I visited every country in the world, and picked one photo from each and every one of them. 198 photos, in other words. You can see them all here, listed alphabetically per continent. #picture198countries
It all started as a competition on my Instagram profile, tagged with #picture198countries. I asked people to guess which country each photograph was from, and accumulated almost 4,000 answers and over 21,000 likes. Thanks for taking part! Most of the photos were snapped by myself or by someone using my camera. Quite a few have also been photographed by others, in which case they should be credited (if I have forgotten, please let me know). I didn’t plan to visit every country in the world until 2008, when I had been to about 85 countries, so the quality of the cameras I brought along has been rather questionable – and more often than not limited to mobile cameras. Some photos were also lost due to questionable storing strategies. And I am finally not much of a photographer, but this is what I’ve got.
At least you will get a glimpse of every country in the world through these 198 photos (plus 2 bonus pictures from Antarctica). That’s a bloody good start, and will hopefully trigger your wanderlust as well.It might even inspire you to take part in The Country Challenge. Scroll down, or enter the photo gallery by clicking on one of the photos and click your way through.
In either way, here you go. This is probably the first place where you can find a photo from every country all in one internet article. Some sort of a claim to fame, at last. And if that doesn’t do it for you, feel free to check out my book “198: How I Ran Out of Countries” where I allegedly have deftly woven my experiences into a story that takes the reader on an emotive ride and establishes a connection with me and my quest (yeah, this was written by marketing people and is taken from the back cover of the book). Expect outrageous tales grouped in original themes, complete with own chapters for every country, it also says.
Europe (47 countries)
There are 47 countries in Europe. Two of them, Russia and Turkey, are also in Asia. I count Russia as European as Moscow, the capital and biggest city is located there. Most of Turkey is located in Asia, but the biggest city by far is primarily located in Europe, and I therefore count Turkey as European. Cyprus is geographically near Asia, but it is culturally relatively European and a member of
the EU. I count Cyprus as European.
ALBANIA: Øystein and I on our way up the mountain in a cable car just outside Tirana. Photo: Asbjørn Havnen.
ANDORRA: Bjarne, Andreas and I drank all the bubbles in Andorra. We started on the rum too, but lost.
BELGIUM: I bet you didn’t know that Antwerpen is one of the coolest cities in Europe.
BELARUS: Standing on the hands on the doorstep of the KGB headquarters was in hindsight not the best idea ever. Nor thought the agent who chased us away. Photo: Øystein Garfors.
BOSNIA AND HERCEGOVINA: The church police in Trebenje wasn’t
impressed by my mountain climbing shortcut to get there.
BULGARIA: Øystein Djupvik cleans the car after a wild night in Paradise Hotel.
CROATIA: Breakfast in boat is the best. Just bring your own sommelier and an oyster farmer.
CYPRUS: I had no choice but accepting the BBQ invitation in Cyprus. And I had no regrets. It tasted amazing.
CZECH REPUBLIC: My brother Øystein and Helge Fauskanger coincidentally visited Prague the same time as I did.
DENMARK: The other side of Denmark, aka. Faroe Islands, is picture perfect.
ESTONIA: I am sure that I deserved it. Photo: Nicole Salazar.
FINLAND: Where it takes the consumption of a bottle of vodka to bring out a smile.
FRANCE: I once counted the steps to the top.
GERMANY: Ich bin ein Hamburger.
GREECE: Chain smoking chess players are common in Athens.
I was once the only one out of 21 people not smoking in a restaurant.
HUNGARY: My brother Åsmund has since started building his biceps.
ICELAND: My road. Photo: Asbjørn Havnen.
IRELAND: The West Coast here totally rocks. Photo: Nicole Salazar.
ITALY: When in Rome, chill out.
KOSOVO: The youngest country in Europe.
LATVIA: Roofing it.
LIECHTENSTEIN: The Interrail budget of Tor Egil Hovland and myself sort of limited our diet.
LITHUANIA: I don’t normally hang out with Frank Zappa’s head. Photo: Nicole Salazar.
