Extraordinary roads: Upgrading the Norwegian road trip

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The toilet facility at Ureddplassen in Helgeland. Photo: Steinar Skaar/Statens Vegvesen

Dreaming of doing a road trip across Norway? This spring, five new landmarks are opening along Norwegian roads.

The Norwegian Scenic Routes project has worked with refreshing Norway’s roads with creative installations for twenty-five years. New Norwegian architecture and design have been built along eighteen scenic routes to make the roads more attractive and enjoyable for travelers.

In an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, architecture psychologist Eirik Glambek Bøe argued that the new installations will elevate the experience of travelling from being ordinary to extraordinary:

"Part of what creates and triggers positive feelings, is the kind of installations that are made in accordance with the landscape’s distinctiveness and topography. Aesthetically, a basic idea is that man-made structures and interventions in nature are built in harmony with the topography. They should be an extension of what’s already there", Bøe said.

One of the new landmarks to be opened to the public this spring is Ureddplassen, located at the Helgeland coast in Northern Norway. Uredd, which means “fearless”, was the name of a Norwegian submarine that was struck by a mine during the Second World War, which resulted in the death of all of the 42 crew members. Although the history is sad, Ureddplassen in Helgeland will look beautiful. The rest stop will contain a restored monument for the Uredd submarine, along with an amphitheatre and marble benches, and what probably will be one of Norway’s most elegant toilet facilities.

In addition to the five new landmarks that will open in 2018, the Norway Scenic Routes project plans to complete more than 200 rest stops by 2023. The installations will cover a distance of 2000 kilometers, and fifty more additional projects are planned towards 2029. The project is run by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

Read more about the new projects on Visit Norway’s website. Check out the other Norwegian Scenic Routes here.