Tag Archives: Norway

Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Wants Out of Oil and Gas Stocks

Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund proposed dumping about $35 billion in oil and gas stocks, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp., to protect the economy of western Europe’s biggest petroleum producer.

The nation will be “less vulnerable” to a drop in oil by not being invested in stocks of companies in the industry, the Oslo-based fund said Thursday. The Finance Ministry said it would study the plan and decide at the earliest in “autumn 2018.” The Stoxx Europe 600 Oil and Gas index reversed gains after the announcement, sliding 0.4 percent as of 1:14 p.m. in London.

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Merkel ally says website hit by thousands of cyberattacks from Russian IP addresses ahead of election

The vice chairman of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party Christian Democratic Union (CDU) said on Monday (4 September) that her website was recently hit with thousands of cyberattacks, many of which came from Russian IP addresses. Julia Kloeckner said the political website was the target of about 3,000 attacks ahead of the television election debate between Merkel and her Social Democratic rival Martin Schulz on Sunday, Reuters reports.

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A Great Escape to the Norwegian Fjords

Rachel Maria Taylor and Jody Daunton journeyed to Norway for the latest issue of their outdoor lifestyle magazine Another Escape.

This is the view from the Skagfla farm, which rests on a small mountain shelf 250 meters above the waters below. Across the fjord you can see the spectacular Seven Sisters Waterfalls. The boat gliding through the water is a ferry that can hold up to 50 cars, which puts in perspective the great expanse of the fjord.

Deep fjords, tall mountains, and thick forests were just the beginning of what they discovered — Norwegians have a close relationship with their natural surroundings (the concept is known as friluftsliv), truly embracing nature and enjoying the outdoors as a way of life.

Water rushes down the mountains and over the cliffs into the fjords.

You can see outtakes from the adventure here, along with an excerpt from the published story. Look out for Another Escape Issue Five this fall.

A scenic ride from Hellesylt to the village of Geiranger.

NORWAY – Bordering Sweden, Finland, and Russia, with a ragged flank that disappears into the pitted bed of the Norwegian sea,

Mountain refuge hut at the top of Romsdalseggen. A much-appreciated respite when hiking in wind, rain, and snow on the Romsdalseggen Ridge.

Norway is a slender spool of craggy peaks, vaulting waterfalls, mirrored lakes and fjords, and woolly forests.

Co-founder Rachel Taylor stands on a precipice overlooking the village of Geiranger and the fjord.

To the west, the landscape is carved out by glaciers, with the abrupt slopes of the Scandinavian mountains towards the North Sea.

Many buildings in Norway traditionally have turfed roofs. Sheep and goats are often put on the rooftops to eat down the grass, which is exactly what this cheeky chappy is doing.

Numerous corridors of valley connect this raw, imposing topography to the spruce-carpeted hills of the east.

In the remarkable Vellesæterdalen valley, the Velleseter Cabin rests on an exposed hilltop at an altitude of 418 meters.

And while the north is characterized by fjords, mountains, vast snowfields and some of Europe’s largest glaciers, the south is a gradation of urban living, agricultural lowlands, fells, and docile coastal living.

DNT padlock and key. The DNT has an elaborate networks of trails and cabins across the whole of Norway that are open access for all to use. The keys are available from local tourist and DNT offices.

At every point of the compass, Norway’s landscape is arresting; a lush, undulating conduit forfriluftsliv that craves no less than pure abandonment to its mysteries.

A selection of cold meats including muskox and reindeer, which are native to the region; locally caught smoked salmon; klippfisk, a Norwegian dried and salted cod; locally made jams from the abundance of local berries; and the quintessential sweet brown cheese that tastes almost like fudge.

Literally (and inadequately) translated as ‘free air life,’ the phrase is, at its most fundamental, a deep appreciation for and interaction with nature.

The view from Kaldhuseter cabin, looking out across the lake towards the Tafjordfjella Mountains.

This entry is excerpted with permission from Another Escape, where the article originally appeared. Read more about the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv in Another Escape Volume Five.

A traditional little cabin tucked away in misty mountainside.

Split View Mountain Lodge / Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

Architects: Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter
Location: Buskerud, Norway
Area: 130.0 sqm
Year: 2013

From the architect. The holiday home is located near the village Geilo, a popular skiing destination in the valley Hallingdal. Ski resorts are abundant around the lodge, with a freestyle terrain park right next to the site. Out of winter season, the mountains provide excellent hiking opportunities as well as other sporting activities. 

From the architect. The holiday home is located near the village Geilo, a popular skiing destination in the valley Hallingdal. Ski resorts are abundant around the lodge, with a freestyle terrain park right next to the site. Out of winter season, the mountains provide excellent hiking opportunities as well as other sporting activities.

