Nancy from Norway
Everyone knows that if you want to look at a shining example of a sustainable country, you’d need look no further than spectacular Norway.
It’s pioneering attitude towards sustainability and it’s fascinating geographical features such as mountains, Fjords, glaciers, rivers and lakes, waterfalls and national parks make Norway any geographers dream.
Yet, did you know that there is a whole other lesson to learn from Norway? Adventure is in Norwegian people’s DNA, and our students can learn a lot from their positive attitude and relationship with the nature that surrounds them.
A school trip to Norway gives students a taste of Norwegian life and helps instil the resilience and self-confidence into our pupils, which is often found in Norwegian locals.
What can students take from a trip to Norway? To find out, we asked our friend and colleague Norwegian Nancy.
Nancy grew up in Norway. Her active and adventurous childhood gave her a passion for exploring new places and she travelled the world before finding her way onto our team of travel specialists, here in the UK. She is about to embark on a new adventure, back home in Norway, but before she sadly left us, we had to ask her a few questions and share with you her wisdom;
Q: What was it like growing up in Norway?
A: I grew up in a town on the southeast coast with around 20,000 inhabitants and it was a great place to live. As most Norwegian children, I was taught that bad weather does not exists, only bad clothing, so I spent most of my childhood days playing outside in all kinds of weather with the kids in my street. We used to gather all the children from the neighbourhood and play a lot of “Kick the Can” (similar to hide and seek) and Danish longball. In the summers I would cycle to the beach or a lake with friends to swim and soak up the sun (I luckily come from the sunniest place in all of Norway). When I got a little older, me and my friends would take a dinghy on the sea and find an island. There we would fish and swim and sleep over in a tent or under the open sky.
Q: What values do you think life in Norway taught you?
A: The main values growing up in Norway taught me are; independence, kindness, modesty and a great sense of adventure. Us Norwegians are known for our love to travel. We have a Norwegian saying, “Ut på tur, aldri sur!” which means when travelling, you will never be sour/ moody. Hence, we have the attitude that when we travel, we will be in a great mood! We also come from a long line of explorers/adventures from the Vikings to Fridtjof Nansen , Roald Amundsen and Thor Heyerdahl and it is a heritage we are really proud of and our appetite for seeing the world has not slowed down.
Q: What makes a school trip to Norway different?
A: It’s an active geography trip where the students will stay in typical Norwegian accommodation/cabins, on the picturesque Hardangerfjorden. They will get to experience Norwegian nature and hospitality at its best! It is focused on making the student take responsibility for their own accommodation, learning about geography and doing fun group activities and hikes.
Q: What excursion or activity do you most recommend?
A: It definitely has to be the Bondhus Valley Hike and Canoeing on the fjord.
Q: Can you make a school trip to Norway geography focused?
A: What we offer is an active geography trip.The students will live right by the water’s edge in Hardangerfjorden, the second longest fjord in Norway. They will see the effect of glaciers everywhere they look; fjords, hanging valleys and waterfalls. Depending on their itinerary, schools can see a glacier at the Folgefonna National Park. They can also go to the Norwegian Nature Centre that is a hub of interactive information about our Earths birth, development and climate.
Q: How can you make a trip to Norway affordable?
A: Start your planning early so that when the flights gets released around 10 months prior to departure you will already have finished your launch, know how many students you will bring and have the deposits collected. That way we can buy your flight tickets as soon as they get released for sale, giving you and your students the best chance of getting the best priced tickets. Even though Norway has a reputation as one of the most expensive countries in the world, the cost of our school trip is very good value for money.
Q: When is the best time of year to travel?
A: We offer trips to Norway around April and October and no matter the time of year you go you are abound to fall in love with Norway!
Q: What do schools enjoy most about their Norway trips?
A: The spectacular scenery, the hospitality and the fun and challenging activities at Hardangertun.
Q: What is the accommodation like?
A: In Hardangerfjorden you will be staying in high quality wooden cabins, 4 students per cabin. The cabins have all the amenities of a normal home and the students will be in charge of keeping it clean and tidy, and will take ownership of making their own breakfast (supplies will be given). One night can be spent in Bergen’s oldest hotel right across Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and one of Norway’s most iconic landmarks.
Q: Is there a food or drink everyone should try when visiting Norway?
A: Brown cheese! Brown cheese, or brunost as we write it in Norway is a tan-coloured whey cheese with an almost caramel flavour.
Q: Top tip for planning your Norway trip?
A: Bring warm clothes and good footwear. In Norway we have the saying “Bad weather does not exist, only bad clothing” and it is very true. As long as you are properly dressed (think layers of wool or thermals) you can be outside in any weather condition and still be comfortable and enjoying the great outdoors. Since we offer quite an active geography trip, I would recommend that the students are made aware that it will be some physical activities.