Mother Theresa. Barack Obama. Numerous, relative unknowns who’ve dedicated their lives to peaceful service. See them all at the Nobel Peace Center, which opened in 2005 in Oslo, Norway where the award is given every year. Permanent exhibitions tell the story of Alfred Nobel and past prize winners, with displays on worldwide war, peace and conflict resolution. You can take a guided tour at either 12 or 3 pm, daily.
Now through October 24, 2010, you can catch the center’s latest exhibition titled, “Strengths and Convictions”, which chronicles South Africa’s dramatic struggle for democracy. The lives of the four remarkable men Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela, converge and divide as South Africa’s history unfolds. Their stories are told through photos, films and art never previously shown in Norway.
From Oslo, travel a little over two hours to Lillehammer, most known for hosting the Winter Olympics in 1994. On October 14-17, experience a different kind of peace during DølaJazz, Lillehammer’s annual jazz festival. One of the most important events on the cultural calendar, expect funky tunes and pioneering performances that bring young local artists to the fore.
The idea is to connect them to national and international institutions and encourage cross-pollination of ideas, skills and styles, both between artists and between jazz and other musical forms. It actively seeks to encourage young people to participate in the organization of the festival as well as to perform. Sound idealistic? Perhaps, just like the rest of Norway.
See the rest of this happy country (Norway consistently ranks high on “Happiest People on Earth” lists). You’ll see more of Norway by combining rail, ferry and bus travel through spectacular scenery, at a pace that suits you rather than a tour guide.
Travel the routes of the Vikings through mighty glaciers and deep green forests. Unlike the Vikings, you’ll easily conquer all of Norway – with Rail Europe.