The family of four with anticipation of a fifth addition provided a straight-forward program for their mountain lodge: four bedrooms, separate living and dining areas, a youth lounge and a mezzanine for the younger children. In addition a small annex would accommodate guests and visiting grandparents.

The cabin is entered beneath the cantilevered glazed volume into a hall with polished in-situ concrete floor, functioning as an intermediate zone to remove ski boots and outdoor clothing. A wooden stair ascends from the low basement and opens onto the generous space of the living quarters, capped by a complex ceiling of pitched planes high above. At the core of the holiday home, where the separate wings branch off from the main body in plan, is the kitchen. Its countertop of glass fiber reinforced concrete is cantilevered into the center of the space and anchored by a two-sided fireplace at the other end. Steps go onto separate spaces for dining and relaxing by the suspended second fireplace.

The extruded form of the structure frames the spectacular views from within the cabin, while strategically positioned smaller openings along its volume provides glimpses of the immediate surroundings. The elevated levels of the living and dining areas provide its occupants with a high degree of privacy, further enjoyed by ample seating niches within the outer walls. The interior floor, walls and ceiling are homogenously lined with virtually knot-free joinery timber, while all opening frames are concealed or discrete. The attention to detail and high quality is comprehensive and coherent throughout the project.

Through sliding doors along the hallway of the narrow main body is each of the bedrooms as well as a bathroom with sauna. The master bedroom opens onto a gable-shaped window extruded through the side wall for an outlook onto the night sky, while each of the children’s bedrooms has a loft bunk bed for visiting friends. At the far end of the hall is the youth lounge and overhead mezzanine with views through the glazed gable end straight onto the ski slope.

The Top 5 Scenic Wonders of Norway

There is some amazing scenery to be on a trip to Norway and, on a Hurtigruten Voyage, we take you to extraordinary places.  Norway has stunning beauty along the coast that will take your breath away.  Highlighted below are some of the best natural features to see on a trip to Norway.

1. The Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands are an archipelago and a traditional district in the county of Nordland, Norway. Situated in the Arctic Circle, the archipelago is an anomaly as it experiences mild temperatures due to the warmth of the Gulf Stream. Lofoten is made up of seven main Islands, with 24,000 inhabitants.

The islands are the home and workplace of generations of workmen and fishermen who have learned to live in harmony with the changing moods of nature.  Often referred to as the ‘world’s most beautiful archipelago,’ Lofoten is renowned for its small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere.

Positioned in between large granite cliffs with white sandy beaches, these islands are an exceptional experience. The trademark of the islands is the ‘rorbuer’, traditional fishermen’s huts that, located above the water, present magical scenery.

2.  The Norwegian Fjords

The fjords are an incredible part of the Norwegian coastline.  They are narrow inlets of the ocean that penetrate into the coast far from the mountains, a result of the ancient glaciers moving towards the sea.

Being very steep with long valleys, the high cliffs frame the waters. The fjords are natural wonders which offer incredible sights and adventure, with each fjord offering different characteristics.

The fjords feature a beautiful stillness that brings a peaceful tranquillity not found anywhere else.  Stunningly beautiful and awe-inspiring, the fjords have become synonymous with Norway.

3. The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are an unrivalled natural phenomenon.  They are a natural light display in which colours dance across the sky.  Usually in green or pale pink, the displays have also been witnessed in red, yellow and violet.

The Northern Lights are caused by collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released by the Sun. Only visible within the Arctic Circle in a dark sky, when these lights occur their extraordinary beauty illuminates the sky and mesmerise all who see them.

4. The Midnight Sun

The Midnight Sun is an extraordinary natural phenomenon that takes place, above the Arctic Circle, in the summer months. During these months the sun never takes a break and remains visible at midnight, and, if the weather permits, during the solstice or between the months of May to July it can be seen for 24 hours.

Darkness is banished by the daylight, as night-time and daytime blur and the unique landscapes take on a dream-like quality. Time loses meaning to never ending rays of sunshine and communities buzz with life.

The phenomenon occurs because of the tilt in the Earth’s axis, which means the orbit of the Earth causes the North Pole to face the sun during the summer.  The Midnight Sun is a once in a life time experience, whose magical atmosphere gives the land and visitors an extra boost in energy.

5. Ålesund

Distinguished by its numerous spires, towers and highly detailed ornamentation, Ålesund is a town renowned across the world for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture.

The town rebuilt itself after the devastating fire of 1904 in the Art Nouveau style, the architectural style of the time, drawing inspiration from all over Europe.

