Frazer Norwell: Journalist & editor

Frazer is a freelance journalist, having worked in both the UK and Norway. He has both editorial and reporting experience in web and broadcast journalism. Currently, he is the editor of The Local Norway, which is a part of the multi-regional, European, English-language digital news publisher The Local. He lives in Oslo and enjoys skiing, cooking, football and hiking.

Phone: 07340 179907  Email: Twitter:@FrazerNorwell 

How incentives have struggled to attract residents to north Norway

Measures to attract people to live and work in northern parts of Norway have largely failed, according to a new report. Lower student loans, income and employer taxes and cheaper energy have all failed to attract enough people and businesses to the region, the report commissioned by Vista Analyse and commissioned by the Ministry of Local Government and Districts found. In 1990, measures were introduced in Finnmark and seven municipalities in north Troms to combat high unemployment and lower li

Norway to deport 83-year-old woman over failed residency application

Takako Ellefsen, who has lived in Norway three times during various stages of her life and was married to a Norwegian for 46 years, was told by immigration authorities that she had not met the conditions to be granted a residence permit, public broadcaster NRK reports. Ellefsen, who is Japanese, had previously lived in Norway during the 60s and late 2000s before relocating to Norway again in 2020. She had hoped to remain in Norway for the rest of her life before being buried next to her husband

Moving to Norway: How much money do I need to live in Tromsø?

Located in the heart of the Arctic wilderness is Tromsø, sometimes referred to as the 'Paris of the north' by Norwegians. Previously the city was the last port of call before heading off on Arctic expeditions. These days Tromsø, despite its small size, is a modern and vibrant city. As the largest urban area in northern Norway, it, along with Bodø, acts as a hub for those who want to live in northern parts of the country. If you fancy living in a city with the midnight sun in the summer and th

EXPLAINED: Norway’s plans for a tourist tax

Around 10 million tourists flock to Norway annually, drawn in by its majestic fjords, world-famous hikes, rugged wilderness and bucket-list activities such as Northern Lights tours. Many travellers already remark that the country is incredibly expensive. However, the cost of being a visitor in Norway could soon increase as the government plans to introduce a new tax on tourism-related activities. Earlier this week, the minority government consisting of the Labour Party and Centre Party, agreed

What are the most common reasons Americans in Norway contact the U.S. embassy?

In addition to fulfilling their diplomatic roles, embassies offer several vital services to their nation's citizens living abroad. Whether it's clarifying questions, offering assistance with urgent matters or renewing passports, many living abroad will use their embassy's services at some point. There are around 10,000 American citizens living in Norway, and the most common questions that the U.S. Embassy in Norway receives are regarding travelling as a dual citizen and the citizenship rules f

Norway moves closer to introducing tuition fees for international students

Norway's minority government, consisting of the Labour Party and the Centre Party, agreed on a state budget for 2023 with its preferred negotiation partner, the Socialist Left Party, on Tuesday evening. Among the proposals from the original budget were plans to introduce tuition fees for students from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) from next year. The original proposal was met with backlash from students and the Socialist Left Party (SV). However, despite the opposition from SV, t

READERS REVEAL: Can you get by in Norway with just English?

Norway has recently been ranked among the best countries in the world for English language skills. In addition, many international firms have Oslo offices where the official working language is English. Wherever you find yourself in Norway, you are unlikely to be far from a proficient English speaker, even in more rural areas. This may lead to some assuming that they'll be able to get by in Norway without learning Norwegian. We asked our readers whether this was the case. Most of those who r

Guardian angels on skis

If you're familiar with the slopes at Hemsedal Ski Centre, you will have seen them whizz by, identifiable by the first aid cross on the yellow reflector on their backs. Maybe you've already met them after falling while skiing and snowboarding. Either way, whether you've noticed them or not, the ski patrol is the backbone of Hemsedal Ski Centre. "We started the ski patrol after there were several accidents in the ski centre. Before that, the Red Cross were responsible for rescues and helping peo

Leader of the pack

The brush with danger that led to a lifelong passion Johan is thousands of miles from home and hurtling down a dirt path in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, completely out of control of the dogs pulling his cart in hot pursuit of a reindeer. The brakes on the cart were no good as the dogs, chasing the reindeer they spotted, were far too quick and powerful for the brakes to have any impact. Now terrified as the river on the horizon gets closer and closer and the dogs show no signs of slowing down. This,

