Norwegians love outdoor life associated with voluntary physical activity or use of leisure time outdoors in nature. With leisure means the air outside, and you should not be confused with English free or clean air, or even free of contamination. However, that’s what you get and it’s of course an important part of the recreational effect of a family trip out and about – even in winter times! Wouldn’t you do the same if you had the inviting scenery we had last weekend:
Panorama photo from the Oslo Fjord just 20 minutes out of town at Sandvika in Bærum.
Treasuring the natural outdoors:
If you think of it: We humans lived outdoors long before we lived indoors, and we had to million years as hunters and gatherers. So we’ve developed a body and a mind that is predisposed to a life in and of nature. The last few thousand years however, we have developed a culture and a civilization that somehow looks like we can put ourselves above the rest of nature. To find peace and a new balance we need to interact with the old natural elements. My respectful contention is that these environments are vital to our health and peace of mind (click all pics to bigify & enjoy):
Treasuring The ‘freedom to roam’:
Norwegians really enjoy the right to access and passage through uncultivated land in the countryside. The right is an old consuetudinary law called the “Allemannsrett” (lit. all men’s right), that was codified in 1957 with the implementation of the Outdoor Recreation Act. It’s based on respect for the countryside, and all visitors are expected to show consideration for farmers and landowners, as well as other users and the environment:
Enjoying Outdoor’s natural playground with waffles & hot chocolate.
Ancient traces provide evidence of the freedom to roam in many European countries, suggesting such a freedom was once a common norm. This “right to roam” has survived in perhaps its purest form here in Scandinavia and a possible explanation as to why the right has survived mainly in these four countries is that feudalism and serfdom were not established here. In Norway the right has been won through practice over hundreds of years and it is not known when it changed from mere ‘common practice’ to become a commonly recognised right. Another factor is the survival of large areas of unenclosed forest and to ensure the ability to operate outdoor recreation, we determinately have set aside green spaces, parks, islands and outlying areas in fairly close proximity to urban areas, especially around the capital of Oslo. If you recall my saying: There is no such as bad weather, only bad clothes; winter, snow and ice is of course no obstacle, but rather takes the recreational effect to a new dimension:
Outdoor Recreation in Winter Wonderland:
I shot a lot more photos with my Nokia N8 mobile phone on this hike by the Oslo Fjord – eager to share with my readers as always. Trying to capture the spirit and atmosphere and bring some of this fresh, crisp and free air home to you:
Now you have seen us exploring our natural environment. How do you interact with your natural environment? Maybe you don’t have snow or skiing, but every place has its own unique beauty. Share with us in the comments.