• A Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo drives through Oslo's streets

    The Marco Polo connecting the city and the great outdoors.

    The Norwegian photographer Nikolai Walther Wilhelmsen loves the vitality of the city just as much as the tranquillity of the countryside. In the Marco Polo, he finds the synthesis he needs.

On the way to a special place.

“I’m a very spontaneous person,” says Nikolai Walther Wilhelmsen as he stows away his camera equipment and luggage safely into the luggage compartment of his Marco Polo. “Sometimes,” says the young photographer, “I suddenly get that travel bug. Then I quickly pack up my things and five minutes later I’m behind the wheel of my Marco Polo.” His destination: “A special place, somewhere in the great outdoors.” The young photographer has been living in Norway’s capital Oslo for six years. People from all over the world are reflected in the glass facades of modern buildings; the sun glitters over the fjord and lines of cars fill the roads. Nikolai likes the hectic way of life in the metropolis. He feels at home in Oslo now, says the Scandinavian, and steers the camper van with the star easily through the heavy urban traffic.

Nikolai is loading the boot of the Marco Polo with his photo gear and luggage

Nikolai likes the hectic of Oslo and the tranquillity of nature.

“I love the fact that despite Oslo being such a hectic city you only need ten minutes to be in the middle of the countryside – enjoying the peace and calm.” It is in this peace and calm that Nikolai finds his favourite theme: nature. The serenity that he finds away from the city is the source of his creativity. “For me, freedom means being able to be anywhere at any time.”

“This kind of freedom enables my creativity,” explains the man from Norway. “Then it’s only the mountains and me.” The Marco Polo takes Nikolai deep into said mountains. The photographer doesn’t need a hotel: he can spend the night in the pop-up roof of the van and use the generously-sized interior as an office.

The Marco Polo parks, roof popped-up, next to a lake in the countryside

Looking for the most beautiful motif.

In the places where Nikolai takes his photos, the noise and hectic of the city are forgotten. Norway’s rugged countryside extends in a swathe of green – as far as the eye can see. Nikolai leaves the Marco Polo parked between crystal clear water; surrounded by a thousand potential motifs, he is off to look for his picture. This could be anywhere between the rocks, moss and snow. “I love looking for my motif. Sometimes I have to climb a mountain in the middle of the night to be there at the right time for dawn,” says Nikolai Walther Wilhelmsen.

Picture editing in the Marco Polo.

When Nikolai returns, he folds open the table in the back of the Marco Polo and edits his photos on his laptop; photos that later will be shown to the world. “I want my photography to inspire people about Norway,” he says with a sparkle in his eye.

“I would like people to come here and see the countryside with their own eyes.” Because there are some things that even the best cameras can’t capture: the fragrance of the grass, Scandinavia’s climate, or the wind caressing your face.

Nikolai and the Marco Polo – at home in both worlds.

Despite his love of nature, Nikolai lives in the city. He needs the busy life in Oslo just as much as he needs nature as his source of energy. He feels at home in both worlds. And one thing is for sure: his Marco Polo as his connector between city and countryside will accompany him in both day-to-day life and on his travels.

Nikolai edits his photos in the back of the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo