Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Five Largest Shopping Centers in Oslo

As every capital, Oslo hosts multiple shopping centers. However, it is worth paying attention to five department stores that are especially popular among the locals and tourists. 

Five Largest Shopping Centers in Oslo

OSLO CITY 

Oslo City is the largest four-floored shopping center. In 2010, it was claimed the best store of the north. It is situated in the central part of the city, not far from the Central Station. 

Five Largest Shopping Centers in Oslo

Oslo City offers various categories of goods: clothes, shoes, dishware, jewelry, cosmetics and many other things. You can find more than 90 shops and restaurants here. Moreover, the department store has a hair salon, a parlor, and a medical center. 

Visitors of Oslo City value the high quality of products made by famous world brands as well as Norwegian companies. 

BYPORTEN 

Byporten is remarkable by its convenient location: you can get there from the Central Station by an underground passage. If you travel through Oslo and have to wait for a couple of hours for a transfer – spend your time in Byporten. 

Five Largest Shopping Centers in Oslo

It comprises more than 250 small shops; some of them are located there uniquely in the city. The store offers a medical care center and a dentist as well. Byporten is a great place to spend some time before the train and buy a couple of Norwegian souvenirs for friends and relatives! 

GLASMAGASINET 

GlasMagasinet is the oldest and the most renowned department store in the country. It was opened in 1739 and initially sold only glass and porcelain. Today you may buy practically everything there, however the production of Hadeland Glassverk brand is still especially popular. 

Five Largest Shopping Centers in Oslo

The building itself makes it difficult to leave the shop without buying anything. When you rise one level up, you can leave the place only by walking through the entire floor! 

STEEN&STRОM 

Fifty clothing stores, several restaurants and a supermarket occupy a four-floor building of Steen&Strоm. One level is fully given to the Norwegian producers. 

Five Largest Shopping Centers in Oslo

In the fourth floor, you may buy various souvenirs, wooden plates, clothes, glass and porcelain made in the country. 

PALEET 

Paleet is a heaven for those who want to bring home "made in Norway" goods. Practically all shops there sell goods produced in Norway. In Paleet, you will find woolen clothes with ethnic ornaments. 

Five Largest Shopping Centers in Oslo

By the way, Oslo shopping centers often hold sales, and discounts may go up to 70 per cent. The biggest sales are in July, August and during practically the whole January. Mind the advertisements about special offers while walking in the capital! 


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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

Best ski resorts for snowboarding in Norway. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

OSLO WINTER PARK 

Winter Park Oslo is located just 20 minutes from the city center; you may easily get there by public transport. It is the largest park in Norway for active leisure, and it suits for the whole family. 

It provides 18 runs and a vertical fall of 381 meters. The area has 11 lifts. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

The Park offers amongst other things a ski-school, a rental, a ski repair, and a café; in other words everything you could expect from a ski area offering the full package. 

Oslo Winter Park is located 531 meters above the sea level. The season starts in early December and lasts until middle of April. All the slopes are floodlit, with evening opening 5 days a week all season. 

KRONSBERG SKI CENTER 

Modern Kronsberg ski resort is situated just in one hour's distance from the capital of Norway. The place is especially popular among the locals. It offers a new snocross area with ski-jumps, quarter-pipes, halfpipes and fanboxes. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

The Ski Center offers rentals and shops of sport equipment and a free of charge parking in front of the lifts. 

NOREFJELL SKI RESORT 

Norefjell is situated in a 1.5 hour's distance from Oslo. It is the closest to the capital high mountain resort featuring the largest elevation in Norway. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

The resort fits for both beginners and professionals, and offers multiple runs from green to black levels of difficulty. 

OPPDAL SKI CENTER 

For snowboarders, Oppdal offers two snow parks with three ski-jumps and twenty slopes. It is an optimal place for free-riders as well. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

RINGKOLLEN SNOW PARK 

Ringkollen was claimed the best snow park in 2011 by Norwegian Snowboard Awards. This small resort is situated 60 km to north-west of Oslo. You may take Е16 to get there. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

The Park tries to follow the latest trends in snowboarding and offers fanboxes, ski-jumps of various heights as well as five runs of different levels of difficulty. 

VIERLI SKI CENTER 

Vierli is located in the Telemark County, Southern Norway. In 2010 and 2011 the resort was claimed the "resort of the year" by Norwegian Snowboard Awards. The Ski Center offers the fastest and most modern lift in Norway, 750 meter slope-style run, big jumps, step-up jumps, banks, rails, and jibs. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

In March 2012, Vierli hosted Norwegian Championship of Snowboarding. 

