Norway is a place from outer space. This northern, electric, incredibly expensive Scandinavian country breeds images of peace and tranquility. When most people think of Norway the first frames in their mind will include salmon, snow, possibly vikings and, may I add? One slight contradiction.
Norway is perceived to be one of the greenest countries on Earth, yet it is Europe’s largest oil and gas exporter, fifth and third in the world respectively. But it seems Norway has a contradictory relationship with oil and gas, Norwegians seem to think of it as an ATM. Think about it, we all dislike ATMs, you have to get out of your car, in the cold, and then you have to insert the PIN and wait. It’s a hassle, we don’t like it, but we all love the moment we get fresh cash out of it. That’s probably what happens with Norway and oil, as a country, as a whole, they can’t possibly despise the black gold because that’s what makes them rich, but as an idea, they hate it, and that’s probably the reason why more than 50 % of cars on the roads in Noway today are electric. Which immediately makes it one of my favourite countries in the world because, for reasons I’ve yet to understand, I like electric cars.
I held no real expectations about Norway, I never do, I had already been to Denmark and Sweden so I sort of assumed Norway would be similar. But it isn’t. The only similarity is Norwegian which sounds and looks a lot like Swedish, and that’s about it.
Other than salmon (which is good) and beer (which is fine) and unlimited miles of bright sky for around 6 months a year, Norway has wide open spaces and taxes. Avalanches, mountains, deep deep gullies of taxes. It’s incredible but the fact of the matter is this: pick a car, get a quote, buy it. Taxes will account for around 60 % of the final price you pay. Norwegians aren’t put off by the hefty taxes and they still buy expensive supercars in flocks, somehow. I guess that’s why the Porsche Center in the little port town of Son, around 30 miles south of the capital, is one of the most impressive Porsche centers I’ve seen in years.
The line up is outrageous and the list of cars they have is a saga and it includes the Carrera GT.
Norway is a weird country. It’s one of the wealthiest in the world and people look like they might be able to afford just about anything, including the moon. They also seem to love their taxes, God bless ’em. I wouldn’t know because A. I’m far from being wealthy and B. I’m from the South of Europe so we do things differently.
And we’re wrong obviously. Because while in Norway I had a friend “Ubering” me around, by the end of the first day I had become the driver and my friend had become the passenger. Would you like to guess what she drives? No. Quite wrong. A petrol-powered, polar bear unfriendly, heavily taxed machine: a Porsche 911. Gotta love this country.
words & pics: Ale Renesis
on location in Oslo and Son, Norway in September 2016