Norway’s roads less traveled: Tree-top adventures at Høyt og Lavt
Christine Foster Meloni
This article is the fourth in our series of “Norway’s roads less traveled.” We asked Lise Kristiansen Falskow, Norway’s Honorary Consul in Alaska, to suggest a special place.
The previous articles are “Spitsbergen: a place out of the ordinary” by Ambassador Aas (April 15, 2016), “Ulvesund lighthouse is calm yet wild” by Elin Bergithe Rognlie (May 20, 2016), and “Halden, an idyllic small border town” by Eivind Heiberg (July 1, 2016).
Ms. Falskow suggests the “Høyt and Lavt” amusement parks:
We are now in the middle of the summer, which is a typical time for families with school-age children to be traveling. As a mother of two teenage boys who love to travel and have a lot of energy, I know that finding something that gets high marks from both parents and children can be a challenge.
For adventurous families traveling to Norway with children, I would recommend the parks called “Høyt og Lavt,” which means “high and low.” These are amusement parks in the trees filled with zip lining, nets, suspension bridges, tunnels, ladders, balancing, and rope elements.
My family has found that going to these parks creates a wonderful vacation memory for the entire family. On our most recent trip to Costa Rica, we visited a similar park where our 13-year-old son was zip lining upside down without hands, his brother was smiling while holding his breath, his dad was grinning like he had won the lottery, and I was screaming like my life was at stake. We have also seen these parks popping up in our backyard here in Alaska—great photos and memories for all.
On the website, www.hoytlavt.no, you can find ten locations in southern Norway including Vestfold, Sørum, Oslo, Kristiansand, Bergen, Bø i Telemark, Nedstrand, Hallingdal, Preikestolen, and Fjӕrland.
The parks are well worth a visit if you enjoy physical activity and are not afraid of heights. Each park has several courses with varying difficulty to choose from, including low to the ground and easy courses for small children. They state that these parks have “utfordringer for store og små” (challenges for adults and kids).
Videos showing Norway’s Høyt og Lavt parks can be found at hoytlavt.no/sorum/foto-video.
Tips for family travelers
• Dress in exercise or light clothing that is suitable for hiking.
• Dress in layers. As a family who lives in Alaska, we have learned that dressing in layers means we are not slowed down by changing weather. You will get warm quickly as you climb, so layering also allows you to remove a layer if you are too warm.
• Tennis shoes or hiking boots with good soles are an advantage.
• Bring gloves for the ropes. They are especially helpful for the kids. Gardening gloves work fine.
• Bring water, lunch, and snacks for hungry, active kids. Most parks have a snack bar, however. They also have picnic tables for people who bring their own food.
• Adventure parks are suitable for any weather. Bring an extra bag with light raingear if you think it might rain.
The Høyt og Lavt website is only in Norwegian. If you don’t read Norwegian, don’t be discouraged. You can simply copy and paste the text it into Google Translate for a quick translation.
Happy traveling high and low on and off the main path in Norway!
Lise Falskow was born and raised in Alaska and holds a degree in Economics and Accounting from Claremont McKenna College. She worked as a CPA in Seattle, Washington, and in Zurich, Switzerland. She then helped establish a Financial Analyst Group for the Energy Division of a major oil company in Oslo, Norway. As a dual Norwegian and U.S. Citizen, her interest in world cultures has taken her to many exciting places, including her return to Anchorage, Alaska, where she is the Royal Norwegian Honorary Consul for Alaska. Lise has a passion for playing the piano and participating in Ironman Triathlon Competitions.
Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at The George Washington University. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and international education. She was born in Minneapolis and currently lives in Washington, DC. She values her Norwegian heritage.
This article originally appeared in the July 29, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.