Saturday, 11 July 2015

Norway – things we didn’t know!

The grandeur and beauty of the Norway’s Fjords and the wilderness that surrounds them is sometimes bewildering. The exquisitely presented buildings, both large and small, are just a joy. However, leaving aside the visual, Norway can be presented by some fascinating hard facts:


At 125,000 square miles Norway is two and a half times larger than England, but with a population of only 4.5 million that means just 30 people to each square mile. England has 1000 / square mile!


From its southern end Norway expends northwards for 1,100 miles – that’s the same distance between London to Gibraltar. Its frontier with Sweden is a 1000 miles long.


Norway’s coastline is officially 1,656 miles long but if the inlets and Fjords are taken into account it increases by 10 times – equivalent to two thirds of the earth’s circumference.


Only 3% of the country’s land is cultivated, 23% is forest and the rest is high pasture or uninhabitable mountain. Thanks to the gulf stream Norway enjoys temperate weather which allows them to produce crops on land (3%) which, in other countries of the same latitude, is perpetually frozen.


The western coastline of the country is populated by about 150,000 islands and islets which, in total area, only equal the size of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire together.


Fjords are a result of massive glacial movement during the Ice Age. Inland the ice thickness was so great that it gouged out depths below sea level as much as the mountains above but at the coastal regions, where the ice was much less thick and the pressure much less, it didn’t have the same force. As a result the mouths of some fjords can be as shallow as 100 feet. Sognefjord is the most expensive fjord at 115 miles long, 3700 feet deep and mountains at the head reaching 6000 feet


The most amazing “fact” however might be that, despite having to live in darkness for most of the year and then perpetual daylight for about two and half months in the summer, the Norwegian people remain perfectly sane and, indeed, are delightfully friendly and helpful. They keep their beautiful country in superb condition.

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