An Ode to Scandinavia

A picture-perfect scene on an island off the coast of Bergen, Norway

If you’ve read my blog post titled ‘Finding My Place,’ then you will know that a trip to Scandinavia in 2019 changed my life. The recurring themes of the culture and scenery there (mountains, the ocean and a strong connection to nature, among many other things) inspired me to move across the country to the west coast of Canada, where I now have access to these elements in my daily life. I wanted to share a few of my favourite photos from each city I visited, in the hope that it may inspire you to visit this area of the world someday.

Copenhagen, Denmark

What I remember most about this city is its historic charm and the warmth of the people who live here. It was May and the smell of lilacs perfumed the streets, adding a dreamy quality to the wandering. I felt such a deep sense of peace while walking along the sea promenade and exploring the colourful harbour; there are also blankets folded neatly over the chairs at most of the outdoor eating areas- SO cozy! Parks, gardens, cafes, canals, food markets, castles and unique neighbourhoods- there was so much to admire and explore in Denmark’s capital city.

Taking in the charming beauty of Nyhavn waterfront
View from the top of The Round Tower
Touring the grounds of Rosenborg Castle
Kastellet Park
Vibrant canals

Stockholm, Sweden

The Old Town of Stockholm (its original city centre), called Gamla Stan, is something straight out of a fairytale. Cobbled streets, narrow alleys and colourful ancient buildings will make you feel as though you have stepped into the pages of a storybook. The history of the area is celebrated via an array of stunning museums and the city is strewn with waterfront walks and vistas that filled me with a beautiful, inspiring energy. Stockholm also has some of the most incredible subway station art that I have ever seen (worth looking up if you are interested)!

Storybook streets
Fragrant spring blossoms in downtown Stockholm
Views along a waterfront promenade
The narrow alleys of Gamla Stan

Oslo, Norway

Oslo is the largest city in Norway as well as its capital. It was unique, eclectic and has an incredible Viking Ship Museum* and Opera House which are not to be missed. While here, I was honoured to witness the Norwegian Constitution Day (observed on May 17th annually). The amount of national pride exuded by the residents was palpable and unforgettable; stunning, historic costumes were worn by many to celebrate the day and Norwegian flags were absolutely everywhere.

*The Viking Ship Museum is temporarily closed for rebuilding and will reopen as the Museum of the Viking Age in 2026

Colourful view over Oslo
The restored Oseberg Viking Ship
Added decoration in honour of the Norwegian Constitution Day
Spring Scandinavian beauty
Art installation in the Oslo fjord

Flåm, Norway

The train journey from Oslo to Flåm was one of the highlights of this trip for me. The slow pace, awe-inspiring views and gentle rocking of the roomy train car was a welcome reprieve from all of the sightseeing in days prior. The scenery became more and more serene and majestic as time passed- it truly deserves a blog post of its own. The tiny village is set at the end of a fjord and will humble you. This spot is where Norway completely captured my heart, and it also happens to have one of the most beautiful bakeries I have ever seen.

Home for the night in Flåm
Exploring the quaint village shops and Flåm Bakeri
A view from the train journey
The mouth of the Aurlandsfjord
One of many waterfalls in the area

Bergen, Norway

Bergen was the perfect place to end a journey to Scandinavia. It is a coastal city surrounded by mountains and fjords with a certain charm and magic to it- very approachable and walkable with surprises at every turn. The smell of lilacs abounded here as well and the ocean air was impossibly fresh. I loved wandering around the old homes and historic Hanseatic wharf (called Bryggen), taking the funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for the views, and overall just enjoying the outdoor living this city has to offer.

View of Bryggen and Mount Fløyen from the water
View over Bergen from the top of the funicular
Slow strolls through one of the many parks
Adorable old town views
Fika heaven

Are any of these destinations on your travel bucket list? Do you have any questions about visiting this area of the world? I would love to know!

10 comments

  1. We’re actually thinking about visiting Scandinavia next fall. It sounds like you had a memorable experience on your trip. Isn’t it amazing how spending time on vacation or in nature can help put everything in your life into perspective?

    Like

    • How wonderful that you may be visiting this area of the world next year! What draws you to it? Do you know which countries/cities you would like to spend time in?

      Like

      • I’d love to visit them all! I’m debating about whether to just spend the entire time in Norway (hiking, naturally), or hit up a few towns in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. There’s so much to explore, but there never seems to be enough time (or vacation days).

        Like

      • I completely agree that there never seems to be quite enough time or vacation days! I spent 10 days total in the region and it was not near enough. The hiking in Norway is positively dreamy 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I know what you mean that your Scandinavian visit changed you. The same goes for me. I have embraced in little ways Lagom and Fika! The places you’ve been to are calmingly beautiful. I’ve been to Bergen and Stockholm. Would want to be back for the fjords though and your photos of Flam, Norway! Beautiful share! Thank you.

    Like

    • I sense such a kindred spirit in you! I love both of those Scandinavian concepts and have also embraced them since my return from that trip, along with hygge. I hope you get the chance to return someday to see the fjords- it is truly unforgettable. Thank you again for such thoughtful comments.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s