Norwegian Getaways -
In the big scheme of things, most everyone enjoys getting away from the hectic hustle of the city life albeit for a short time just to decompress. Norwegians have made this a nationally ingrained lifestyle choice.
In Norway, there are over 450,000 cabins or "hytte(r)". Over half of all Norwegians have access to a cabin getaway, whether that be as a family member, a friend or owning one themselves. In decades past, these cabins have been one or two room structures with no electricity and certainly not Wi-Fi. However, such cabins are becoming a thing of the past and they are turning into nothing short of a second home with multiple rooms all while enjoying a simple way of life.
Cabins are so popular in Norway they have become cherished family possessions and can stay in families for generations. A place for solitude and tranquility all while enjoying their preferred location to do so whether it be on the coast, nestled high in the mountains or even on a lake. Norwegians are traditionally a people who revere privacy and love the coziness of living in nature. The idea of secluding one's self with unspoiled nature is almost sacred. Norwegians have a culture of loving outdoor activities regardless of the season. Most days at a cabin are spent outdoors regardless of the weather. Vacationing in nature is a national symbol of Norwegian pride in their own image of themselves, an ideology if you will. This brings with it a clean, simple yet comfortable and private lifestyle. Cabins tend to be more plain and comfortable rather than flamboyant regardless of how well off one might be in daily city life. It represents a respect for and love of nature to surround one's self with the peacefulness of nature, appreciating God's created environment for their enjoyment. And Norway has plenty of nature to enjoy. Cabins represent an opportunity to cross country ski, fish on a lake, hike in the hills, or day pack into the mountains and into forests. Or just sitting on an open deck at the cabin while soaking in the warmth of the sun.
It should be mentioned that outdoor activities noted above are not limited to just your own property. Norwegian laws provide for unrestricted free access to wander, even across someone else's property. It is not considered trespassing to cross someone's land to get to where you want to go. And any liability is not on the land owner but on you. You can not sue someone for getting hurt on their property. It is a given that you are allowed to roam while respecting the property you are crossing.
The photo above was taken high in the mountain pass south of Geiranger on Highway 63. The entire Geirangerfjord Valley is a World Heritage Site and is an extremely popular tourist destination, especially by cruise ships. You can see in the distance an alpine field with a clustering of cabins. These may be a family cluster of cabins or perhaps friends that wanted to be close with each other. This area is heavily snow covered for months during the winter season. It is not uncommon to be driving through the countryside or a mountain pass such as this and see a scattering of cabins throughout the landscape. These cabins have most likely been there for decades.