Google Fjords & Countryside - Nordic Landscapes : Photography by Nicolas Lietaer

Nordic Landscapes : Photograpy by Nicolas Lietaer

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The old church of Hol, Norway
The old church of Hol, Norway. This old church dating back to the 13th century is beautifully situated by the Holsfjord. The two previous churches that had been built nearby were both destroyed by avalanches.

Blooming fruit trees along Hardangerfjord, Norway
Blooming fruit trees along Hardangerfjord, Norway. Hardanger is Norway's most prolific apple and cherry farming region, due to its ideal climate. The late spring as well as the light conditions make the fruit ripen slowly which gives it a full flavor. Some 40% of all Norwegian fruit is farmed in Hardanger.

Cruise ship sailing away into the sunset, Norway
Cruise ship sailing away into the sunset, Norway. The spectacular scenery along the fjords and coast makes Norway one of the world's greatest cruise ship destinations. In 2010 about 1.9 million cruise passengers visited Norway, thereby setting a new record.

Apple blossom along Hardangerfjord, Norway
Apple blossom along Hardangerfjord, Norway. At the end of May the blooming fruit orchards along the Hardangerfjord are an unforgettable sight. The lush and green hillsides contrast with the snow capped mountains in the background.

Mountain farm along the Sognefjord, Norway
Mountain farm along the Sognefjord, Norway. The mountain Molden offers some of the best viewpoints over the Sognefjord, the longest fjord in Norway. Half way up the mountain you reach the old mountain farm Svarthiller, from where you have great views towards Urnes at the opposite side of the fjord.

Siberian husky portrait, Norway
Siberian husky portrait, Norway. Siberian huskies are an active, energetic, and resilient dog breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. Because of their efficiency as a working breed, most huskies are bred to be able to withstand long work days on little amounts of food.

Lærdalsfjord, Norway
Lærdalsfjord, Norway. The freshwater originating from precipitation and rivers flowing into the fjord floats on top of the seawater. Because the level of salinity varies with the depth, deep Norwegian fjords can actually accommodate both freshwater fish and saltwater fish at different depths.

Fruit orchard in Hardanger, Norway
Fruit orchard in Hardanger, Norway. In 2005, apple juice from Hardanger became the third Norwegian product to become protected as an official appellation of origin, thereby being recognised for its special quality and reputation.

Along the Sognefjord, Norway
Along the Sognefjord, Norway. In the past, many fishermen lived along the Sognefjord catching large amounts of herring, mackerel, cod, pollack, sea trout and salmon. Today however the amount of fish has declined and Arve Frivik, a lobster fisherman, is the last person making a living from fishing on the fjord.

The turquoise waters of river Otta, Norway
The turquoise waters of river Otta, Norway. Lake Djupvatnet situated at an altitude of 1,016 m is the source of the 135 km long river Otta. The many glaciers feeding the river grind rock into a fine glacial flour which gives the river its characteristic turquoise colour.

Skjolden at the end of the Sognefjord, Norway
Skjolden at the end of the Sognefjord, Norway. The Sognefjord is the world's longest fjord, stretching 205 km inland until the village of Skjolden. In earlier times the fjord provided the most convenient way to travel from Bergen to the mountain villages in the inner country.

View over the Aurlandsfjord from Åtnes farm, Norway
View over the Aurlandsfjord from Åtnes farm, Norway. Located on a hillside, Åtnes farm offers magnificent views of the Aurlandsfjord. Across the fjord, at Fronnes, there are eight burial mounds made of rocks. It was a custom in older times to burry people such that they had a view of their home.

Ferry crossing the Sognefjord, Norway
Ferry crossing the Sognefjord, Norway. Ferries are an essential way of transportation in the western fjords of Norway. All year long, a small car ferry crosses the Sognefjord between Solvorn and Urnes. By land it takes 73 km of narrow winding roads to drive between both places, but the boat trip only takes 20 minutes.

Uvdal stave church, Norway
Uvdal stave church, Norway. The original church was changed and expanded several times during the middle ages as well as in the 18th century when it was changed into a cruciform structure. The church and its graveyard were in daily use until 1893. Today, services are only held during the summer period.

Wooden house, Norway
Wooden house, Norway. In heavily forested areas such as Scandinavia, wood is the natural building material for houses. Wooden houses are painted in order to protect the wood from the weather.

Abandoned reaper from the old days in Engjadalen, Norway
Abandoned reaper from the old days in Engjadalen, Norway. The mechanical reaper invented by Cyrus McCormick in 1831 revolutionized agriculture worldwide. It was pulled by horses and used to cut and gather crops.

