From Travel Pulse
There are scores of reasons to take a ski trip to Norway.
For starters, there are the cozy villages, splendid slopes and the lively apres ski scene—All of which are made infinitely better by the fact you might just spot the Northern Lights dancing overhead at night.
But what if you can’t make the trip to Scandinavia?
You are in luck because Expedia has just put together an awesome virtual reality experience that allows you to feel what it’s like swooshing down three different Norwegian slopes all without leaving the comfort of your home.
What a time to be alive, indeed.
The trio of ski runs are located in Rauland, which is Norway’s fourth largest ski resort and the largest one in the gorgeous county of Telemark. Rauland is also home to 46 different slopes of varying degrees of difficulty and length in addition to countless off-trail and cross-country skiing opportunities.
But why talk about when you could experience it?
Click here to navigate your way down three of Rauland’s best runs: Holtarbakken (a snowy thrill ride), Rupa (full of twists and turns) and Tiur/Luringen (loaded with scenic views).
Be sure to use the 360-degree feature to see what it’s like to ski backward. Oh, and watch out for all the skiers, they aren’t playing around at this resort.
Now that you’ve watched the VR video by Expedia.no, I’m guessing you’re ready to make a trip to Rauland a reality?
Norway is considered by many to be the birthplace of skiing, as ancient rock carvings—the world’s oldest depiction— showing figures enjoying the activity have been found here.
In modern times, it has been Telemark that blazed the trail in recreational skiing, with its steep valleys providing the perfect locale to master the sport. Native son Sondre Norheim was a trailblazer in equipment and technique during his day, garnering the moniker the “Father of Modern Skiing”.
It’s not just skiing though, as Telemark is home to a host of medieval sights, most famously a series of haunting stave churches. These houses of worship were carved from dark wood and feature intricate Nordic designs and striking steeples.
The county is also home to the Telemark Canal that connects the coast with the mountainous regions. It was considered a modern marvel when it opened in 1892 and still attracts pleasure cruisers from all over the world.
No journey to Telemark is complete without a stay at the Dalen Hotel. This grand canal-side dame was once the haunt of royalty; Walking in today feels like stepping onto the set of a film.
You will find roaring fireplaces, soaring skylights and chandeliers reminiscent of a forgotten age at the Dalen alongside the opportunity to explore the mountains and canal on your doorstep.
Expect to find delicacies on your plate in and around Rauland including reindeer steak, salted cured ham and a myriad of hearty stews. All are complemented by a toss-back of aquavit, one of Europe’s best traditional spirits.
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Copyright 2017 Southern Arizona News-Examiner