An enticing country and a premiere edition of a sporting event is organized with momentum to gather audiences from all across Europe. Norway is preparing their reply to the German and Austrian Four Hills Tournament. Maybe this is a good opportunity to plan a trip to the Scandinavian Peninsula?
Polish ski jumpers have recorded good results at the World Cup series. For fans, this is a sign to support Poles directly where the rivalry for the most important and most valuable trophies of the season takes place.
A cycle that breaks records
A traditional Four Hills Tournament takes place every year at the end of December and the beginning of January. Ski jumpers take part in the tournaments in Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen. The unconventional rules of the tournament, impressive prizes and glory for the winner of the general classification, creates a tournament known for bringing the best contestants and lots of fans. FHT organizers proudly informed us that the attendance record was broken last year – four hills drew nearly 130 thousand fans.
Many hills, but faster momentum and larger distances
Arne Abraten, a coordinator of the first Raw Air cycle, which is planned for March 10-19, 2017, said in an interview with Dagbladet.no that Norway has no intention of duplicating the German and Austrian competition. Both tournaments, however, share the formula of rivalry on four hills in four different cities as well as gathering points in the general classification of the ski jumpers. What are the differences? The FHT only has the individual classification. Norwegians added two national team competitions, and contestants and fans are in for quite a busy schedule of six different competitions in ten days. An additional obstacle for the partakers is traveling a distance reaching a couple hundred kilometres between Raw Air in Oslo, Lillehammer, Trondheim and Vikersund.
A prize and a race
Organizers of the Norwegian tournament took precautions in order to lure the best ski jumpers in the world. A couple months ahead of the kick off of the season, the news was announced that there will be a significant prize pool in Raw Air. Three of the best contestants in the final classification will divide one million Norwegian krones among themselves - which is about a half million PLN. The website SkokiPolska.pl calculated that the winner of the Norwegian cycle can in 10 days make a third of the amount that the best and most earning ski jumper of the last winter had to work for the entire, couple months long season.
Farther & more expensive. Worth it?
The official website of the tournament, rawair.no, contains links to purchasing tickets via ticketmaster.no. They cost between 170 and 400 Norwegian krones, which is about 85 – 200 PLN. Should a fan from Poland be interested in a trip to at least one competition from the cycle, they need to add costs of travelling, accommodation and alimentation. Have no delusions – it will be farther and more expensive compared to a trip to the traditional Four Hills Tournament. If we plan to travel across Norway, there will be charming views awaiting us and the tournament looks interesting, too, however, one shouldn’t anticipate seeing and experiencing that cheaply.
A flight ticket from Warsaw to Oslo and back, when booking ahead of time, can be bought for nearly 500 PLN. This way of transportation will probably turn out to be the cheapest and take the least amount of time. If, however, we plan on travelling around Norway, we will have to add the costs of renting a car or taking a train or bus. Larger freedom is granted if travelling from Poland by car. The destination can be reached using a ferry boat on the Baltic sea or by land through Germany, Denmark and Sweden using the paid, 8 km long bridge over the Øresund strait.
There’s a high probability of encountering more paid sections and tunnels in Norway as there are many. It is harder to find a gas station, and even harder to see a driver break traffic regulations. Tickets are so expensive that the risk isn’t worth taking. Exceeding the allowed speed by 25 kmph after conversion to the Polish currency can cost even over 3 thousand PLN. A litre of petrol is about 7.5 PLN.
How much for alimentation and how much for accommodation
At restaurants, bars and shops, food is much more expensive than it is compared to Poland. For a simple dinner, we will pay the equivalent of about 100 PLN, for a beer (0.4 litre) about 50 PLN and for a hot dog at a gas station – about 15 PLN.
- There aren’t many restaurants by the roads, and Norwegians themselves like to joke that their current national meal is frozen pizza cooked in an oven or a microwave. They do have a couple of delicacies worth trying, though. For instance, the baked mackerel and multekrem for dessert – said Karolina Pilwinska, who lived and worked in Norway for two years on a contract. As she added, most Norwegians speak English and one can count on their friendly attitude towards visitors from abroad.
Three days for two in a hotel in Oslo with breakfast, if we omit the offers from the top price level, can be booked via booking.com for 250-600 euro. There are also hostels, pensions and rooms for rent. The website national-geographic.pl suggests that even cheaper accommodations can be found at the tourist shelters, of which there are plenty in Norway. “They can offer various standards and service, the prices range from 40 to 100 PLN per night” – informs national-geographic.pl.
- Norway is neither a member of the European Union nor the eurozone. The main currency is the Norwegian krone, which is valued higher in relation to the zloty in recent months. For the first time in over two years, we could exchange 1 PLN to less than 2 krones. The value of the Norwegian currency in the months to come can be even higher, which is a result of increasing oil prices, to which the currency of this Scandinavian country is tied. The oil production cap by the OPEC can be the main factor which will cause the trips to Norway to be a little more expensive in the coming months – commented Bartosz Grejner, analyst at Cinkciarz.pl, the leader of the online currency exchange. According to the quotations from February 8, Cinkciarz.pl was selling the Norwegian krone (NOK) at 0.4895 PLN.
Raw Air 2017 tournament program
- Oslo: March 10 (Friday) – qualifiers, March 11 (Saturday) – team competition, March 12 (Sunday) – individual competition;
- Lillehammer: March 13 (Monday) - qualifiers, March 14 (Tuesday) - individual competition;
- Trondheim: March 15 (Wednesday) - qualifiers, March 16 (Thursday) - individual competition;
- Vikersund: March 17 (Friday) - qualifiers, March 18 (Saturday) – team competition, March 19 (Sunday) - - individual competition.