Nature as therapy

Like many others who end up in Hemsedal, it was the love of mountains, skiing and snowboarding that brought Norwegian doctor Camilla, originally from Bærum, and her Swedish husband, David, to the village. But, it was falling in with each other just as much as the village that would make them stay. Almost 20 years later, they have established themselves as a couple everybody in the village knows. Camilla works as chief municipal physician while David runs his own business Tur Ute, which focuses o

Hemsedal cafe and Brandvoll fjellgard

We're at Brandvoll farm to chat with Trine and Arne during their busiest time of the year, lambing season. "It's more or less a maternity ward. All the animals are around us here, and I move down to the barn for a month with the animals to make sure everything goes well," Arne explains. Arne, originally from nearby Gol, has been running the farm for 25 years. Trine, from Bærum, has been at the farm for around 10 years. The farm focuses on sustainable, ethically reared produce, and the relatio

Meet local store owner Oddbjørn

Over the years, Oddbjørn has become something of a celebrity in his home village of Hemsedal. He is the man everyone is looking for when they need help ordering Christmas delicacies or have a special request. He's also constantly looking for opportunities to contribute to the local sports team or fundraise for the community. In addition, he is one of the first LGBT people to get married in Hallingdal and also is known for helping young people into work. Not only that, but he is also the second

Cheese please

"In the stables in Hemsedal, in fairly old times, the milkmaids discovered that all of their precious milk was mysteriously gone. However, legend has it that the people of Hauga had stolen the milk while people were asleep. The best milk now lays in Himmelspannet, heaven’s milk bucket, in shelter of the night’s darkness.” This is how the local legend that inspired Himmelspannet's dairy in Hemsedal begins. The mystery surrounding what happened to the magical cow- and goat’s milk from the village

Hemsedal's artisanal coffee roaster

He's Hemsedal's Canadian Coffee master whose knowledge for roasting coffee can only be matched by his uncompromising approach when ensuring the beans he uses are sustainably sourced, and all those involved in the process get their fair share. So why don't you sit down with a hot cup of Joe and read about how Adrian aims to bring high quality, ethically produced coffee to the masses with Scandinavian Alps Coffee. The first thing you'll notice when you step foot in Adrian's workshop is the smooth

Biking adventures for the whole family

The story began in Hemsedal 12 years ago. Handyman Jonas, from Bengtfors in Sweden, had already lived in the village for eight years working at Hemsedal Ski Centre. It was the ski centre that initially brought the Swede to Hemsedal. A keen snowboarder, he wanted to experience one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the Nordics. It was the same dream that also brought his wife to Hemsedal. "I came here mainly for the snowboarding," She explains. Little did she know her job would allow her to cr

Fantastic fishing in Hemsila

The first catch Tor Grøthe is a familiar face in Hemsedal. For many guests, it is the big smile, Hemsedal dialect and his hospitality that they remember most after meeting him. Tor is a cheerful guy, with an arsenal of interesting stories up his sleeve, some of which he shared with us around the table in his charming typically Norwegian kitchen on Grøthe farm between Ulsåk and the town centre. When he starts telling a story, it's like listening to a well-narrated audiobook. Tor has all kinds

Room for everyone

Marianne grew up in the small mountain municipality of Sigdal, just south of Flå in Hallingdal. She never had horses, but every penny of the pocket money she received was set aside for riding. "I have ridden horses all my life, and I started when I was six years old on the neighbour's ponies. That is where I spent my weekly allowance for many years," Marianne jokes. The young Marianne was smitten with horses and all things equestrian. "At school, I think I spent more time looking out the window

Short travelled food straight from nature

Inspiration and first foray into the kitchen Not many predicted that Jørgen Kolderup, from Son, would one-day don chef whites. He didn't dream of becoming a chef as a child, nor did he have a great passion for cooking during his teenage years. He sort of fell into it, yep, just fell into becoming a master chef. Once he did become a chef, however, he felt right at home. "It was actually very coincidental that I became a chef," he explains. Despite not being a prodigy, he soon showed he had a r

Born to Bike

Oskar moved to Hemsedal from Arvika, Sweden, in the winter of 2007 for the same reason as many seasonal workers who make their way to Hemsedal, some of the best skiing in Norway. But, it wasn't the snow that kept him in the mountains; it was the sun and the potential for cycling in the summer. More than 14 years later, Oskar has his own sports and bicycle workshop, Tunet Sport. In addition to helping to designing Hemsedal’s bike paths and becoming a mainstay in its ever-expanding cycling scene,
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