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Norway

Kingdom of Norway/Kongeriket Norge

Region: Europe

Area: 385,199 km²

Capital: Oslo

Major cities: Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim

Climate: continental (temperate along the coast, colder inland)

Languages spoken: Norwegian (official), Swedish; English is widely spoken.

Religion: Church of Norway (Lutheran)

Local time: GMT+1 (Summer time GMT+2)

Calling code: +47

Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)

Credit cards: Eurocard, Visa, American Express и Diners Club

Visa: The Schengen Visa category C-01. Visa-free travel for citizens of the EU, the USA, Israel, and Japan up to 90 days. When submitting documents for a visa, you will need proof of your creditworthiness (certificate from the place of employment with mention of high salary, possibly, property title documents or traveler’s checks). It is desirable that you already have Schengen Visa stamps in your passport. Beginning your travel arrangements, once again verify the list of documents you need to submit to the embassy and the time for their consideration. Wait time for visa receipt — from 2 weeks. For more details please visit http://www.learn4good.com/travel/norway_visas.htm

Transport: air, rail, motor, and water transport

International airports (cities): Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Trondheim, Bodø, Narvik, Tromsø, Kirkenes

Photos by Paul Endresen

Health care system in Norway is undergoing a continuous process of restructuring and changes. Today it receives substantial financial support from state authorities and actively implements advanced technologies, in particular, telemedicine. The quality of medical services, the level of attendance and comfort in Norwegian medical centres is very high and among the best in the world. An absolute majority of medical centres in Norway are state-owned. However, within the last five years private medical business has experienced active growth. It is private medical clinics that target foreign patients from the neighbouring countries of Scandinavia, Germany, Netherlands, and some other West European countries, as well as Russia and other CIS countries. Doctors and administrative personnel of private Norwegian clinics have excellent mastery of not only English but also Swedish, German, and Russian. The cost of most medical services in private medical centres of Norway lies within the medium range for Western Europe, but is by 20-25 % lower than in the UK and Germany.

The major pride of modern Norwegian medicine is wide application of telemedicine. In this field Norway demonstrates best achievements in Western Europe. Back in mid-80s of the previous century, Norwegian company Telenor established a network of studios for conducting telesessions for medical purposes. In 1986, they started to conduct first sessions of distance training and teleconferences between separate Norwegian medical centres. The project turned out a success to the extent that in 1996 Norway became the first country in the world to officially include charges for telemedicine in its health care budget. Telemedicine is developing in various directions: radiology, general pathology, dermatology, laboratory examination, psychiatry, gastroenterology, cardiology among others. Coordination work in this sphere is performed by the National Centre for Telemedicine (NST). It conducts not just videoconferences alone but is planning for doctor’s consultations in the form of contacting general medical practitioners from the remote areas of the country, as well as leading medical centres of other countries.

Foreign patients come to Norway primarily for receiving quality and safe medical services in the sphere of dentistry, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, and for delivery.

Ophthalmology. Private clinics of Norway perform treatment of astigmatism, short- and farsightedness applying cutting-edge laser equipment.

Dental services are some of the most required among foreign patients. They are more often interested in: surgical dentistry (sinus lifting procedure implantation, etc.), prosthetics (metal-ceramics, metal-free ceramics), cosmetic tooth whitening, veneer placement, various types of therapeutic treatment, orthodontics (including sublingual braces), child dentistry.

Within the recent years, there is a dramatically increasing number of maternity patients desiring to avail of the services of Norwegian doctors. According to the results of the research study performed by the International Save the Children Alliance, Norway has been recognised as one of the world countries providing the most comfortable conditions for child delivery and post-delivery rehabilitation. 

Services of Norwegian professionals in the sphere of aesthetic medicine and plastic surgery are becoming increasingly popular. The most consumer-demanded surgeries are: breast augmentation and reduction, age wrinkle removal, contour face lift, rhinoplasty. These procedures are equally favoured by men and women.

Recommended time for treatment: June to August. 

