A couple of years ago, I was invited to Norway to attend A Christmas Concert in Norway and also the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony (and Concert) in Oslo.
What an opportunity, eh?
Yes, the Concert at Vang Church in Hamar was lovely. The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony humbling (it was the year that Liu Xiaobo won but was held in China and couldn’t attend) and the Concert was fabulous (despite a very odd performance by Barry Manilow).
But Norway. Oh, Norway.
Truth be told, I never had a desire to visit the country. For no particular reason, it just wasn’t on my radar.
That might be why I am now so smitten with it, because it took me by surprise. Yes, even though my visit was in the dead of winter. Likely because it was the dead of winter.
I distinctly remember leaving the airport in Oslo and driving through a magical winterland, where the trees were not just covered in snow – they were covered in sparkly ice. And as simple as that might sound, my first glimpse of these ice-ladened branches ranks up there with my first view of the Taj Mahal and Tiger’s Nest. All so breath-taking that these first glimpses nearly moved me to tears.
The rest of this short trip was filled with beautiful visuals, including the Vang Church in Hamar (where the Christmas concert was held).
We don’t get much snow here in Seattle. And winter usually brings gray skies with only the rare glimpse of blue sky and sunshine. I therefore could appreciate this December day where the blanket of snow was well lit despite how short the day was (sunrise was around 9:40 a.m. and sunset at 2:40 p.m.!).
This looks more like a tree in full bloom with white flowers but it is, indeed, an ice-covered tree. Imagine the entire landscape looking like this.
I think about returning to Norway but it might have to be in winter again because I have such a strong desire to replicate this experience (never a good thing because I’m sure to be disappointed). None-the-less, I know I’ll get there because I think the Aurora Borealis is in my future…