Røros: the old Norwegian mining village protected by UNESCO

Røros is an ancient mining village typical of Trøndelag, where you will find wooden houses and colors like nowhere else. Christmas and in winter everything turns white, lights and the atmosphere becomes even more characteristic. Founded in 1644 after the discovery of copper deposits in the area, Røros first became one of the most important mining towns in Norway and then a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010.

Although the houses of Røros date back to a period between 1700 and 1800, today everything is preserved with its original charm and this small destination has also obtained the certification of sustainable destination for the commitment that the inhabitants have dedicated to reducing the impact environmental tourism.

What to do and see in Røros
Thomas Rasmus Skaug – VisitNorway.com

As already mentioned, Røros is very colorful during the Christmas period and, if you can, come and enjoy the snow and the Christmas markets of this quaint Norwegian village.
Winter activities are certainly not lacking: from dog sledding to skiing, here the variety of winter sports is endless. In summer, however, the activities change but certainly not lacking.
Nature offers the possibility of hiking or biking, fishing and exploring the whole area.

The greatest pride of Røros is undoubtedly its church, the Bergstadens Ziir (pictured above) which means “mining town clock”. This church has a very long history, at least as long as that of the village to which it belongs: the very first church of Røros was built in 1651, a few years after the “birth” of the mining village. Destiny wanted that, being also built entirely of wood (like the rest of the village), after a few years it began to show some signs of subsidence. It was then that they began to think about a new project.

In 1779 the old church was demolished and work began on the new one, designed by Peter Leonard Neumann. The new church was built with slate stones and was completed and consecrated in 1784. In 1814 this and other Norwegian churches were used as a polling station for the Norwegian Constituent Assembly, during which the Norwegian Constitution was written. At the beginning of the 1900s electricity was added, and the subsequent restoration dates back to a hundred years later.

The surroundings
Thomas Rasmus Skaug – VisitNorway.com

When darkness settles around the pine logs it is nice to feel the warmth of the fire. It’s easy to be seduced by the dancing flames, but don’t forget to gaze at the stars from time to time.

The national parks of Femundsmarka and Forollhogna ensure all the space, nature and outdoor life that, if any, were missing during the rest of the year. Lots of reindeer live here and if you are looking for the typical Nordic atmosphere, this is the place.
Don’t forget the Jutulhogget, the largest canyon in all of northern Europe

Curiosity
Thomas Rasmus Skaug – VisitNorway.com

In winter, people often use a spark to navigate the village streets. It is nothing more than a perfect sled to admire every corner of the town and look for the perfect little shops and restaurants for your trip.

How to get to Røros

To get to Røros you can use all means of transport: From Trondheim you can take the bus, but if you prefer the train you have several options with or without changes along the way. Røros airport is a 50 ‘flight from Oslo Gardermoen airport. From Trondheim airport, on the other hand, you can reach many Norwegian cities and as many European capitals.

If you prefer to travel by car, Røros is 5 hours from Oslo and a couple of hours from Trondheim

Source: Visit Norway and roros.no

Il Natale in Norvegia

Natale a Tromsø ( foto copertina)

Il tempo buio che sperimentiamo può essere pesante per molti. Allora è bene che la città e la gente mettano luce e colore nel tempo che precede il Natale. Storgata ha il suo spettacolo di luci. La Cattedrale Artica è stata nuovamente illuminata di blu. Ad Alfheim è stato regalato un cuore rosso nella grande vetrata panoramica che dà sulla città, e in piazza si accendono le candele sull’albero di Natale. Tutto sommato, questo periodo oscuro e strano rende un po’ più facile superare tutto quanto...-

Il periodo che precede il Natale è un momento speciale in Norvegia. Le candele illuminano le case durante i freddi e bui mesi invernali. La maggior parte delle città norvegesi ha fiere e mercatini di Natale, concerti stagionali e spettacoli in questo momento. Il più grande mercatino di Natale di Oslo è quello del museo popolare Norsk Folkemuseum a Bygdøy. Bergen è famosa per la sua città di pan di zenzero che viene eretta ogni anno a Torgallmenningen. La città mineraria di Røros nella Norvegia orientale è un luogo davvero magico da visitare a dicembre e la Christmas House di Tregaarden a Drøbak è assolutamente da vedere come unico negozio di Natale permanente della Scandinavia.

Visit Bergen / Robin Strand – visitbergen.com

Il cibo tipico di Natale include ribbe (pancetta di maiale arrosto), pinnekjøtt (costole di agnello salate ed essiccate, a volte affumicate) e lutefisk (stoccafisso ammorbidito in acqua e liscivia prima della cottura).

