I never thought I would end up living in Norway. Yet here I am for the past two years, living in a country that pretty much is the complete opposite of what I grew up in. Growing up in New York and Puerto Rico, and then living in California for the longest period of my life (15 years), I need heat and the sea nearby.
When my husband and I decided to move to Norway, we didn’t choose the capital city of Oslo. We wanted to be somewhere a little quieter, but close enough to Oslo to see family and friends, and for work. We looked at lots of homes in nearby towns and when we went to a few open houses in the city of Horten, it was always sunny and a warm. It always felt “right.” After a few options, we ended up buying the home we are in now.
Horten is only approximately an hour south of Oslo and is a small city located on the western side of the Oslo Fjord. It is a lovely seaside town with a rich history, what I almost love about it the most, is that in the Horten municipality is where Åsgårdstrand is located, the main hometown of one of my favorite artists, Edvard Munch.
Norway is cold, but what makes up for us being here is that we are three blocks from the sea, have a semi-sea view (covered partially by neighbors’ trees), and are only ten minutes away from Åsgårdstrand, which has an amazing beach to spend time in. You can visit Edvard Munch’s former home and can see why he was so inspired too.
Five minutes away from the center (where we live) is the Borre park, which has the largest collection of burial mounds from the time before and during the Viking Period in Scandinavia.
In Horten city you can walk or cycle along the coastal path through lush forests and along the beach. You get the best of both worlds on the same tour and I love that about Horten!
Another thing that’s really interesting to me about Horten is the history. It was the main base for the Royal Norwegian Navy from 1819 to 1963, called Karljohansvern and named after king Karl Johan. The military buildings still remain there today. There is the Royal Norwegian Navy Museum (Marinemuseet) and the fortress Norske Løve, and when I was taking Norwegian classes, they were at one of these fascinating buildings.
I am glad we chose this “koselig” (cozy) small city. I like all of the activities happening in Oslo, but it’s nice to come home here. If you’re ever visiting Norway, you should definitely stop by Horten, especially in the summer. That’s when it comes alive.
Here’s an official link to Horten to view more images and find out more information.