norway

23 December: Top 3 fun facts about Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

23 December: Top 3 fun facts about Norway

We have our oddities and funny facts about this country too. Here are our top 3 fun facts about Norway:

 

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C3PO at Finse. (Image: starwarsplaces.com)

1. The Battle of Hoth was filmed at Finse

In Star Wars – Episode V (film two in old trilogy, for the SW fans out there) – you would see the Rebellion HQ at the snowy planet of Hoth being attacked by the Empire. These epic scenes were filmed only a few hundred meters away from the railway station of Finse, a stop along the Oslo – Bergen train tracks. Legend has it that no taun-taun has been observed in the area since.

 

lærdalstunn visitsognefjorden

They have even provided proper stops inside the tunnel so you can take your photos.

2. The World’s longest road tunnel is in Norway

You know you want to ride it: The 24.5 km/15.2 mi long Laerdal Tunnel not very far from Bergen is the longest road tunnel in the world. It opened in 2000 after five years of construction, and pushed the Swiss Gotthard Tunnel down from the throne. A special ride indeed.

 

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Huuuuuge structure!

3. The largest object ever moved by man was moved in Norway

The Troll A gas production platform is the largest object ever moved by humans. The platform is 472 meters high – of which 369 under water – and weighs about 656 million kgs. This huge structure is two times heavier than Empire State Building in NY City, and the underwater part of Troll is exactly the height of Empire State Building top floor. Troll A is mostly a concrete structure that contains reinforcing steel corresponding to 10 times the entire Eiffel tower.

Read more Norway fun facts here!

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22 December: Top 3 Norwegian Jule-dishes

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

22 December: Top 3 Norwegian Jule-dishes

We wish each other “God Jul” these days in Norway. Our way of celebrating the Winter Solstice – “Jól” – of course comes with some special dishes that is served mainly during the Season’s Holiday. Here are the Norwegians’ Top 3 favourites:

 

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Pork ribs. Best served with aquavit.

1. Pork ribs

Most Norwegians prefer pork ribs with accompanying pork sausages, pork meat balls, sauerkraut, potatoes and a healthy helping of aquavit. A winner on any Julebord!

 

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Sheep or lamb ribs. Best served with aquavit.

2. Sheep/lamb ribs

Salted and dried lamb ribs are soaked into water for a day or two. Then pulled out of the water and put in a pot with some birch sticks in the bottom, adding a few inches of water. Let this steam for a few hours, make a rutabaga stew, add some sausages and potatoes, and hey presto! You have just made the Norwegians’ #2 Jule-favourite dish! Oh, and remeber healthy helping of aquavit.

 

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Lutefisk. Best served with aquavit. Some prefer it without lutefisk.

3. Lutefisk

Made from stockfish, which has been process in lye. It requires some skills to prepare lutefisk properly, but once you have tasted the real deal with the accompanying bacon, mushy peas, mustard and a healthy helping of aquavit, you will not go back. It is an acquired taste for sure, and many Norwegians can’t stand it, but it is still up there among the Jule-favourites. (Some Norwegians prefer fresh cod for their Jule-dinner, though.)

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21 December: Top 3 motorcycles from Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

21 December: Top 3 motorcycles and mopeds from Norway

Triumph. Moto Guzzi. Ducati. BMW. KTM. You know them, and you know where they’re from. Whereas Norway has been pretty good at producing the juice which makes these makes run, we do not have a long and glorious history of motorized vehicles. But we have some very few that we are still somewhat proud of. Here are the Top 3 motorized vehicles from Norway.

 

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A 1960 Tempo Taifun 175 ccm. (Image: Tempo-online.no)

1. Tempo

With a history traced to 1908, the Øglænd Brothers began serious moped and light motorcycle manufacturing after WW2, even though serial production of some motor-powered bicycle-like contraptions was ongoing since the 1930s. The Tempo became for Norwegians what Vespa was for Italians: A practical, economical and robust means of transport. The Tempo brand comprised mainly bikes from moped size 49 ccm to light 175 ccm motorcycles, and the Øglænd factory kept churning out these mainly Sachs powered vehicles until the last moped was shipped from the factory in 1987. Not totally unexpected, the Norwegian Tempo Club is one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – motorcycle enthusiast club in Norway.

