There we were, in a packed funicular suspended hundreds of feet from the ground, gliding our way up to the Cristo Redentor statue towering atop Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, when my mischievous travel buddy leaned over and whispered, “I dare you to just start screaming.”
The image of that scenario – blasting out a blood-curdling scream to the baffled terror of my fellow passengers – cracked me up so much that I started laughing like a madwoman instead (which I’m sure seemed plenty disturbing in itself).
I still chuckle when I think about it, and although I opted not to scream that day, Norway’s tourism board, Visit Norway, is encouraging people all over the world to do just that, with the chance to win a trip to this spectacular Scandinavian country as incentive. The quirky tourism campaign, called “Scream Your Way to Norway” (warning: be careful clicking at work) is inspired by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, who painted (you guessed it) The Scream and would have turned 150 this year.
With the recently launched campaign, Visitn Norway hopes to make the world’s longest “scream” film to commemorate the artist’s milestone birthday (December 12). So far, the film is about three minutes long and features a wide spectrum of screams, from the bizarre (a man half grunting/half sighing while staring at his beer) to the creative (a screaming goat) to the adrenaline-crazy (a climber standing atop a jagged rock formation hundreds of feet high, screeching in triumph).
The more entries, the bigger the trip gets; if there are 3,000 entries, there will be five trips awarded. A "scream of the day" also will be awarded, with prizes that include Norwegian gear such as wool socks and anoraks. Entering seems easy enough: scream and shoot your video, which organizers encourage you to keep "short and sweet, screaming for a couple of seconds is fine." There's even an option to upload a video straight from your web cam.
The campaign, which closes February 28, seems perfectly suited for adventure-minded travelers: Just think of the opportunities to show off both your bravado and your lung power. There are several sports-centered entries so far, but surprisingly enough, no entries yet with a skier or snowboarder barreling and bellowing down a mountain full of powder.
So get screaming – and filming. I may just do the same the next time I'm in the funicular in Rio.