Fjords of Norway
Fjords of Norway. Fjords are long narrow inlets carved into the landscape by glacial erosion and flooded by sea water. Apart from the Antarctic, fjords are most commonly found in Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Chile and New Zealand.

Åtnes farm along the Aurlandsfjord, Norway
Åtnes farm along the Aurlandsfjord, Norway. The farm at Åtnes is one of the oldest farms in the Aurland area, with its origins believed to be more than 2000 years old. There were cattle, sheep, horses and hayfields. The oldest buildings remaining to this day date from around the year 1700.

Hedalen stave church in Valdres, Norway
Hedalen stave church in Valdres, Norway. Stave churches are wooden churches built from the 11th to the 13th century, the walls of which were constructed of upright planks or staves. It is believed that around 2000 stave churches were built in Norway, but only 29 remain at this day. Hedalen stave church was built around 1160.

Old village of Lærdalsøyri, Norway
Old village of Lærdalsøyri, Norway. The old village centre of Lærdal is well preserved with many wooden houses dating from 1750 - 1800. With its safe harbour and main roads coming down the valley, in the middle of the last century Lærdalsøyri was an important centre of trade and communication between Eastern and Western Norway.

The village of Undredal, Norway
The village of Undredal, Norway. Located along the spectacular Aurlandsfjord, the village of Undredal had no road connection until 1988. Before that it could only be reached by boat. Today the village counts about 80 inhabitants and more than 4 times as many goats.

Traditional farm buildings, Norway
Traditional farm buildings, Norway. Norway's population has historically lived in rural areas. It is estimated that at the beginning of the 19th century about 80 to 90% of the Norwegian population lived in rural areas. While the percentage of farmers decreased over the following decades, farmers still constituted 75% of Norway's population in 1865.

Styggevatnet dam in the mist, Norway
Styggevatnet dam in the mist, Norway. The construction of the dam in 1989 caused two smaller lakes to merge into a single water reservoir of 6 km length and 90 m depth. The reservoir provides hydroelectric power and at the same time it prevents the floods that occurred in the Jostedalen valley previously.

Autumn scenery along Lustrafjord, Norway
Autumn scenery along Lustrafjord, Norway. Western Norway is world renown for its majestic fjords, spectacular waterfalls, steep mountain cliffs and snow-clad peaks.

Early morning along the fjord, Norway
Early morning along the fjord, Norway. As late as in the year 2000, some of the largest coral reefs in the world were discovered along the bottoms of the Norwegian fjords. The reefs are host to thousands of life forms such as plankton, coral, anemones, fish and several species of sharks.

Church of Vik, Southern Iceland
Church of Vik, Southern Iceland. Vík lies directly beneath the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which itself is on top of the Katla volcano. An eruption would cause an enormous flash flood, but as the church is located on a hill it is believed to be the only building that would survive such a flood.

Mountain Bleia along the Sognefjord, Norway
Mountain Bleia along the Sognefjord, Norway. From the top of the mountain Bleia at 1717 meters above sea level, it is 2850 meters down until the bottom of the Sognefjord. In comparison, the Grand Canyon in the US is only 1600 meters deep.

Nærøyfjord, Norway
Nærøyfjord, Norway. The Nærøyfjord is a fjord in the municipality of Aurland in Sogn og Fjordane. The narrow fjord is a branch of the large Sognefjord and it is featured on the "Norway in a Nutshell" daytrips for tourists.

Hemsedal church, Norway
Hemsedal church, Norway. Hemsedal which is located in the traditional region of Hallingdal had a stave church that was built in the early 13th century. However, in 1882 the stave church was dismantled and replaced by a new and larger church, Hemsedal church.

Siberian Husky, Norway
Siberian Husky, Norway. Siberians huskies can make very good family pets, if properly trained. They are commonly known for their friendliness toward people.

Wooden church, Norway
Wooden church, Norway. Early Norwegians were pagans believing in Norse mythology, but Norway was gradually Christianized during the 11th and 12th century. Norway converted to Lutheranism under the protestant reformation of 1536. Since 1964 the Norwegian constitution allows freedom of religion, except for the royal family who are required to be Lutherans.

Old church of Hol, Norway
Old church of Hol, Norway. This wooden church dates back to the 13th century. It was altered and extended several times throughout the centuries, first in the 16th century, then in 1697, 1799, 1888, 1897 and 1938.

A small 'stabbur', Norway
A small 'stabbur', Norway. A stabbur is a traditional log building that was commonly used in the past for the storage of food at Norwegian farms.