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    Posted May 18, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The world's best national parks

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    Hardangervidda National Park

    The Hardangervidda National Park is not only the largest National Park in Norway with an area of 8130 km² - but also one of the very best.

    Over 500 plant species, almost 100 bird species and 21 different mammals recorded in the area. This also includes snow owls and arctic foxes.

    There are a large number of mountain lakes, rivers, streams and bogs on Hardangervidda. The area is famous for its excellent fishing. Trout are found in almost every lakes. Northern Europe's largest stock of reindeer is located at Hardangervidda. During the year, the herd is moving from winter pasture on the east side of the plateau, to the more lush terrain in the west. The varying climate has a major impact on the vegetation on the plateau, which is more fertile in the rainy west than in the dry, eastern terrain. Much of the area is covered with grass and moss (especially peat moss).

    In late summer, Cloudberries are the most coveted resource that people pick on the marshlands of the plateau. In Winter, when conditions are good, one can also experience the Aurora Borealis all over the Hardangervidda.

    It only takes some 2.5 hours from the capital Oslo to reach the Hardangervidda. The easiest and fastest way is by driving to Rjukan in Telemark, and taking the Krossobanen Cable Way to Gvepseborg (http://www.krossobanen.no) One can also reach the park by car by driving to Kalhovd.

    The Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre at Skinnarbu (http://www.villrein.no/en), some 20 km west of Rjukan, has a very modern exhibition going all year long. It's showing life on the Hardangervidda and is well worth a visit!
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