Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Photo: A polar bear leaping from an ice floe
A young polar bear leaps between drifts of Barents Sea ice in Svalbard, Norway’s Arctic archipelago. Glacial ice covers more than half of the island chain, which lies 400 miles (640 kilometers) north of the Norwegian mainland.
Photograph by Paul Nicklen
Northern lights, the midnight sun, agate-colored mountains plunging into azure fjordsóthis, of course, is also the storied piece of Scandinavian real estate that gave the world the Vikings. • Itís not widely known, but this is also the place that introduced the world to skiing, some four millennia ago. • Its remarkable wooden stave churches date to the Middle Ages, and many are still intact. • Despite its northern latitude, visitors know this as one of the world's warmest, most welcoming places.

Photo: People walking on a shopping street in Norway

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