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Summary: Norway can be found in northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden, and is mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys, some small, scattered plains, and a coastline deeply indented by fjords with arctic tundra in the north. With Viking raids slowing after 994, Norway merged with Denmark in 1397, swung over to Sweden in 1814, and was finally independent in 1905, and has since developed a free market economy with wide capitalism.

Capital: Oslo
Time Zone: DST +0200 UTC
Population: 4,574,560
Languages: Norwegian, English
Power: 230 V, 50 Hz
Currency: Norwegian Krone - Currently 1 NOK = 0.1824 USD $
Climate: Norway is temperate along the coast, modified by the North Atlantic Current, but has a colder interior with increased precipitation and colder summers. It is rainy practically year-round on the west coast.

Oslo: Oslo is the capital and proud home to numerous excellent museums, theater companies, music groups and restaurants, complimenting the beauty of the fjords themselves. Here, you can see Slottet, the Royal Palace, the University of Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, the mysterious Akershus Castle dating from the middle ages, and the Viking Ship Museum Vikingskiphuset.

Bergen: Called the gateway to the fjords, you can find some scenery that includes 1000 meter cliffs over passages only 100 meters wide, glaciers, and waterfalls. You can also see Mariakirken, or Saint Mary's Church which dates from the 12th century, and the Fantoft Stave Church and its ancient cross that dates from the year 1000.

Sun Tan: Even if you find it too cold, you can arrange for a tour guide in the northern Svalbard penninsula to the North Cape Plateau to find seals and polar bears getting some sun on the ice.

Prohibition: In some villages, there is no alcohol to be found - it is just not part of the culture.

Food: The cuisine in Norway is heavily influenced by its fishing: cod, salmon and shrimp are mainstays, as are a sweet goat cheese called geitost and pickled herring.

Phrases: Hello: Hei, thank you: Takk, excuse me: Unnskyld.

Tipping: Tipping waiters is not necessary, but small tips of change or about 5 percent are common. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped and bellhops expect 5-10 Krone.

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