LUXEMBOURG: The country where we discovered that our passports were still in the Netherlands. Interrail novices, surely.
MACEDONIA: Alexander was here.
MALTA: From a break during my quest to run around the island of Gozo.
MOLDOVA: You’d be surprised how good wine they make here.
MONACO: Which in mine, the Rolls Royce or the yatch?
MONTENEGRO: A hidden gem on the south side of Lake Skadar.
THE NETHERLANDS: Where I prefer to stay in houseboats. Photo: Jørn Jensen.
NORWAY: The boat of my six siblings and me takes us across the fjord to the log cabin built by my brother Håkon and myself. This is area is called Skjomen and is just south of Narvik in Northern Norway.
POLAND: Walking around the old town can be rather romantic. And freezing cold.
PORTUGAL: A country surprisingly less visited.
ROMANIA: I want those wheels.
RUSSIA: I test drove a Maserati and a Lada Niva. Similarities? Well, they were both blue.
This beauty was far more enjoyable to drive.
SAN MARINO: Wow, I can see Italy from here. Photo: Bjarne Andre Myklebust.
SERBIA: Where cannons have cinema seats in front. Photo: Asbjørn Havnen.
SLOVAKIA: Look, a UFO.
SLOVENIA: Ljubljana is such a calm and pleasant city. Not really my cup of tea, though.
Which might explain why I stayed the night in a prison cell.
SPAIN: Hercules And Julius Cesar dwarf Seville in Seville.
SWEDEN: Steering the winner of Volvo Ocean Race was rather cool.
I dunno if the crew agreed, though. Photo: Ericsson.
GAMBIA: How cars are typically started around here. Our friend Atle’s car, at least.
GHANA: Enjoying the shade in Accra harbour.
GUINEA: This guy found the perfect spot to read, on the outskirts of Conakry.
GUINEA-BISSAU: He convinced me it wasn’t his boat.
IVORY COAST: A 15 kilometer walk in the sun calls for refreshments in the shade.
KENYA: Zebra crossing
LESOTHO: I was proposed to here, by a mother on behalf of her daughter.
I politely declined, although I find these traditional houses – one of which could have been mine – rather stylish.
LIBERIA: Who needs a printer, anyway?
LIBYA: I was repeatedly asked to cover the war in favour of the “rebel’s” side.
Gaddafi was still alive at the time of my visit.
MADAGASCAR: 2CVs are still going strong as taxis in Antananarivo.
MALAWI: Benedicte, my sister-in-law, paints the name of a new fishing boat in Nkhotakota.
MALI: It is just sad what is on offer in some of the market stalls in Bamako.
The animal heads are allegedly used for voodoo purposes.
MAURITANIA: Goat meat and fat being prepared for breakfast.
MAURITIUS: Yes, the water is as tempting as it looks.
MOROCCO: The world’s tallest mosque in Casablanca is constantly battered by the sea.
MOZAMBIQUE: Kjersti and I pose outside a restaurant in Maputo.
NAMIBIA: Isn’t (s)he cute? Well, it still smells awful. Or maybe I should blame the 300,000 relatives in Cape Cross.
NIGER: The trademark red sand is everywhere in Niamey. Photo: Dominik Schwarz, Creative Commons.
NIGERIA: I didn’t know whether I qualified, so I snuck in.
RWANDA: Champagne breakfast during sunset at Hotel des Mille Collines, aka. Hotel Rwanda, comes highly recommened. You will have to bring your own bubbles, though.
SAO TOMÉ AND PRINCIPE: Local fishermen at work.
SENEGAL: Where umbrellas are used against anything but rain.
Øystein, Benedicte and I were taken on a guided trip in the backwaters of Ziguinchor.
SEYCHELLES: From car to snorkel in 3 seconds.
SIERRA LEONE: Taxi, Freetown style.
SOMALIA: Having breakfast with the governor. He even insisted on paying.
SOUTH AFRICA: Good hopes at Cape of Good Hope. Photo: Jørn Jensen.
SOUTH SUDAN: The world’s longest river runs through it in Juba.
