Norway has stunning scenery. The lakes, the mountains … they are beautiful and popular with travellers. But what can be done for those who live in the small towns and villages that are set in the shadow of these mountains?
The tallest mountain in Norway, Gaustatoppen, looms over the small town of Rjukan – so much so that for six months out of every year, the light from the sun barely gave the inhabitants any sort of proper daylight.
In 1913 one man, Oscar Kittilsen, wrote in the local paper about an idea he had to overcome this problem. Why not, he asked, erect a huge mirror that would reflect the sunlight down into the town? I can imagine that people thought he was, well, kind of crazy.
They must have done because although a cable car was built to take people up the mountain to get some sunshine into their lives, nothing was done about the idea. That is, until one hundred years later.
In 2013, three huge solar mirrors were fitted on the hillside to reflect the sun into the small town square. The authorities provided plenty of benches so that the locals could sit and ‘sunbathe’. The mirrors are controlled by computers which slowly move the reflectors to face the sun and thus make the most of the sunlight.
WHERE IS RJUKAN?
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.