Fun Facts of Norway
Knighting a Penguin
The Norwegians are a bit crazy when it comes to prices for beer and beef, salmon fishing and skiing. But there is more. First of all they have no idea how long their own coastline truly is. One thing’s for sure: It’s very long!
Another thing is that they knighted a King Penguin in Norway, true story. King Penguin Sir Nils Olav was originally appointed as mascot for the Norwegian Guard. From Corporal in 1982 to being knighted in 2008 and becoming Brigadier in 2016.
1. The world’s longest road tunnel is in Norway
The Lærdal Tunnel is 24.5 km’s long and therefore the worlds longest tunnel. The tunnel connects the small communities of Lærdal and Aurland. The design of the tunnel is admired all around the world, as it incorporates features to help manage the mental strain on drivers. Every 6km there is a cave to separate sections of road. The lighting varies throughout the tunnel and caves to break routine and provide a varied view.
2. The world’s most remote island is a Norwegian territory
And surprise surprise that island is not in the North but on the other side of the world. The Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean is the most remote island on earth and administered by Norway since 1929.
It is located approximately 1,700km north of the coastline of Antarctica and 2,600km away from the South African coast. The closest inhabited land is the British overseas territory of Tristan da Cunha, more than 2,000km away. Tristan da Cunha is the most remote inhabited place on earth. No one lives on the island, however Norwegian authorities do maintain a weather station (unmanned).
3. Norway is home to hell
About thousand Norwegians can say they live in Hell. Really. It is a small village within walking distance of Trondheim’s international airport and even has it’s own train station. Near the village also is a rock with carvings of reindeer. It is believed the carvings are about 5,000 years old.
4. Norway introduced salmon sushi to Japan
Sushi is a Japanese invention, however, they did not use salmon in the dish until a Norwegian delegation suggested it in the 80’s. Norwegian salmon sushi is now one of the most populair dishes in Japan.
5. There are two versions of the Norwegian language
Norwegian and Sami are the official languages of Norway. But, there are two written variants of Norwegian: Bokmål, is based on Danish and used by the vast majority of the country and Nynorsk, which is more popular in rural areas, particularly in the western fjord region. At school both is learned and the national broadcaster NRK publish news in both versions of the language. Also all public authorities are required to offer forms and other documentation in both variants.
6. Europe’s biggest herd of wild reindeer lives here
The biggest herd of wild reindeer roam Hardangervidda, Europe’s biggest mountain plateau. The total number of wild reindeer in winter totals around 25,000 animals, up to 7,000 are found on Hardangervidda. Wild reindeer used to roam freely across the whole of Norway for centuries, but as with most, because of extensive hunting they were driven into the mounainous areas.
7. We have to thank Norway for the cheese slicer
We’re sure the Dutch just ate it by the block. Until 1925 when the cheese slicer was invented by Thor Bjørklund. Many people still buy blocks of cheese and use the almost 100 year old invention still as it was intended to be used.
We often visit Norway during winter, visiting mainly the absolute north of the country. Visiting the Sami, watching the Northern Lights and being amazed by the incredible scenery of the Lofoten. Norway is a, quite expensive but still, must visit.
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