Welcoming White Christmas

December 17, 2013 Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

 

One of the greatest perks about living in the very northern corner of Europe, in Norway, is snow. Mind you, snow and the below-freezing temperatures do come with their drawbacks too, but white Christmas is something I wouldn’t easily trade. As Christmas is just around the corner, I wanted to share with you how the Christmas period over here looks like. This year it has been anything and everything from the traditional Christmas markets to world’s largest gingerbread city. And simply enjoying the snow. We have plenty of it!

Christmas Markets Norwegian Way

Christmas markets start popping up towards the end of November. The best word I found to describe them is “cozy”. They might lack in the gluhwein infused merry spirit of German-style markets, but instead, they have kind of a calm, warm feeling about them.

My favourite one is the Christmas Market in Maihaugen, an outdoor museum in Lillehammer, the host of the 1994 Winter Olympics. The Market is spread around the grounds of the museum amongst and in the historical buildings. Handmade crafts, warm waffles and activities for children are the main attraction for the two-day market which is always busy.

Maihaugen Christmas Market in Norway I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

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Maihaugen Christmas Market in Norway I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

Maihaugen Christmas Market in Norway I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

World’s Largest Gingerbread City

Gingerbread City was born in Bergen, Norway’s 2nd largest city in 1991 and now it makes it appearance every Christmas time. The best bit for me is that this miniature Bergen is compiled of gingerbread houses, churches, boats and what not made by Bergen’s kindergartens and schools. In some of the creations you can even see the faces of the kids who made it in little flags.

This year the city exists in Bergen city centre, at the DNB bank hall from November 23ed to December 31st.

Pepperkakebyen in Bergen, Norway I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

Pepperkakebyen in Bergen, Norway I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

Pepperkakebyen in Bergen, Norway I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

Snow, Snow, Snow

Enough said. White Christmas requires bit of snow. And snow we have!

Snowy Frozen Norway I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

Snowy Frozen Norway I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

Snowy Frozen Norway I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

As it’s only one week to go to Christmas eve I don’t think it is too early to wish you a Merry, Happy Christmas, or as we say in Norway, God Jul!

Remember to tag your holiday photos in Instagram with #skimbacoholidays, below is my favourite moment from last year. Skiing with Santa Claus. What could beat that!? See more from Norwegian Christmas in Instagram at @todestinationunknown.

Skiing with Santa Claus via Instagram I @SatuVW I To Destination Unknown

 

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

Satu Vänskä-Westgarth decided to take a year off from her nine to five marketing executive life in Finland early 2009 to travel with her kayak, bike or skis and sometimes without. "One year" turned into a new lifestyle as a travel writer, accompanied with a not-so-British entrepreneur husband from Britain, who seems to spend more time outside the borders of his homeland than within, and their baby, who has already spent more months outside Norway than at their home in Norway, where the family resides at the moment. For more stories from the road, visit Satu’s blog Destination Unknown and connect with Satu on Twitter @SatuVW.

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