 

Raufossmoped Andreas Mathisen

The Raufoss Moped. (Image: Andreas Mathisen)

2. The Raufoss Moped

The traditional armament producer Raufoss Ammunisjonsfabrikker had in the mid-1950s a brilliant idea: Why not make a sturdy, top quality moped that was also  prepped for winter duty for the Norwegians? As said, as done: In 1958, the Raufoss moped was presented to a huge audience (for Norwegian standards) comprising representatives from all but one of the 19 Norwegian counties, a dozen newspapers, more than a hundred retail sellers and more. The interest was very high in the days, as was the quality of the moped: Prepped for winter duty and a sturdy Zündapp engine was supposed to make it the ideal transporter for Norwegians. Alas, after only four years of production and very meager sales, the Raufoss moped was history in 1962. Its quality never lost appeal, however, and is today highly sought-after by Norwegian moped connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

 

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The 1922 Spanjola. (Image: Unknown)

3. The Spanjola

If you pull the “Spanjola” name up in talks even with Norwegian riders, they will most lightly not have a clue of what you are talking about. No wonder: This monster of a sidecar contraption is a single build, being the brainchild of Norsk Hydro engineer Christian Larsen in 1920-1922. It is three meters long and has plenty room for a family of five and their two dogs. It was powered by a V4 of 2000 ccm, derived from Indian engines, and even had aluminium parts to make it somewhat lighter. The remains of this beauty was discovered some years back and is under restoration. The restorers have pledged to have it on the road in 2021. A unique and fascinating piece of Norweigan motorcycle history!

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15 December: Top 3 shoestring tips for Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

15 December: Top 3 shoestring tips for Norway

Some may be put off visiting Norway due to its notoriety for being expensive. While it is true that some things are particularly expensive, it is no problem to tour this country on a shoestring. Here are the Top 3 tips on how to save a buck while riding in Norway:

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To find a nice spot and pitch your tent somewhere in the uncultivated land adds to the experience of Norway. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1. Camp for free

Accomodation may be expensive in Norway if you opt for hotels or other hard-roofed alternatives. But Norway has a big money-saving legislation up its sleeve, namely the Freedom to Roam Act. This act entitles you to put up your tent and stay a couple of nights practically anywhere in the nature. So bring your camping gear, and spend the nights in the nature you came to visit anyway.

 

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Bring your stove and prepare your own food. (Image: RideNorway.com)

2. Prepare you own food

Shop necessary foodstuff in the supermarkets, and prepare the food yourself. Bringing a camp kitchen is a huge money saver, as food from cafes or restaurants can be pretty expensive. Remember to bring your fishing rod, as sea fishing is for free (and you have more than 100.000 kms of coastline to fish from) and the catch and quality is top stuff.

 

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All service station brands have a coffee/tea deal. Get one, if you are a coffee/tea drinker. (Image: BestStasjon.no)

3. Get into a loyalty program at service stations

Petrol will most lightly be your highest cost driver while in Norway. It is a long country, but fortunately service stations are plentiful, even in the more rural parts of Norway. All the major service station brands – Shell, Circle K, Esso, YX etc – offers loyalty programs which saves you a buck or two for each tank you fill. They also provide “hot drink deals”, where you buy a cup for 20-30 euro, but you can then fill it for free at any of their service stations for a year. Even if you do not plan to stay a year, you’ll save some money on this deal if you love your coffee or tea. A nice treat for riders.

Here are more shoestring tips for traveling Norway. If you have others, let us know in the comments below!