SUDAN: The green place where The Blue Nile and The White Nile meet and becomes The Nile.
SWAZILAND: Where Kjersti learnt to haggle.
TANZANIA: Stonetown in Zanzibar invites for some serious exploration in the many small alleys. Photo: Neiljs, Creative Commons.
TOGO: To go to Togo or not to go to Togo, that is the question. Photo: Nicole Salazar.
UGANDA: Who would have guessed this is in the middle of Africa? I proudly present Lake Bunyonyi.
WESTERN SAHARA: How to create foam, in your tea.
ZAMBIA: Mr. Judge’s hole-in-the-wall barber shop in Shesheke.
ZIMBABWE: The sporting goods shop in Bulawayo had one pair of football shoes for sale. Size 42.
Asia (47 countries)
You will find 47 countries in Asia too. Note that I count Russia and Turkey as European, see above.
AFGHANISTAN: I had to try on a burqa to find the right size. Both Asbjørn (left) and Marius for some reason decided to buy the garment as presents for their girlfriends. And I was allegedly the right size. Photo: Marius Arnesen.
ARMENIA: This run down ferris wheel felt awkwardly out of place in a tiny town nearby Lake Sevan.
AZERBAIJAN: Our taxi driver’s regular position throughout our drive to the desert. ¨
He still always managed to somehow restart the car.
BAHRAIN: Just too hot to handle. Air conditioning was invented for a reason. The reason must have been Bahrain.
BANGLADESH: State of the art power lines everywhere.
BHUTAN: Dog’s Rest over Tiger’s Nest.
BRUNEI: This boy is patiently waiting for fish to get near enough so that he can through out his net.
CAMBODIA: Only a very few of Pol Pot’s victims.
CHINA: My friend and I got in to Expo 2010 with borrowed ID cards. We even managed
to pass the extraordinarily long queue to the Norwegian pavillion, claiming to be
air condition repair workers.
EAST TIMOR: I watched an international football match in Dili, and overheard the Australian coach severely slagging off his young players at half time: “You play like women. No, not women. You play like girls! Like tiny kindergarten girls.” They were down 1-3. Photo: Lofor (Creative Commons)
GEORGIA: Øystein and I celebrated reaching a minor peak in Kazbegi, a mountaneous region to the north.
INDIA: Blessing by elephant. Photo: Kjersti Garfors.
SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES: Kingstown, a rather green capital that is best explored on foot.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Being featured on Reuter’s screen on Times Square was relatively cool. Following the world record of Tay-young Pak, Øystein Djupvik and myself; we visited 22 states in 24 hours.
South America (12 countries)
There are only 12 countries in South America. That makes it the continent with the fewest countries.
ARGENTINA: Colourful Ushuaia is the southermost city in the world.
BOLIVIA: The hillsides of La Paz are certainly worth to explore on foot.
BRAZIL: The competition for the most hardcore football fan in this country is fierce.
This bar owner in Curitiba is definitely among the leading contestants.
CHILE: Some of the boats in Puerto del Hambre have seen better days.
COLOMBIA: This bamboo forest was just too tempting to leave alone.
Wearing the Colombia football jersey I got from Miguel, the son of my brother
Øystein and his wife Benedicte. Photo: Øystein Garfors.
ECUADOR: Guinea pig is a delicacy here. It looks better than it tastes.
PARAGUAY: This particular customer in Asuncion
seemed to be on the young side for drinks.
PERU: The train towards Machu Picchu is slow for a reason. You don’t want to miss those views.
SURINAM: The wooden houses in Paramaribo might lack a little paint,
but they certainly make up for it when it comes to charm.
URUGUAY: Montevideo is vastly underestimated and should definitely steal some visitors from Buenos Aires.
VENEZUELA: Where Adrian Butterworth and I completed our legendary Guinness World Record and celebrated in style. Obviously. We were first to visit five continents in just one day. Our route took us through five countries too, which more than doubled Adrian’s country count.
Antarctica (0 countries)
The only uninhibitated continent does naturally not contain any countries. But it certainly deserves a photo. Let’s call it a bonus.