FIVE things we did not know about Norway:
- Norway is home to Hell….Yes, really! A little over one thousand Norwegians can say they live in Hell. The small village is within walking distance of Trondheim’s international airport and even has its own train station. The train station is in itself something of a tourist attraction.
- To buy wine or beer in Norway, the minimum age is 18 years. For spirits, it is 20 years. Beer can be found in most shops, but is only sold before 8 pm on weekdays or 6 pm on Saturdays.
- There are two versions of the Norwegian language. Or to be more precise, two written variants. Bokmål is used by the vast majority of the country, while Nynorsk is more popular in rural areas, particularly in the western fjord region.
- Norway supplies London with a Christmas tree every year…And it’s not just any tree. To say thank you for their help during World War II, the city of Oslo sends Britain a tree every Christmas. The tall Norwegian spruce from the Oslo forest is placed prominently in Trafalgar Square. The tree, decorated in a typical Norwegian style with white lights, provides a focal point for the carol-singing festivities that take place on the square throughout the Christmas period.
- Roald Dahl spoke Norwegian – he may have been born in Wales, but he was the son of Norwegian parents. He was best known for his children’s short stories, most notably The BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The last mentioned was inspired by Norway’s most famous chocolate brand, Freia. Dahl is said to have taken inspiration for the story from the Freia chocolate factory. However, the BBC recently claimed Dahl was inspired by Cadbury running tasting tests at Dahl’s boarding school in Derbyshire. Perhaps there’s truth in them both!