Christmas in Norway

Christmas in Tromsø (cover photo)

The dark time we experience can be heavy for many. So it is good that the city and the people put light and color in the time before Christmas. Storgata has its own light show. The Arctic Cathedral was once again illuminated in blue. Alfheim was given a red heart in the large panoramic window overlooking the city, and in the square the candles are lit on the Christmas tree. All in all, this dark and strange time makes it a little easier to get through it all...-

The run-up to Christmas is a special time in Norway. Candles light up homes during the cold, dark winter months. Most Norwegian cities have Christmas fairs and markets, seasonal concerts and shows right now. Oslo’s largest Christmas market is that of the Norsk Folkemuseum in Bygdøy. Bergen is famous for its gingerbread town which is erected annually in Torgallmenningen. The mining town of Røros in eastern Norway is a truly magical place to visit in December, and the Tregaarden Christmas House in Drøbak is a must see as Scandinavia’s only permanent Christmas shop.

Visit Bergen / Robin Strand – visitbergen.com

Typical Christmas food includes ribbe (roasted pork belly), pinnekjøtt (salted and dried, sometimes smoked, lamb ribs) and lutefisk (stockfish softened in water and lye before cooking).

Alaska: the paradise of winter activities

Sunset on the Iditarod, Yukon River, Galena,
AlaskaPhoto: State of Alaska/Chris McLennan

Alaska is not only an unspoiled place full of natural beauty, but also an ideal place to practice winter sports, whatever your level. Winter here can offer much more than you can image.

Alaskans have not only made peace with winter but have begun to celebrate it, organizing festivals, dog sled races and much more.
Because winter in Alaska lasts much longer than summer and getting used to a “white version” of this extreme land is the best thing to do if you live here.


Aurora borealis

Aurora borealis near Galena, Alaska
Photo: State of Alaska/Chris McLennan

The Northern Lights typically occur a hundred kilometers above the earth’s surface and can have different colors: the most common is bright yellow but blue, purple and red patterns can also be seen.

When to see it

The Northern Lights are best seen during the winter but it can happen to spot some northern lights as early as August. The aurora is very active during the autumn and spring equinoxes, i.e. September / October and March / April with greater probability of seeing late at night. Keep in mind that many hotels in Alaska offer some kind of alarm clock dedicated to the northern lights to warn you when the lights are off (and to be able to see those outside better).

The best conditions

Ideal conditions for observing the Northern Lights require a clear and possibly moonless sky. Never forget that temperatures almost always drop below freezing, so if you go out to admire, photograph or watch the northern lights show, you need to cover up to stay warm.

How to increase the chances of seeing the aurora

The activity of the Northern Lights increases with that of sunspots. The most recent peak, known as the solar maximum, occurred in 2013.
The University of Alaska at Fairbanks has created a kind of auroras forecast with which you can check the arrival of any northern lights in the area.
If they are reliable we cannot tell you.
But you can check for yourself and let us know.

Where to see it

While it is possible to see Northern lights in several parts of the United States, there are optimal conditions that make some areas of Alaska better than others. The first factor that is almost necessary to admire the Northern Lights is the proximity to the North Pole. The further north you go, the more likely you are to admire this colorful spectacle. There are also some areas of Alaska with frequent low pressure systems and, consequently, of strong nocturnal cloud cover which makes it difficult to sight the aurora. Cities also produce artificial lights in the environment that can interfere with those of the Northern Lights. For this reason it is recommended to move to the suburbs to admire the lights and colors of the aurora more clearly.


Sledge dogs

Sled dog racing is the national sport in Alaska. People come here from all over the world to watch the most famous races:
The Iditarod is probably the most famous race in Alaska and one of the best known in the world. It runs from Anchorage to Nome.
The Yukonquest is Alaska’s other long-distance ride.
Among the medium-distance races there are the Kuskowim 300, the Copper Basin 300 and the Tustumena 200, as well as several sprint races that take place in conjunction with the winter festivals.
In summer, however, many kennels offer tours along beaten paths to allow visitors to get to know sled dogs firsthand and experience the thrill of sled dogs.

The Dog mushing is divided into three main categories:

Sprint mushing: sled dogs are trained to run as fast as possible from less than 3 km up to about 20 km. In this specialty, light sleds are used and, unlike long distances, it is not necessary to bring camping gear or other material to spend a lot of time around.

