Spring

Spring in the Norwegian Riviera is the best time for observing wild nature. Many species of seabirds are nesting on small islands. The most popular birds are European herring gulls and great black-backed gulls. In May and June, their nestlings trapped on skerries are perfectly visible from a boat - we sail up as closest as possible, sometimes even 2-3 metres from the island.

Some of the islands are occupied by majestic Arctic terns. This extraordinary species each year covers 30 thousand kilometres from drift ice of Antarctica to food-abundant waters of the northern Atlantic. In April and May, the males making a display call bring fish to females. They hunt in a spectacular way: they hang in the air and nose-dive into the water to emerge with fish in beak after a moment. These are especially charming objects for your photos.

A popular or even iconic bird of cold northern waters is an eider. In spring, males are still wearing their original white, green and black winter cover. At sea, flocks of eiders often fly right above our heads. Other numerous species of birds are: black-headed gulls, little auks, greylag geese, cormorants, oystercatchers and swans.

April is when Norwegian flora starts to show off - first, anemones together with liverleaves and muscari blossom, then wild jonquils, tulips, pansies, wood sorrels and cuckooflowers do the same. Pinks tirelessly glow with their colour on rocks, together with geranium; and at the end of May, lupines dazzle with brilliance of colours on slopes.

Spring is the best time to visit Kjerag. After frosty winter, in May and June, ice and miniature icebergs are still floating on lakes, there are snowdrifts on the side of the road. The road to Kjerag, due to heavy snowing is opened only in the second half of May. In spring, it is also recommended to head for Preikestolen. The road leading through the land of waterfalls, which during melting can be really huge, is passable all year long, although with regard to unpredictable weather conditions, we consider using a four-wheel drive.

On 17th of May, people celebrate the grandest holiday of Norway: Norwegian Constitution Day. There are parades on the streets of towns and villages with almost all the residents wearing traditional folk costumes.

Also in May there is Russtid - the time of high school students having fun. Red vans hit the roads filled with senior year high school students wearing red overalls and partying with no limits, day and night. Popular party places are roundabouts and promenades. Teenagers in vans are driving through the country officially breaking the shirtless driving ban, taking advantage of impunity guaranteed by the tradition - they have to let off some steam..:-)

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17 mai Tvedestrand

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