The Norwegian Queen of Friluftsliv

To someone who is not familiar with Norwegian culture and the Royal family here, it might come across as a bit odd finding a statue of the current Queen dressed in hiking clothes, sitting on a rock looking up at the Royal Palace in Oslo. For most Norwegians this makes perfect sense. And this is why:


Norwegian Friluftsliv (Outdoor life)

To understand Norwegian culture there are two words you have to know. Those words are “Tur” & “Friluftsliv”. There is a Norwegian saying “Ut på tur aldri sur”, which means “Out on a hike, never grumpy”. It’s something Norwegian parents tell their kids when they take them for a walk out in the rain. A Tur is anything from a stroll in the park, to a climb up to a mountain top. It’s something that takes place outdoors and indicates moving from a to b. Gåtur (hike), Sykkeltur (bike trip), Seiltur (Sailing trip). When in many countries people go to see a psychologist when they need some mental help, Norwegians might as well just go for a Tur. It’s a part of what makes us feel good, a part of our well being.

The word Tur goes hand in hand with the Norwegian word Friluftsliv. Literally translated Friluftsliv means “Outdoor life”, and can best be defined as “recreation engaged in out of doors, most commonly in natural settings.” (wikipedia). It’s something that many Norwegians crave above anything else. To go tenting, hiking, sailing, canoeing, running and so on. A chance to connect with nature, with yourself or with your “turkamerater” (tur buddies).

Queen Sonja of Norway

Our Queen Sonja has climbed many a mountain top in Norway. And is known to be a big fan of Friluftsliv and enjoying Norwegian nature whenever she can. So for her 80th birthday on the 4th of July 2017, the Norwegian Trekking Association decided to gift her a statue of herself. Dressed in hiking clothes and with her backpack next to her she is sitting on a rock looking up towards her home, the Royal Palace. Maybe this rock symbolizes one of many mountain tops that she has climbed, and perhaps one of many challenges she has had to overcome as being the Queen of Norway for the last 30 years. She sure is a symbol of what Friluftsliv means to Norwegians.

For more info about Queen Sonja see the homepage of the Norwegian Royal Palace (click)

Feel free to leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

You might also like: A Guide to Cheap Hotels in Oslo

Also read:

Things to do in Oslo

Hei Hei! I’m Pål. Your travel guide to Norway.

Need a local guide in Oslo or advice on travel in Norway?

Disclaimer: By clicking any of the links in this article and making a purchase I might earn a small sum. For you this does not affect the product price, but supports me and my work, and makes me able to continue sharing my passion for Norway with you. Thank you, tusen takk!



Tour guide, travel writer & YouTuber. Passionate about sailing, hiking, history, food, art and travel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *