Europe,  Norway,  Travel Archives

Gateway to Norway: The Norwegian Summer

Summer, the most popular season to explore Norway’s coastline

Sorry for the long hiatus! As most of you know, I have moved to Norway for good now so I’ve been taking some time off from blogging to settle down. I have been here for almost a year and a half, and I’m currently attending a Norwegian language course because it’s part of the requirement to attain the permanent residence status. Life has been great but I’m still getting used to the changing of seasons because I come from a country that is either hot and humid, or raining all day.

It’s now Summer in Norway and for some weird reason, because we had a rather brutal Winter last year (until early April), Summer this year is incredibly hot – yes, coming from someone who has lived most of her life in a tropical country. I’ve never truly experienced the Norwegian Summer before because I was in America & Malaysia the past 2 summers. This year’s summer trip will be a little bit later than usual, so that means I get to experience the Norwegian Summer I’ve been missing out on. Everyone seems to be enjoying the weather, I do too, but most of the time I prefer to be indoor as it gets really hot at some point. I live near the coast and we have a few nice beaches around here, so when we are in the mood for some “bathing” as what they call it here, the nearest beach is less than a mile away.

The weather can reach up to 32°C on the hottest day and the water temperature can be around 20°C more or less, so it’s really nice to go for a quick dip after being under the heat. The day is longer too during the Summer – where the sun puts in 18 hour shifts, so everyone has almost the whole day to spend on the beach or to go there after work. A lot of time is spent in nice parks around freshly bloomed flowers or in a garden sipping on the ales. The lack of humidity also motivates a mini exodus from cities in the north that are typically colder, to the beaches in Oslo area district. While Oslo is the more popular spot for tourists, Hurum, a district on the southern part of Hurumhalvøya, makes for a fine summer playground as well.

This Scandinavian country is usually famous for its Winter but when Summer arrives, it opens another dimension into this country’s love affair with its natural surroundings, as every Norwegian from all over Norway bound into the outdoors the moment the snow begins its seasonal retirement. The national pastime during those long summer days in Norway is perhaps none other than the humble barbecue – marinated meats are on tilbud (sale) all over the place – that’s when you know the official grilling season has started!

In summer, all of Norway awakens where going to the beach is not the only thing they love to do. A lot of Norway’s exceptional landscape is unreachable during the winter due to high levels of snow and slippery slopes – the summer heat is like one fantastic work of art that carves a path into the heart of the country’s breathtaking fjords. Exploring nature is also Norway’s national pastime, even in the coldness and darkness of winter, being outdoor to do winter activities is nothing to them. As winter dawns, the hiking still continue during summer – days of hiking fjords, sipping Norwegian coffee, and setting foot on ancient Viking lands don’t have to end.

Hiking is not really my cup of tea, as I’m not that athletic so when I go hiking with Norwegians (who have legs of steel), it often frustrates me when I can’t catch up with them or when I appear to be the slowest (or the laziest). I’d rather walk around the city or bum on the beach with my earphones on. I don’t mind a casual stroll through the countryside but to hike for hours might be challenging for me. For people like me who are not into hiking but love to be surrounded by picturesque mountains and beautiful scenery, that is doable and possible without having to hike for hours. There are many places near Oslo or other cities that offer this kind of landscape, for example Semsvannet in Asker.

All I can say is the Norwegian Summer is very exciting, from the fresh mussels and shrimps you can indulge in to the breathtaking nature backdrops you can witness along the fjords. Norway is an intensely beautiful country where you can find all the space you need for the hike of your dreams and where during summer, the country turns into a big playground for nature enthusiasts.

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