Gjelder Hele Svalbard: Vacation at the top of the world

This polar bear sets the tone for all visitors, greeting them at the airport’s baggage claim.

Darin Lietz Seattle, Wash. “Where in the world is Svalbard?” Unless I’m addressing a native Scandinavian, that’s the reaction I tend to get upon mentioning this remote Arctic archipelago. After explaining where it is, and the fact that I’ve actually visited the place, the next invariable question is, “Why would you want to go there?” That’s a reasonable ...

Bomb scare in Solvang, Calif.

Photo: Santa Barbara Sheriff This decades-old shell was found in a dumpster in the Danish capital of America.

Discarded WWII-era artillery shell leads to mandatory evacuation Larrie Wanberg Features Editor It’s an eerie feeling when you pick up the motel phone and a recorded message from the sheriff’s office declares an immediate mandatory evacuation of the central downtown section of Solvang, CA. The call was a reverse 911 alert to clear a five-block long by three-block wide ...

From ancient spring ritual to crime story mania

Photo: Janne Karaste / Wikimedia Commons Back when Easter was Eostre, bonfires were a common ritual marking the return of the sun in spring.

Celebrating the beginning of spring may be among the oldest holidays in human culture Judith Gabriel Vinje Los Angeles Easter is known as Påske in Norway. The Easter Bunny is Påskeharen. Easter Eve is Påskeaften. Daffodils that bloom during the spring are known as Påskeliljer, one of the main symbols for Easter in Norway. Publishers churn out series of ...

A brief history of the Kvikk Lunsj phenomenon

Photo: Photo: Heidi Håvan Grosh Kvikk Lunsj and oranges are essentials for an Easter holiday in Norway

Heidi Håvan Grosch For many of us our Easter tradition includes sitting down to a big Easter dinner with the extended family. Perhaps there is an Easter egg hunt, deviled eggs or ham are served, and as per usual with such gatherings, you probably eat too much. Norwegians’ traditional family Easter gathering is a bit different. ...

Choose your Easter Thriller!

redbreast

A guide to Norwegian crime and mystery authors to help you celebrate properly Christine Foster Meloni Washington, D.C. Norwegians will be on holiday from Holy Thursday through Easter Monday and almost everyone will be reading a crime novel. If you would like to adopt this tradition, here are some suggestions for your reading material. Thanks to the huge success ...

From the Hornet’s Nest to Custer’s Last Stand: The Immigrant Story of Norwegian Sergeant Olaus Hansen

Photo: courtesy of Ozzie Sollien Surprisingly, there are no known photographs of Olaus Hansen. The illustration of him seen on the cover of Sollien’s book was drawn by Norwegian artist Kjell Strømsmoen.

Torbjørn Greipsland Askim, Norway Thanks to Asbjørn “Ozzie” Sollien’s book “From the Hornet’s Nest to Custer’s Last Stand,” yet another Norwegian immigrant has emerged as a Civil War champion. Olaus Hansen from Northeg (Nord Eik) in Nannestad fought in one of the deadliest Civil War campaigns, the Battle of Shiloh, where more than 24,000 men perished. Fourteen ...

A walking tour of historic Trondheim

Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life / Visitnorway.com The Nidaros cathedral, highlight of the city. For a great view of the rest of the city, climb the narrow, steep stairs up to the tower.

Norway’s first capitol has much to offer in a small town center, from gothic cathedral to bars and boutiques David Nikel Trondheim, Norway Norway’s former viking capitol is often ignored by tourists in favor of the fjords of Vestlandet and the bright lights of the capitol. However, a simple stroll around the compact city centre reveals a city rich ...

Bird feeder “reality show” a hit for NRK

Photo courtesy of NRK.no Birds hang out at this bird feeder modeled after a hip Oslo cafe.

Slow TV brings a bird feeder designed as a coffee shop to three month live stream Denise Leland Norwegian American Weekly With reality shows being all the rage these days, it’s no surprise that the TV spotlight is getting increasingly bizarre and unconventional. From the Kardashians to Duck Dynasty, the focus of these shows is commonly put on ...

Smartphones add a new twist to travel

Photo: Phil Campbell / Flickr Does it seem like people are on their phones all the time? Smartphones are an invaluable resource for travelers, letting tourists research hotels, restaurants, and attractions.

An increasing number of foreign tourists are planning their entire trips, all the way down to their menu choices, using smartphone apps that access online reviews Larrie Wanberg Features Editor Sipping coffee at a sidewalk café at Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery and Coffee Shop in Solvang, California is an ideal place to observe tourists that line the streets ...

Theodora Cormontan, forgotten composer

Photo: courtesy of Nancy Clasen, great-great-granddaughter of Theodora

A Minnesota couple discovered this little-known Norwegian composer in a box of discarded music, but they’re bringing her works to life Roy Jorgensen Hopewell Junction, N.Y. In May of 2011 Bonnie Jorgensen, a professional pianist, ran into some friends in a grocery store in St. Peter, Minnesota. They offered Bonnie some boxes of music that had been in ...