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Huts of Norway Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Holidays, Nature, Traditions

A couple of Norwegian friends and I recently shared the fun and excitement of walking to a hytte på fjellet (a hytte in the mountains), and it struck me I hadn’t written anything about hytter

Hyttekos.

Hyttekos.

En hytte (or ei hytte) translates as ’a hut’, ’a cottage’ or ’a cabin’. It’s basically a small house that Norwegians have built at an isolated place, at a distance from bygda (the village, the small town) or byen (the town, the city). Some hytter are high up på høyfjellet (in the ”high-mountains”), while others are waiting for travellers at the shores of innsjøer (lakes) or deep fjorder.

When you talk to Norwegians, you’ll be surprised how many families have their own hytte. It’s like having a second home, and many people hurry to their hytte as soon as they’ve got some fridager (days off). In the hytte you can be alone with your family or friends, and you are tett på naturen (close to Nature). That’s particularly important hvis du liker å fiske eller gå på jakt (if you like fishing or hunting).

Most hytter are made of tømmer (timber, wood), and they are much more primitiv than hus (houses). The hytte I visited had no strøm (electricity, literally ”stream”). We had to tenne stearinlys (light candles). Many new hytter, however, are equipped with everything you can imagine: running water, electricity, varme (heat), internett

Some hytter are very old, and have been passed on from generation to generation. Standing next to such a hytte, with its colourless, worn-down vegger (walls) and gress på taket (grass on the roof), is almost like peering into the Norwegian soul!

Hytter is a place where people koser seg. Å kose seg means, more or less, ”to have a good time, to be at ease and happy”. The best way to experience the authentic kos of a Norwegian hytte, is, of course, to be friendly and open and talk to Norwegians. Hvem vet, kanskje blir du invitert med ut på hytta? (Who knows, maybe you will be invited to the hytte?)

Modern hytter are as big as houses in other countries.

Modern hytter are as big as houses in other countries.

Alternatively, you could ask the local tourist office for turisthytter. They’re free and open for everyone who’s fit enough to walk the walk…

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About the Author:Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.


Comments:

  1. Lillian Greibesland:

    I’m leisurely learning the written language (can already understand almost all spoken word thanks to Norwegian parents and growing up with long summer trips to the homeland) and this sweet entry has helped very much! Throwing in words and phrases like you have down is so wonderful and special for me to read! It’s difficult finding learning outlets other than online classes or simply pushing through Norsk newspapers and comics. I would love to read more. Is there a mother load of articles like this one?Tusen takk!

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Lillian Greibesland Takk for kommentaren! 🙂

      I don’t know about any ”mother load of articles like this one”. There are of course the other posts on this blog. Have you checked out: http://www.klartale.no
      It’s a newspaper written in a very easy Norwegian.

      Lykke til!

  2. Simona S.:

    Thank you for your article! 🙂 Made me remember my past visits to the cabin in Gålå near Vinstra, where I experienced for the first time the Norwegian hyttetur and the breathtaking scenery 🙂
    Hopefully one day I will build my own little hytte. 😀 😀

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Simona S. I’m glad you liked it! 🙂
      Good luck with your hytte! 😀