Ålesund is home to the picturesque fishing port of Brosundet, the special Apotekertorget square, and the beautifully decorated main street. The fascinating history of this scenery can be discovered in Jugendstilsenteret museum.

10 of the best European islands … that you’ve probably never heard of

Lyngør Islands, Norway

A far cry from Norway’s jagged western fjord-filled coastline, the Lyngør Islands offer Baltic calm rather than wild Atlantic. Base yourself on the islands of Sandøya or Borøya (where you can park your car) and use the ferries to get around. If ferries are too mainstream, Norwegians rave about kayaking between these tiny islands, so expect to see lots of brightly coloured boats being hefted around by visitors. Kayak rental is available in Tvedestrand, the town at the head of the fjord. Lyngør Island can only be reached by boat: there are no cars, and the main village consists of weathered clapboard wooden houses.

Stay The Tvedestrand 58 holiday house on the island of Boroya, which sleeps up to six, costs from £455 for seven nights.

Getting there Norwegian airlines flies to Oslo from £40 return; it’s then a two-hour drive south.

Mljet, Croatia

Beach Stara Baska - island Krk, Croatia

Odysseus was allegedly held captive here, for seven years, by the nymph Calypso, but it can’t really have been all that bad. One of Croatia’s southernmost islands, it’s best known for exceptional local produce and wild beauty. There are great hiking opportunities around the two saltwater lakes in Mljet national park and it is possible to hire a sailing boat to reach the 12th-century Benedictine monastery on Melita Island. Scramble around the island’s shady trails and swim in some of the clearest water in the Adriatic at Blace Bay. Choose a bottle of local red for your sundowner – Dingac and Postup are produced on the island – and try the plates of raw mussels drizzled with lemon juice, a local speciality.

Stay There’s only one hotel and it’s right on the coast – the three-star Odisej Mljet, with doubles from £33 B&B.

Getting there It’s a 90-minute ferry from Dubrovnik to the bay of Sobra on Mljet on Jadrolinjia lines.

Aegina, Greece

The hillside village of Vagia on Aegina, Greece

Come for the seafood, stay for the peace. Aegina, only one hour by ferry from Athens, is a great base during a summer weekend break. The heat in the city can be harsh; escape the crowds to spend evenings snorkelling the coast and devouring cuttlefish in wine sauce at Nontas – a beachside taverna close enough to the water to see your dinner being caught by local fishermen. As for hiking, the island’s trails lead you past ruined churches, meadows of wildflowers, and craggy hillsides.

Stay Clean, bright, and sun-drenched rooms at the Marini Luxury Apartments come with balconies and panoramic views over the sea, doubles from £66.

Getting there Metro from Athens centre to Piraeus port, an hour’s hydrofoil journey (£7) to Aegina.

Fehmarn, Germany

Dike Path, Sulsdorfer Wiek with Sun, Summer, Orth, Baltic Island of Fehmarn, Germany

Fehmarn, an island just off Germany’s Baltic coastline, catches the rays in spades while adventure junkies can kitesurf the days away (it plays host to various kite surfing competitions every year). Those after a more gentle ramble should pack their boots for Fehmarn’s portion of the Via Scandinavia: a walking route from Lübeck that runs through Germany and Poland, and on to Norway. Fehmarn’s scenery makes it unique among Germany’s Baltic islands. Badwelt Fehmare is a spa complex on the island and many visitors make the journey to enjoy seaweed wraps (taken from the shore) and natural saltwater scrubs.

Stay Close to the old town and a sandy beach, Apartments mit Flair has accommodation from £42 a night.

Getting there From Hamburg it’s a 90-minute drive to Burg, the historical capital of Fehmarn.

Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, Ireland

Inisheer (Inis Oirr), Aran Islands, Ireland.

This is an island of ancient language and mythology where the white beaches stretch out into the Atlantic. The smallest island in the Aran archipelago, Inis Oírr (pronounced Inisheer) only got permanent electricity in 1997. The Inis Oírr trail threads through fields carpeted with wildflowers; gentian, cranesbill and ladies mantle dust your ankles as you pace around the island under the shadow of O’Brien’s ruined 14th-century castle. Recuperate at Ostan Inis Oírr with a pint of Guinness and live music, which gets visitors up for a dance.

Stay South Aran House, with doubles from £60 B&B, is a guesthouse with free Wi-Fi, four en suite rooms and underfloor heating. The attached cooking school suggests that guests are in for a treat at breakfast.

Getting there Ferry from Ros a’Mhil costs £19, adult return, with Aran Island Ferries.

