Norway-it really is powered by nature

The Visit Norway slogan is “Powered by Nature”, and it’s both literally true (98% of Norway’s electricity comes from hydropower), and figuratively true, and as we discovered past Sunday, when we participated in Friluftslivets Uke (Outdoor week) by going to a festival at Sognsvann, a beautiful lake just a few km outside Oslo at the end of one of the T-bane lines. The purpose of this week is to get Norwegians out enjoying the outdoors, as mentioned on their website (and poorly translated by Google):

Put the tent in the garden, pull the duvet out on the balcony, hit the camp in a forest hole, by a water or overnight on a mountain top.

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Outdoor week kicks off with this festival at a beautiful lake where 30 various outdoor organizations set up booths and events. It was an absolutely gorgeous day with temperatures in the mid 60’s. Here are a few of the things we did:

Building sandcastles
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Roasting pølse over an open fire. Norwegians have these amazing telescoping roasting sticks that are the pinnacle of campfire technology. It’s also traditional to eat your pulse on a lompen, a potato tortilla that you wrap around the hot dog.

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Roasting dough on a stick
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Canoeing around the lake. Maddie wasn’t a fan.
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Ada loved it.
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Checking out some pretty amazing Norwegian rides:

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The entire festival was filled with free, fun adventures for kids and adults. There was even a super cute cross country ski course for toddlers that I somehow forgot to photograph.

We did decide to join the DNT (the Norwegian Trekking Association) and in a week or so, we will get a key in the mail that will unlock the hundreds of trekking cabins (hyetta) all across Norway. The cabins operate on the honor system—you’re welcome to go into any cabin to rest or warm up, but are asked to pay if you make a fire or stay overnight, and you are expected to leave the cabin even better than you found it before.

Everyone says that Norway is expensive (this is definitely true), but they also say that the best things, the gorgeous hikes and outdoor adventures. are free, and now I see that the country teaches this lesson to even the youngest children.

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