And no sliding on the handrail!

If you missed it, history was made last week in Trysil, Norway, and the excitement was so great that residents could hardly find words to express themselves. So, what was the big deal: the discovery of oil? The relocation of the national capital? Maybe being awarded the next Winter Olympics? No, no, and no. Rather, it was the installation of the town's first escalator . You read that correctly. Trysil, which has about 6,800 people and is roughly 125 miles northeast of Oslo, ranks as one of the most popular ski resorts in Scandinavia because it's in the mountains. So, naturally, mechanical devices for transporting folks up steep elevations - think chairlifts - are already in place. But of course they're all outdoors. The moving stairs, which travel about 50 feet, are inside a small shopping mall and represent, according to the local newspaper, the first "modernization" since a traffic circle was built there a few years ago . Before they began operating, townspeople who wanted to ride an escalator had to go all the way to Elverum, 45 miles west and three times larger, for the pleasure. One of those who found it difficult to put his excitement into words was a spokesman for the local history club. "This is like the first time Trysilians ever tasted a potato," he said. Well, perhaps something was lost in translation.

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