Destination: Norway

Video You Must See: The Northern Lights in Time Lapse

European Flesh and the American Prude

European Flesh and the American Prude Alexandra Beier/Reuters

Exploring Europe, exploring travel as a political act

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Eight Great Travel Stories of Serendipity and Kindness

Eight Great Travel Stories of Serendipity and Kindness Photo illustration by Jim Benning

To mark our eighth anniversary, we've collected eight favorite stories from our archives that show how one person, or one small act of kindness, can alter our sense of the world

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Goodbye ‘White Christmas’?

Goodbye ‘White Christmas’? Photo by fiskfisk via Flickr (Creative Commons).
Photo by fiskfisk via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Do you want to spend the winter holidays in an idyllic, snow-fringed place just like the one Irving Berlin used to know? Berlin wrote “White Christmas” 68 years ago, when the concept still made sense in the German city of Berlin as well as the rest of the northern hemisphere. In what has become an annual reality check during the increasingly warm winter holidays, climate scientists and meteorologists are again warning that global warming is the Grinch that’s stealing snowy landscapes around the world. Reuters reports that the odds of Berlin seeing snow in 2100 will decrease to 5 percent from 20 percent a century ago. Even frigid Oslo, Norway, will see a precipitous decline in snow days, scientists told Reuters.

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The Man at the Bus Stop

The Man at the Bus Stop Photo by a friendly Norwegian taxi driver.

In Norway, Matt Villano hitched from Korsnes to Bognes, ferried to Lodingen and hiked to the other side of town, where he waited for a bus that wouldn't come. Then he met Bilger.

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Vardo, Norway: Life at the Arctic Edge of Europe

Boston Globe writer Tom Haines gave us a hint of what life is like in Vardo, Norway last month, when we caught up with him there for a Where in the World Are You? post. He wrote of thick fog, climate change and pizza with shrimp, green pepper and scallion. His Vardo story for the Globe has now surfaced, and it’s a detailed look at the 700-year-old village “anchored atop a treeless island just off the eastern edge of the mainland” that’s beginning to deal with the changes brought forth by global warming.

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Trekking in Norway’s Fjordlands

Doug Lansky, the subject of a 2003 World Hum interview, recently went trekking with his family to a public cabin in Norway’s Fjordlands. His narrated slideshow about the trip appears on the Guardian Unlimited.

Tags: Europe, Norway

Where in the World Are You, Tom Haines?

The subject of our latest nearly up-to-the-minute interview with a traveler somewhere in the world: Tom Haines, travel writer at the Boston Globe. His response landed in our inbox this morning.

World Hum: Where in the world are you?

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The Ikea Hostel: Norway’s New Take on Sleepover Tourism

Photo by John Pastor via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

Though Ikea has reliably provided me with inexpensive towels and silverware over the years, I’ve never looked forward to spending a Saturday trekking to one of its warehouses. So I was surprised to read in The Guardian that Norwegians consider the stores a destination, a must-see on the summer travel circuit. Now Ikea is capitalizing on this interest by turning hotelier, at least temporarily. This month the company will open a one-week overnight hostel at one of its Oslo locations, where up to 30 shoppers will have the chance to bunk down in-store each night, sample the cafeteria’s Swedish meatballs and wrap themselves in bargain-basement Ikea bathrobes, all free of charge.

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If You’re Rich, Influential or Arnold Schwarzenegger, Svalbard Would Like You to Visit

You really don’t have to be any or all of those things, but if you are, Svalbard looks forward to seeing you and enlisting your help in solving the planet’s climate crisis. The Norwegian-run archipelago, situated in the Arctic Ocean between that country and the North Pole, is billing itself as a great place to see the effects of global warming first-hand. According to a Reuters story, local officials want to spur more help in the fight against global warming, and they believe that welcoming tourists—particularly rich and influential tourists—to see melting glaciers and the glory of the threatened polar bear-dominated ecosystem can stimulate action.

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Norway Debuts Automated Customs Machines

It’s a first, according to Norwegian officials, and no doubt more user-friendly than this country’s process

The World Hum Travel Zeitgeist: Seville, Switzerland and The Strip

Travelers this week looked to Las Vegas, Seville, the Grand Canyon, Tallinn, Riga and Charleson, S.C., and wondered whether to avoid Oslo (too expensive) and Atlanta (too busy). Here’s the Zeitgeist: 

Most Read Weblog Category
World Hum (this week)
Las Vegas

Most Viewed Travel Story
Los Angeles Times (current)
Las Vegas: A Winner’s Guide to Blackjack

World’s Busiest Airport
Airports Council International (2006)
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
* Chicago’s O’Hare and London’s Heathrow finished second and third respectively.

Most Viewed Travel Story
Telegraph (current)
Seville’s the City for Piety Animals
* This also gets another of our groan-inducing headline of the week awards.

Most E-Mailed Travel Story
New York Times (current)
36 Hours in Charleston, S.C.

Most Read Weblog Post
World Hum (this week)
Switzerland Invades Liechtenstein

Most E-Mailed Travel Story
USA Today (current)
Another Wonder for Grand Canyon?
* As we like to say, what would Edward Abbey think?

Most Popular Travel Story
Netscape (this week)
Wi-Fi Bus Crosses the Border
* It’s “likely the first international cross-border Wi-Fi-enabled bus line.” It connects Tallinn, Estonia and Riga, Latvia.

Most Popular Page Tagged Travel (recent)

Most Read Story
World Hum (this week)
Stephanie Elizondo Griest: ‘100 Places Every Woman Should Go’

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Longyearbyen, Norway

Tags: Europe, Norway

The Life of a Billionaire Traveler

Oslo, Tokyo and the other places that topped the recent list of most expensive cities list hardly make a dent in the budgets of these private-jet flying, American Express Centurion card-wielding, $25 room service hamburger-ordering travelers. Forbes has an inside look at what it’s like to travel like a billionaire.

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Tags: Asia, Japan, Europe, Norway

Oslo Tops List of World’s Most Expensive Cities

Norway’s capital unseated Tokyo, Japan, which had been number one on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s biannual survey for 14 years. Reykjavik, Iceland ranked third on the list, with Osaka, Japan and Paris, France rounding out the top five. The AP has a report on the survey.

Photo by Sarah Schmelling.