“Ut på tur”

The word “tur” is a word I haven’t been able to translate into English properly. It could mean a trip or a tour, but in Norwegian the word is normally used to indicate going for a walk. Norwegians love to go for a walk; Søndagstur (Sunday walk), fjelltur (mountain walk/hike), trilletur (walking with a pram), and many more types of walks. This type of walk often doesn’t have a specific goal, you just walk for the walk itself. And often in groups of other people (sometimes even organised, but I am only really talking about walks with family and friends), but also alone.

When you have been living in Norway all your life this part of our culture is just something you take for granted, and I always assumed that people all over the world would go for walks, but when living in the UK I noticed that this type of walking isn’t that common. Well, people do go for walks, but not so much just wondering around aimlessly around the neighborhood as Norwegians tend to do. And when I later moved back to Norway again I really noticed this, for instance if we went for a drive on a Sunday we would see lots of people, in sensible clothes, just walking around. Normally at a good pace, and I can’t quite figure out if we like to walk because of the exercise, or because Norwegians feel it is very important to get fresh air. It is probably a bit of both.

Norwegians generally go for walks independent of the weather, we just dress up properly in comfortable shoes and rainproof jacket, and a backpack of course, and off we go! Some people like to use walking-sticks as well go get a bit of extra excersise.

I guess the “Søndagstur” is the most common, that people of all ages take part in. Every Sunday you will see groups of people going for walks, quite often straight from their house, but it is also common to take a short drive to the forrest or lake to go for a walk. For these walks one might bring a packed lunch, or at least some chocolate.

The “Trilletur” is when a mum or a dad (or both) take a pram with a baby and go for a walk. It is very popular with new mothers, again it is believed that fresh air (also cold air) is good, and the weather normally doesn’t stop a mother going for a walk with the pram. Maybe unless there is a lot of snow outside, which makes pushing a pram really hard work. (Also if it is below -10 degrees celsius outside it is not recommended taking a baby outside).

In winter the “tur” is often replaced by cross country skiing – where again people of all ages take part.

Photo credit to Sparre.Enger.  This photo has a creative commons attribution license.

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