6 minutes reading time Norway
Norway is a Scandinavian country that some people don’t even think about. On the far end of Europe, Norway is the longest country in Europe. Beautiful landscapes and cobalt blue waters are not the only attractions.
Along the coastline, you will find one of the world’s most breathtaking routes. This route is not only known for its beautiful villages and fjords but also known for the obscure architecture. Local architects have come together to create art pieces all along this route.
The first stop is the Zinc Mine Museum by Peter Zumthor. This museum was designed to remember the zinc mines and the workers. He designed a cafe and a museum that is completely dedicated to the history of the place. The building is in Sauda, one of the very northern villages in Norway. The building is standing on stilts on a steep cliffside and the service building is standing against the side of a stone wall.
In the small village of Sand, the Hose Bridge by Rintala Eggertsson Architects was built for easier access to the woodland area. This bridge has mesh walls on the sides to make sure you do not tip over but still offering the complete scene as you cross the Suldalslagen river.
Looking out for the signs along the road you will see, Utsikten by Code Arkitektur. This is a viewing platform build in a triangular shape, so that you can have the most amazing views. There are these triangular-shaped skyward-pointing corners that enhance the views of a multitude of waterfalls.
On one of Norways’s most traveled routes lies the Aurlandsfjellet Tourist Route. Here Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen designed a platform called Stegastein Viewing Platform. This is a viewing platform overlooking Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord, and stretching 650-meters above. It is a wooden platform that reaches 30-meters out over the cliffs and a steep slope down.
Architect, Lars Berge was the designer of the concrete toilets you can find for visitors. A unique experience indeed.
There are roadside rest stops along the route. Two of the designs were done by Manthey Kula Architects and it is called, Roadside Rest-stop Akkarvikodden. One of these rest stops is built into the Lofotens’ dramatic scenery. Rusty finished outhouses where you can take your time. These buildings have sharp rises with big windows only at the top. So you can sit and look at your amazing surroundings without being peak on.
Staying in Lofoten, you will find the Lofoten Opera Hotel by Snøhetta. This structure is designed so that you can have a beautiful view from every side. You have mountain views and sea views from all locations. This building is designed for luxury and comfort. The design of the hotel was only done after the architects looked at the landscape’s limitations related to new construction, they also made sure that the functionality and technical aspects of access were not hindered. The ecology, and sustainability, was a very important part as well as the connection to outdoor areas and existing buildings. Final construction was completed in 2020 and their doors are open to visitors.
Next, you will find, Trollstigen Tourist Route Project by Reiulf Ramstad. Also known as the trolls ladder, a zig-zag-shaped footpath that leads you to a viewing platform that is hanging over a cliff. The platform offers beautiful mountains and fjords in Trollstigen county.
On the Vardo island, Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois build a pine structure along the coastline. It is said that suspected witches were burned by the stake in that area. Steilneset Memorial was built in memory of the ones who lost their lives. Innovative ideas have never been short at hand in Norway and these structures will surely show you that.
Another wondrous attraction is the fjords. Norway is home to the most breathtaking fjords in the world. A fjord is a long narrow inlet with high cliffs on both sides and it is mostly formed by glaciers. Here in Norway there are hundreds if not thousands of fjords, each unique and beautiful. True fjords are formed when glaciers cut that u-shape into the surrounding rock by ice segregation and abrasion. In the summer months, there are amazing hiking trails to visit that will take you on journeys long since discovered. In the winter months, you will find that the picture has completely changed as the snow forms layers over these fjords.
Geirangerfjord is by far the most astonishing fjord in the world. Geirangerfjord is known for its deep blue waters, the most amazing towering mountain peaks, and countless waterfalls. There is plenty to do in the surrounding areas and you have to go to Geiranger Skywalk, a platform 1500-meters above sea level. You will be taken back by the pure beauty of this fjord from that height.
Another amazing fjord in Norway is Sognefjord, the deepest and longest fjord, but with extremely dramatic views. The fjord is 100-miles long with arms exiting out at Aurlandsfjord and Naeroyfjord branching off to the north and south.
Some of these fjords are freshwater but some are seawater, most of the fjords are calm and can be used with ease. Other fjords have rough undercurrents and they are best to stay clear off. In every area, you will visit you will find a fjord and just ask one of the locals and they can explain to you the entire history.
Trysil is located on the border of Norway and Sweden. It is a village higher up that is known for its clear skies at night. From a cozy wooden cabin, you can gaze at the star-filled sky and at the right time experience the most amazing aurora borealis. The clear skies open up for clear reflections on the white snow. A different picture emerges in the summer months when the reflection of the stars and the lights fall on the waters around the village. There are abundant restaurants and eateries and the locals are extremely friendly and helpful.
Most Norwegians speak English especially the younger crowd so you will find almost no language barrier and even if there is, help is around the corner. There is so much history in Norway, that you can see by just looking at the numerous fjords littered along the coastline. An amazing place to visit all year round.
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