Belle-Île en Mer, Brittany, France

The port of Le Palais on Belle-Île-en-Mer.

An island that lives up to its name, its dramatic coastline and green interior inspired 19th-century authors and artists, most famously Flaubert and Monet. Now it draws holidaymakers in their droves in August, but outside of this short peak season its 60 beaches are gloriously crowd-free; and even in August your fellow tourists are unlikely to be Brits, who prefer chichi Île de Ré further south over its wilder Atlantic cousin. While Belle-Île has a handful of low-key attractions, including Sarah Bernhardt’s house, now a museum, and the lighthouse at Bangor, the main draw is the natural environment. In August beach lovers and walkers are joined on the island by opera buffs who come for the popular classical music festival Lyrique en Mer. Read more on the island in our Brittany article.

Stay Hotel Le Clos Fleuri has doubles from £53.

Getting there Ferries leave from Qubieron, 14km away.

Cíes islands, Galicia, Spain

Rodas beach on Las Islas Cíes

Despite this paper naming Rodas beach on Las Islas Cíes one of the best beaches in the world, these islands remain an off-the-beaten-track gem, thanks to a strict limit of 2,200 tourists a day. Their nickname – the Maldives or Seychelles of Spain – gives a clear indication of what to expect: gorgeous white beaches, turquoise waters … in other words, your average untouched paradise. The three islands (Monteagudo, San Martiño and Faro) opposite the town of Vigo on the Galician coast form part of the Islas Atlánticas national park. This means its wildlife, including colonies of marine birds and rich marine life – which can be explored by scuba divers (with a permit) – is protected.

Stay The only accommodation is a campsite – Camping de las Islas Cíes – with 800 places on Faro, which opens in Easter week, and on subsequent weekends until June, and then regularly between June and September. From £5 adults, £4 kids; £50 to hire a double tent.

Getting there A ferry service from the harbours of Vigo, Cangas and Baiona starts in Easter week and runs weekends and then everyday between the beginning of June and the end of September.

Hiiumaa, Estonia

Tahkuna Lighthouse on Hiiumaa.

The smell of nature hangs heavy on Hiiumaa: from white sand beaches slightly damp after a rainfall, and seaweed sweetly fermenting at one end of the beach. The second largest island in Estonia, this is the place to come if you have a book to write or pictures to paint. There’s not much to do other than tramp along the coastal paths and admire centuries-old Baltic-style lighthouses. For history buffs, there’s an old Soviet bunker to explore, but mostly people come here to feel the sand between their toes and clear their heads. Thanks to the island’s microclimate, Hiiumaa is a lot warmer than Estonia’s mainland, which makes exploring the town of Kardia’s wooden houses and relaxing in Roograhu harbour’s floating sauna even more appealing.

Stay Kassari Puhkekeskus, doubles from £50, has bicycles to rent and a large sauna.

Getting there It’s a 35-minute flight from Tallinn or half-hour ferry ride from Rohuküla, details for both at hiiumaa.ee

Samothrace, Greece

DDR639 Doric Hieron temple, Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Oros Fengari (Mount Moon), Samothrace island. Northern Aegean Sea, Greece

The drums beat late into the night and oil torches flare at one of Samothrace’s many beach parties. Eyes closed, the smell of bonfires and tannic red wine transport you back to when life was dictated by the Temple of the Winged Nike, now a crumbling ruin. Its many repeat visitors love the unaffected nature of this north Aegean island. As well as a solid collection of hiking paths, a bucolic waterfall trail, and sweeping deserted beaches, the island’s hot springs and hillside thermal pools only add to the sense of otherworldliness.

Stay The Archondissa Boutique Beach Aparthotel is secluded and just 20 metres from the beach. Each room has a sizeable balcony and terrace, studios from £40.

Getting there A Saos ferry from Alexandroupoli (on the mainland) takes three hours. Thessaloniki is six hours including drive and ferry.

Margaret Island, Budapest, Hungary

Margaret Island in Budapest Hungary

Margaret Island, in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest, spends winter shrouded in mist; come summer the island is an oasis in the midst the city. Encircled by a 5km asphalt running track and jetties from which to launch small boats (and bodies – some of the swimmers here are hardy folk), the illusion of an island holiday is enhanced by two thermal spa complexes. Both cost less than £10 for the day, and, after you’ve soaked, take a romantic walk around the island to visit the ruins of the 13th-century nunnery. At sunset grab an ice-cream and sit down to watch the fountains dance in time to the music.

Stay The Danubias Grand Hotel Margritsziget has doubles from £68.

Getting there The island is a five-minute walk across the bridge from Budapest’s district IV.