When Martin Nolan of The Travel Ramble suggested that I go skiing in Norway, my first thought was "I didn't realize that Norway was even considered a skiing destination!" I know there's a lot of snow there, but I don't think about slopes when I think of Norway. I actually hardly think about slopes at all since I'm quite terrible at skiing. I grew up in Thailand for god's sake! I can barely ice-skate. Watching me navigate through ice and snow is like watching a pile of baby rabbits getting shot. Seriously. Martin mentioned that Norway is probably the best place for a novice skier to learn. Enticed, I invited him to write a guest post about skiing in Norway so that I can definitely consider it when I'm thinking about taking a ski trip there.
Also, some good news... starting in July 2014, budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle will be flying non-stop New York to Oslo and launching non-stop US-Europe routes from places like Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale to destinations such as Gatwick (London), Copenhagen & Stockholm, making flights to Europe a lot more affordable!
For the full article with all the new Norwegian Air Shuttle US-Europe direct routes, click here: http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/norwegian-air-takes-transatlantic-market-budget-flights-8C11409515
Without further ado, here's Martin's guest post:
5 Reasons to Ski in Norway
by Martin Nolan
If you had to name a seriously chilled race of people; who would they be? The Jamaicans spring to mind, actually almost every country in the Caribbean would spring to mind. After that maybe the Dutch would get a mention, as long as you don’t impose on anyone’s human rights, they will pretty let you get on with whatever. But, what if I was to say Norwegians? You know the ancestors of marauding Vikings. What if I was to go one step further and say; that skiing in Norway is the most chilled you will ever be while skiing. Well, as chilled as you can be when you are hurtling down a mountain at high speeds anyway.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking; “Skiing? Norway?” And truth be told, I didn’t know ski resorts existed there either. To be honest, most people in Europe don’t know ski resorts exist outside the Alps. But soon I learned, after my friend booked us on a trip to Norway with Crystal Ski, that they do exist.
So in the interest of sharing; here are five reasons that skiing in Norway is seriously chilled.
1. People Don’t Judge You- Unless you’re super confident (Americans need not worry about this point), then you will always worry about what people think of you. How you will look while carving down the slopes. Whether people will laugh, as you eat a face full of powder. Or even worse, comment on that nineteen eighties snowsuit that you just can’t let go of. Well there’s no need to worry in Norway. Any country where cross country skiing (usually seen as the cowards way out) is one of their favourite sports, will never judge anyone.
2. No Ski Lift Queues- Lift queues can make or break any ski holiday. So much so, that the amount of time that people spend researching how to avoid them is unbelievable. Norway has the beauty of not being well known. I’m sure they aren’t happy with it, but it’s great for the ones who visit.No more getting all excited as you get ready, only to be stuck in a queue for half an hour listening to somebody talk about how their masseuse Riccardo is a genius.
3. Empty Slopes- Do you know what else is as frustrating as lift queues? Crowded, bloated runs; that are ready to burst with people. Any true skier wants fresh powder. They want to leave their mark on the mountain. At the bottom of the run, look back up the mountain to see the trail they have left. That just doesn’t happen with the more popular resorts. Instead you are left frustrated at someone ruining the piece of art that is you just carved. Thank god, Norway isn’t popular yet.
4. Fresh Air Living- The Norwegians have their very own word for this; Friluftsliv. Basically it is a Scandinavian way of life, which is all about being outdoors. It is all about getting back to nature and exploring all the scenery that’s around.All the time getting fresh air. The side effect with this lifestyle is; you become a chilled Zen like earth mother. Thankfully, it is pretty cold skiing in Norway. Otherwise I’m sure you would be breaking out the tie dye.
5. The People- As generic as it may sound; people’s attitudes rub off on you. Scandinavians are chilled. That may be why such a small area produces such good sportsman. They simply don’t get flustered. They just get on with things in a slow methodical way. And it will become the way that you go about your skiing.
So there are five reasons to ski in Norway. If you combine that with their passion for all things ski and ski related, then you’ve got a ski purists Mecca. Or should that be Valhalla considering they are Nordic. Anyway, you get the point.
Ski season in Norway is typically open in November. The snow often remains light, powdery and deep until April.
Martin Nolan is a lover of all things travel and travel related. Spending his summers with a backpack on his shoulders; and his winters with skis on his feet. You can read his anecdotes, tips and rants at his travel blog, The Travel Ramble.