Long distance:in this case the dogs train to cover very long distances. And it must be said that these super-athletes show great endurance! The mushers organize the races in order to let their dogs run by allowing the same rest time in the same time as those spent in the race.
The running strategy must be well planned in the most important competitions. The middle class can usually be up to 300 miles (482km approx), while races like the Iditarod can go up to 1000 miles (1609km approx) and take up to 12 days of racing.

Recreational Mushing: if on the one hand there are those who practice this sport for glory and success, on the other there are also those who love to do it for pure fun or to pass the time. In Alaska, there are small kennels that have 2 to 20 dogs that take advantage of local trails maintained solely for mushing.
The Two Rivers community just outside Fairbanks has the highest concentration of dog teams in the world and other mushing hot spots that include Willow, north of Wasilla, and the Kenai Peninsula.

Another popular recreational activity for dog lovers in Alaska is skijoring, which involves skiing pulled by one or two dogs. There are many skijoring competitions during the winter, and recreational dog mushers often participate in both sports.

Winter sports

Skijoring, cross-country skiing pulled by dog, Fairbanks
© State of Alaska/Brian Adams

In Alaska, winter sports are a way of life. All winter sports lovers at any level can find the right environment here.


Skiing / snowboarding

Juneau’s Eaglecrest Ski Area and Girdwood’s Alyeska Resort are top resort and snowboard-based skiing recreational destinations. Locals find plenty of opportunities to ski on the Anchorage ski lifts in the Hilltop and Alpenglow ski area in the Arctic Valley and in Fairbanks at Mount Aurora / Skiland and Moose Mountain. Those who prefer the backcountry choose Thompson Pass near Valdez, Palmer’s Hatcher Pass, and Kenai Peninsula’s Turnagain Pass.

Cross country skiing

Cross-country skiing is accessible in many Alaskan communities, be it the beaten track or the mountain areas with no trails. Anchorage’s Tony Knowles Coastal Trail can be a good place to start as it has well-maintained and groomed trails, as well as Anchorage’s Russian Jack Springs Park and Hillside Trail System. Fairbanks cross-country skiers can enjoy Birch Hill Recreation Area and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Trail System. Let’s not forget the Eaglegrest ski area and the Hatcher Pass for example, all areas where you can rent cross-country equipment, if you are unable to bring it with you.

Eliski

In Alaska, you don’t need to be an expert skier or snowboarder to heli-ski. Sport consists of off-piste skiing, be it skiing or snowboarding. You can access pristine slopes by helicopter rather than by ski lift. The season runs from late winter to spring, from February to April which are the periods with the best snow conditions. Daytime hours are the best because they ensure greater safety for the helicopter flight. The most popular areas in Alaska to practice heli-skiing are the Prince William Sound Communities of Valdez and Cordova, Girdwood in South Central Alaska, and the Inside Passage Communities of Hines and Juneau.

Snowmobiling

In Alaska, snowmobiling is often the ideal way to explore the most remote wilderness. Here numerous tour operators offer both guided and non-guided treks to help tourists explore on board one of the most common means of transport in these parts.
Some great places to snowmobiling are Fairbanks, Denali National Park and Preserve, Talkeetna, Valdez, Haines, the Mat-Su Valley, Girdwood and the Kenai Peninsula.
A curiosity: if you hear about “snow machines” , don’t panic!
It’s just a vulgar way of calling snowmobiles around here ..


Winter festivals

Spectator dressed for the cold, dog mushing, Open North American Championship, Fairbanks.
© State of Alaska/Brian Adams

Alaska winter festivals are fun, whimsical, and surprising.
The Fur Rendezvouz Festival di Anchorage it is only the beginning of the activities that start at the end of February and go on until the departure ceremony of the Iditarod which takes place in the city center.
Softball with snowshoes, a snow sculpture competition, the traditional Inupiaq, a set of Inuit dialects and languages spoken by the Inupiaq people of Alaska, then throwing the blanket and many other interesting events that take place in these days in Anchorage
The most fearless can choose to dive into the icy waters of the Polar Bear Jump which takes place every year in Seward. If you are in Fairbanks you absolutely cannot miss the World Ice Art Championship, where you will find ice sculptures for a few weeks sculpted by artists from all over the world. If you arrive at the beginning of the festival you may be lucky enough to see the sculptures being created!
For all other events visit: TravelAlaska.com


Useful sites and numbers for your trip

State of Alaska
www.travelalaska.com/media
Telefono: (800) 327-9372

Alaska Dog Mushers Association
www.sleddog.org
Phone: (907) 457-MUSH

Explore Fairbanks
www.explorefairbanks.com
Phone: (800) 327-5774

Visit Anchorage
www.anchorage.net
Phone: (907) 276-4118

Source and photos : travelAlaska.com