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14 December: Top 15 cities to visit in Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

14 December: Top 15 cities to visit in Norway

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Ålesund. One of the – or perhaps THE – prettiest town in Norway. (Image: RideNorway.com)

It may be a bit over-ambitious to call our cities for “cities”. They are rather small compared to those in the continental Europe. Maybe Oslo falls within the city framework – other than that, we mostly have towns. Anyway: Here is a list of the 15 best cities – or towns – to visit in Norway. It’s compiled by the travel web site Touropia, but it’s actually quite good, and hence recommended by RideNorway. Would probably put Ålesund on top – its architecture is simply astonishing! – and we’re not too sure about a few of the contenders at the lower end of the scale, but anyway: Here it is, the Top 15 Cities to visit in Norway.

Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!

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13 December: 10 best places to visit in Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

13 December: 10 best places to visit in Norway – according to others

 

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Usually not on the “must see” list of Norway, but a pretty funny sight nevertheless. The houses stand under a cliff in Jøssingfjord. (Image: RideNorway.com)

As a rider planning to go to Norway you have of course read RideNorway.com from page to page, getting tips on where to go and where to stay. But there are also others that may have a different view on what to see and where to go. Travel site Touropia has listed these 10 places as the best to visit in Norway.

Do you agree? Are these also on top of your list? Let us know in the comments below!

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7 December: Top 5 Fjords of Norway

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

7 December: Top 5 Fjords of Norway

 

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The Geiranger fjord is one of many fantastic fjordscapes in Norway. Be prepared for a busy viewing point at The Eagle’s Bend coming down towards Geiranger. (Image: RideNorway)

Norway has it fair share of wonderful fjordscapes. Some of them are included in the Unesco World Heritage Sites list, and at least one of them should be on the list of any first-time rider to Norway.

This time, you don’t have to take it from RideNorway. Travel and Leisure India has already put together the Top 5 Fjords of Norway list. Whether the ranking is fair doesn’t really matter, as they are all worthy their place on the list.

So visit Travel and Leisure, and start planning!

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6 December: Top 3 food festivals in Norway

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

6 December: Top 3 food festivals in Norway

Going to food festivals is a great way of getting a great chew for a small price. So also in Norway. The foodies are having more choices than ever in this country, and some regions have really got their act together and are producing high quality foodstuff which you can sample in abundance. RideNorway has been to several throughout the years, and these are our top 3 picks:

 

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Trøndersk Food Festival in Trondheim. If you are a foodie: Go there. If you are not: Go there anyway. Image: RideNorway

1) Trøndersk Matfestival – Trondheim

The Mid-Norway region – the county of Trøndelag – is getting a firm grip on becoming the most important local food region of Norway. In late July/early August, the Trønders are celebrating their fantastic food and beer culture by throwing “Trøndersk Matfestival” in the middle of the town of Trondheim. Whole streets are full of food samples, outlets, local fast food and drinks – a spectacle that we can wholeheartedly recommend. Everything is under tent roofs, so even in poor weather you can enjoy this festival. Park your bike for a day or two, and indulge in flavours that could only come from Norway!

 

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Happy food, happy people in Stavanger. Image: RideNorway

2) Gladmatfestivalen – Stavanger

Literally “The Happy Food Festival” is an annual event taking place in July in the oil capital of Norway, Stavanger in the South West of the country. It is not far from the entry port of Kristiansand, in case you take the ferry from Denmark. The festival takes place downtown Stavanger, covering the whole harbour area. Even if this is not strictly a Norwegian flavour’s festival, you can find high quality edibles for a meager price during the days the festival lasts. As in Trondheim, they usually have a beer festival tent close by, if you need to quench your thirst. The only major downside of this festival, is the constant influx of cruise ship tourists clogging the festival area.

 

3) Bergen Food Festival – Bergen

This is still one for RideNorway to visit, but it is definitely on the shortlist of great food festivals in Norway – if we take hear-say into account. It is held in Bergen – a pretty town on the west coast of Norway, worth a visit in any case. The festival, usually held in end-August/early September, includes the Cider Festival. Believe it or not, but cider from the Hardanger region is truly delicious! It must have something to do with traditions going back to the 13th century, great craftmanship and nice surroundings for the fruit trees.

