Norwegians are -very- spoiled when it comes to nature and experiences in it. We seem to think it’s normal to have so much wildlife and so much space around us when it’s really such a novelty for most people around the world. All the “big” cities in Norway has their own “bymark”, a big area close to the city with lots of room for skiing and walking depending on the season. Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometers, and a very big area of sea that belongs to the country. We even have territory belonging to us on the south pole. More ice and snow, yay…
When foreigners talk about the nature in Norway it’s usually about the fjords and the polar bears. The fjords are amazing, but you actually get used to them and bored with them. I’ve traveled so much in Norway that I don’t even care to look, they are everywhere and usually means you have to drive around them to get where you want to go. Norway would be a much more effective country if they weren’t there.
The polar bears are not there though. They live on Svalbard, the group of islands that are a part of Norway but very far away to the north. So there is no polar bears in the streets, and if you want to be sure to see one you need to find a zoo outside Norway. There is no Zoo in Norway displaying polar bears, simply because they need a lot of room, and the laws for keeping wild animals are very strict. Norwegians view this as a good thing, and we are all used to having to look hard for the animals in our Zoos. Usually taking the feeding time tour is the best way to get to see them. If you want to visit one; go to Kristiansand Dyrepark (south) or Polarzoo (Bardu, north). There are also small zoos that are very good, like Amadeusparken (Stange, east), and nice aquariums in Bergen (south west) and Ålesund (north west). Our zoos have a very strange export business, since animals thrive so much in their large enclosures there is born so many camels that they have to be sold outside Norway.
When driving or taking a train ride trough Norway you might wonder where everyone lives. Well, there just are not that many people here. We are 4,8 million, and that is not much when you have so much space to live on. There is not that much space for farming, since we have so much hills and mountains, and we do have to import much of our farmed food. Fish is the big export business, together with oil and gas.
Our wildlife has to be tough to survive our winters. The animals you see often includes red squirrels, fox, elk, roe dear, badgers, and lots of birds. We also have some wolves, bears, beavers (we actually export badgers to other countries), polar fox, musk ox and deer.