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Croatian coffee culture has a contender: Norwegian "koselig"

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Written by
Lara Rasin
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You might have heard of hygge, a phenomenon that went viral some years back, in which Scandinavians love to rejoice. The originally Danish word represents a mood of coziness, and is associated with feelings of wellness and contentment.

The Norwegian equivalent is koselig, or kos for short, and for Scandinavians and other fellow coziness-loving humans, it means enjoying crackling fireplaces, sips of hot chocolate alongside a movie, and sometimes simply spending time with loved ones, anywhere.

It's no surprise that Croatians enjoy koselig just as much as Scandinavians do. From coffee culture and leisurely walks along the beach, to spending hours with friends playing games and nature activities, koselig as such is just as important in Croatian culture as it is in Norwegian.

For all Croatians (and anyone!) eager to seek kos at its source, read on for a list of coziness-and-contentment-oozing activities to do in Norway.

Take a scenic ride on the Flåm Railway 

From Plitvice National Park to the pristine Pelješac Peninsula, and everything between, natural beauty is the norm in Croatia. Weekend trips, day trips, and vacations for Croatians are bound to be filled with some kind of nature activity.

The Flam Railway is, then, the perfect activity for Croatian travellers, and the perfect excursion for koselig seekers. Also known as Flamsbana, the railway has been repeatedly rated as the world's best train journey by international travel agencies.

The journey begins at sea level at the Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the winding Sognefjord in Flam, and ends at Myrdal Station, a cool 867 meters above sea level. The 1-2 hour journey stretches for 12.5 miles, and the elevation difference maxes out at 2,832 feet.

During the train ride, gaze at numerous mountainsides, towering waterfalls, and gaping valleys. As you weave in and out of 20 tunnels, sip a cup of warm coffee or hot tea, bring a blanket if you wish, and revel in the kos.

Waffle it up

It's well-known that Croatians love their coffee, which is often paired with a freshly baked good. Norwegians can relate with their love for waffles, which for them is best paired with a cup of coffee and a friend. Waffles are a staple in restaurants private homes all over the country.

According to Norway's Tourist Board, waffles are the ultimate kings of kos.

We’re sure that if you try these golden, crispy, and fluffy hearts (the usually waffle shape in Norway - how kos is that?!), you’ll think so too.

Nearly every café, restaurant, and food stand in Norway carries the waffle in numerous forms. These can range from sweet varieties like kakevaffel (a pile of waffles with layers of vanilla custard), to salty versions such as pølse i vaffel (a hotdog wrapped in a waffle). Go crazy with toppings; you can choose from anything like blue cheese and sausage, to jam and honey.

Slow jam at the OverOslo Music Festival

What better way to spend time with loved ones and invoke koselig than at some of Norway's finest concerts?

The OverOslo Music Festival is among the country’s largest music festivals, with over 20,000 annual visitors coming together to enjoy the sounds of Norwegian and international pop, rock, hip hop, and electronics.

Its location on the Grefsenkollen Plateau, a couple hundred meters above the Norwegian capital, provides a beautiful view of the city skyline, snaking adjacent fjord, and leafy forests surrounding it all.

Kos and good tunes are the name of this festival's game.

Try your hand at Norwegian Coffee Culture

Both Norwegians and Croatians take their coffee seriously... Very seriously! 

Drinking on the Mediterranean Sea or the North Sea makes no difference - these two cultures savour coffee at breakfast to get energy for the day, with friends and family, alongside dessert, or, really, at any time they wish.

In Norway’s major cities, a coffee shop can practically be found on every corner (Croatians, does this sound familiar?).

For those lucky enough to trek north to the city of Tromsø, the Riso coffee shop is one of the country's best. Riso uses only the finest fair trade beans for their African, Asian and Latin American-derived black coffees, lattes, espressos, and more. Come with a friend to try a freshly baked cinnamon bun for the snuggest experience.

Norway's unique coffee culture, paired with koselig-inducing winter scenery or a chilly breeze, is enough to draw in even the most sun-loving travellers from the Adriatic.

Chase the dancing northern lights

Here's another nature activity the Adriatic's inhabitants will surely enjoy - especially because they can't dream of experiencing it so far south.

Thanks to Norway's proximity to the auroral oval, this is one of the best countries in the world to view the northern lights.

While viewing the auroras from a dimly lit street in will do the trick for some first-timers, you may be interested in some of the other, more extreme aurora experiences Norway has to offer.

For example, during one organized aurora borealis hunt for extra-adventurous souls, you can depart from the world's northernmost town of Longyearbyen to reach an isolated valley close to the North Pole itself. Free of light pollution, here, your only concern will be to look up, feel one with nature, and wonder at the northern lights.

For more koselig-overflow ideas, check out leading English-language Norwegian publication Norway Today's designated travel section!

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