, and almost a mile deep, at its deepest point.

The country of Norway does not only include the mainland. There are literally thousands of islands in the northern part of the country in Greenland Sea, as well as the North Sea. However, there are only 3 of good size and they are named Spitsbergen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen. Spitsbergen is the largest at 15,000 sq.mi. It is also the only island that is permanently populated. The main industry on this island is coal mining. The smaller islands number around 150,000. The population of all the islands is quite small; around 4000 people.The islands also act as barriers for Norway against the harsh conditions of the North Sea. These islands attract plenty of adventure seeking tourist.

As far as climate goes, Norway does have an ugly side, but mostly in the northern part of the country during winter. The winters can be quite harsh with constant subzero temperatures, coupled with heavy snowfall. However, in the central and southern part of the country, it is a different story altogether. This is because of the Gulf Stream. The waters of this ocean current are relatively warm, which means the southern part of the country does not bear the brunt of harsh winters. Not only that, the waters also remains navigable for ships and fishing boats.

As mentioned before, the landscape of Norway is mostly mountainous. These highlands are filled with glaciers and rivers. Theses rivers are a big source of hydro- electric power. Most of the population lives in flatter lowlands. The country can also boast of large forest areas, teaming with spruce and pine trees. Most of population in Norway reside in cities and towns. The 5 largest cities are Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger and Baerum. Of these Oslo, the capital is the largest with a population of around 600,000 people. Today, Norway can boast of having one of the strongest economies in the world.