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5 December: 17 things Norwegians love about Norway

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

5 December: 17 things Norwegians love about Norway

The 17 May celebration of our 1814 Constitution is in itself a spectacle like few others: Norwegians – young and old – dress up in their finest costumes and dresses, goes out in the streets, wave their flags, views the marching bands parading, greet the King (if in Oslo), and generally indulge in – to outsiders – a strange show of patriotism. Some adults dilute their patriotism with generous amounts of Champagne for breakfast, but each to their own.

In 2014, at our 200th Constitution Day Celebration, the national newspaper VG did a poll amongst Norwegians, having them voting over the 17 things they love about Norway. Very national-centric, of course, but still: These facts may help you in your efforts to interact with the locals.

 

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“Winter” ended up on the 17th place on the list of things that Norwegians love about Norway. Riders, of course, cope whatever the weather or whichever season. Image: RideNorway

1) Freedom of expression
2) A varied nature
3) That Norwegians go for long hikes
4) Gender equality
5) That people live all over the country
6) That most people are economically well off
7) Norway’s wealth
8) Egalitarianism
9) Winter sports
10) High taxes and well-funded public services
11) The big differences in the seasons
12) The Royal Family
13) The egalitarian public school system
14) Policies on intoxicating substances
15) Multiculturalism
16) High level of subsidies to the agriculture
17) The winter

Some of these one can clearly understand. Others are quite… odd? What do you think? Leave your comment below!

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4 December: Top 3 destinations NOT in the official Norway guidebooks

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

4 December: Top 3 destinations NOT in the official Norway guidebooks

If you are a seasoned Norway traveller, or just want to go to places that are not necessarily the postcard picture perfect place, this post is for you. You really don’t care too much for the crowded (all in relative terms, of course – this is not Venice…) tourist attractions in Norway, but are instead looking for places which give you solitude, quietness and additional bragging rights when back home in the local pub with your friends. You are willing to ride that extra mile just to get to this place, and don’t mind staying the night in your tent – so here it is, RideNorway’s Top 3 destinations NOT in the official Norway guidebooks:

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Hessdalen is peaceful, quiet and a great place to walk the dog. But in a leash. Because of the sheep. Image: RideNorway

1) Hessdalen

Hessdalen is a somewhat secluded valley not far from Røros, in the middle of Norway. Or middle of nowhere, depending on your take. Hessdalen is one of RideNorway’s favourite spots to find peace and quiet in this part of the country, but despite its quietness it still has some suspense to offer: Hessdalen’s claim to fame is the odd light phenomenons that may – or may not – occur at any given time. There are apparently studies of these phenomenons taking place. But for us, it’s a place of tranquility. Follow the road beyond where it goes gravel, and find your spot to put up your tent whenever you like. Bring everything you need – it is a bit to ride to the nearest grocery store if you forgot your bacon to your breakfast eggs.

 

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Finnskogen is a favourite rideout for many gravel enthusiasts. Image: RideNorway

2) Finnskogen

Finnskogen – or “The Forest of the Finns” – is an area in the South-East of Norway, bordering Sweden. Its name origins from the Finns that migrated here in the 17th century. But to you, it is an area of forested secludedness. An area where you can hone your gravel riding skills, while finding those sweet spots near a lake to put up your tent and try you fishing luck. Even though it is pretty accessible by vehicles, not many venture into these forests, which makes it a sweet playground for you and your bike. The silence is breathtaking, which makes it the perfect hideout for a couple of days to lower your puls rate.

 

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Fiskevollen has its 10th century charm somewhat intact. Image: RideNorway

3) Fiskevollen

Fiskevollen is Norway’s largest inland fishing village, dating back to the 10th century. It is situated in Rendalen in the South-East of Norway, and sits at some 700 meters above the sea level. Today, it is holiday homes for the locals, but it has retained its picturesque quality. The Sølensjøen lake is a nice place to try your fishing luck, and you can put up your tent out of ear’s reach of the few people that occupy the cottages during the summer months. It can be chilly at this height even in the summer, so to experience a night or two at Fiskevollen: Make sure your sleeping gear can take it. Oh, and the road there is a wonderful gravel road!

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