The country of white nights, fjords, waterfalls, northern lights, Vikings, and trolls is attracting the lovers of pristine virgin nature and fantastic atmosphere not for one decade already. Picturesque landscapes, secluded bays and isles, mountains and hills enclosed by the sea of greenery, thousands of clear lakes and rivers, waterfalls, unique flora and fauna create a perfect setting for wonderful recreation and recovery, strengthening your organism.

Modum is the major balneological resort in Norway. Soft oceanic climate and ferrous mineral spring waters are prescribed for patients with nervous system diseases and anaemia.

Patients with metabolism disorders and respiratory diseases are recommended to visit the isle of Hanke in the Bohus bay surrounded by mountains and fur woods.

The North sea coast holds the climatic and balneological resorts of Larvik and Sandefjord. Here they have chloride sodium mineral springs and muds producing a beneficial effect on musculoskeletal apparatus, strengthening immunity, and replenishing strength and vitality.

Nature is the greatest wealth and pride of Norway. The country’s territory holds a vast amount of natural preserves and national parks: Borgefjell, Rondane, Nordkap Hornvik, Nordmark, Junkerdalsur, Fokstumyr. The landmark of Norway is its fjords, prehistoric glaciers biting into the rocky shores: Hardangerfjord, Lysefjord, Geirangerfjord, Sognefjord.

Amidst the majestic glaciers and fur woods, in the mountains and on the banks of clear lakes there are many convenient spa centres and recovery resorts applying both modern procedures and treatment methods, and the ones borrowed from the indigenous people of Lapland, the Saami. Saami steam baths and bathhouses became the forerunners of the famed Finnish sauna. Also, bear and deer fat is still used in preparing various healing ointments. From deer horns they make a special powder having a recovery and generally revitalising effect and applied during child delivery for relieving pain. Digestive tract diseases are still cured with over 100 kinds of herbal, berry, and flower extracts. 

The northern, proud, magnificent beauty of Norway endows its visitors with once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Slow walks and water travels, quiet and peace restore inner spiritual balance and harmony, and exquisite spa procedures replenish vigour, youthfulness and strengthen immunity.

3* – from €120;

4* – from €150;

5* – from €170.

Fish and other sea gifts form the basis of the national cuisine of Norway. Some of the most popular Norwegian fish dishes are dried cod Klipfisk, Lutefisk (steamed dry cod boiled with spices, served with pork fries, fried bacon, peas pudding, fresh cooked potatoes, goat cheese, mustard); fiskemelje (chopped cod liver with fish caviar); fiskeboller (fish dumplings in a curry flavoured Béchamel sauce); salted herring Boknafisk (served with fries and jacket potatoes); sea scallop stewed in milk with celery and garlic, and also various dishes from whale meat.

Meat dishes are no less favoured by the Norwegians: Smalhovt (grilled ship and lamb heads); Fårikål (lamb stewed with cabbage and then baked under a brown wheat sauce with the same cabbage); various dished from elk and deer meat; Fenalår (salted mutton ham); snow partridge ripe; meat soup with greens.

All dishes are traditionally served with a side dish of various cereals: wheat, semolina, or oatmeal. Fledegred (wheat porridge with sweet cream and raspberries) and oatmeal porridge with sour cream are cooked and served as separate dishes.

Norwegian bakery is also very popular. Each region of this country boasts its special pie recipes. The favourites are potato flatbreads Lefse, crispy Knäck bread, Tislert Bondepiker (apple pie with crackers and sour cream), Spillingboller (cinnamon buns), Fromasj (fruit soufflé), Lompers (potato pancakes), Svele (pancakes with cranberry).

Traditional Norwegian beverages: apple drinks with honey, Akevit (Aquavit) (local home-brew made from potato with caraway, aged in wooden barrels, should be drunk slightly warmed), Glögg or Glogg (prepared from red wine heated and spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, raisins, almonds, and clove; served with ginger pastries), “Norwegian soup” (prepared from various taps of beer, milk, wheat flour, sugar or honey; sometimes adding egg yolk, salt and lemon skins).

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