GEILO 

Geilo is one of the oldest ski resorts in the country with almost 40 ski runs and 4 snow parks. It is an ideal place for family holidays. Simultaneously, it provides best quality for snowboarding. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

The resort is located between Oslo and Bergen, and is easily reachable by train. 

HAFJELL 

A large ski resort with many runs of different levels of difficulty is situated just 15 km from Lillehammer. For snowboarders, it offers a small halfpipe, a big ski-jump, many kickers and various quarter-pipes. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

The park has nine high ski-jumps, a corner, a set-up, seven runs, a five-meter-high flat-box, four fan-boxes, a 15-meter tube and much more! 

TRYSIL 

This is another large Norwegian ski resort located 210 km from Oslo. It offers three areas for snowboarders – a green, a blue and a red-black one for advanced sport-lovers. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

HEMSEDAL SKI CENTER 

Hemsedal represents five parks in the mountains between Oslo and Bergen. The season starts in the middle of November and finishes in the end of May. 

Best Places for Snowboarding in Norway

The resort has two ski centers: Hemsedal Skisenter and Solheisen Skisenter. Its snow park is perfect for free-ride. Snowboarders have two halfpipes, quarterpipes, ski-jumps and various runs. 


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Monday, 20 June 2016

Getting Hungry in Oslo: Cafes and Restaurants with National Cuisine

The Norwegian capital offers plenty of cafes and restaurants with national cuisine. Historically, Norwegian culture is connected with fishing, so prepare to taste seafood and fish dishes! 

Getting Hungry in Oslo: Cafes and Restaurants with National Cuisine

Another feature of the national cuisine is the combination of traditional recipes with the latest trends and modern techniques. 

We chose several popular places that offer truly Norwegian atmosphere – and wonderful dishes! 

CRU 

Cru is a stylish restaurant with light ornamented interior. It is situated in a quiet street. The chef de cuisine adores Norwegian cuisine and offers exquisite local dishes made from fresh ingredients. Do not miss delicious signature dishes! 

Getting Hungry in Oslo: Cafes and Restaurants with National Cuisine

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 5 pm – 12:30 am 
Average check: €54 
Address: Industrigt 50/Ingelbrecht Knudssons Gate 1, Oslo 

JULIUS FRITZNER 

According to many guides, this restaurant is one of the best eateries in Oslo. It is situated in famous Karl Johansgate street in Grand Hotel not far from one of the well-known Oslo sights – Slottet Palace. 

Getting Hungry in Oslo: Cafes and Restaurants with National Cuisine

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 6 pm – 10 pm 
Average check: €79 
Address: Karl Johansgate 31, Oslo 

KAFFISTOVA 

This pretty and original restaurant is situated in the heart of Oslo, in the Bondeheimen Hotel. The menu offers splendid Norwegian cuisine. 

Getting Hungry in Oslo: Cafes and Restaurants with National Cuisine

Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10 am – 9 pm; Sat – Son 11 am – 7 pm 
Average check: €27 
Address: Rosenkrantz Gate 8, Oslo 

KRISHNAS CUISINE 

Krishnas Cuisine is a nice restaurant with simple interior and friendly atmosphere. It is located in a shopping center. The menu offers high quality vegetarian dishes made of the best ingredients! 

Getting Hungry in Oslo: Cafes and Restaurants with National Cuisine

Opening hours: Mon – Fri 11 am – 8 pm; Sat 11 am – 7 pm 
Average check: €26 

SOLSIDEN 

Solsiden is one of the best restaurants of the Norwegian capital. It occupies the building of a former steam navigation company in front of the Akershus Castle. Seasonal menu consists mainly of fish dishes. 

Getting Hungry in Oslo: Cafes and Restaurants with National Cuisine

Opening hours: Mon – Sun 3 pm – 11 pm 
Average check: €57 
Address: Sondre Akershus Kai 34, Oslo 

STORTORVETS GJAESTGIVERI 

Stortorvets Gjaestgiveri is an old-fashioned peculiar restaurant, one of the oldest in Oslo. It is located in the middle of the Old Town, not far from Karl Johans Gate. The restaurant occupies the 17th century building with typical Norwegian interior. 

Getting Hungry in Oslo: Cafes and Restaurants with National Cuisine

The menu offers healthy international dishes and some vegetarian cuisine. 

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11 am – 11 pm 
Average check: €65 
Address: Grensen 1, Oslo 


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Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

We crossed practically whole Norway from South to North. Our route: we landed in Oslo; then got by train to Fauske; took a bus to Narvik, and spent two weeks there exploring the surrounding area. Way back home was symmetrical.

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

OSLO – NARVIK 

We started from Oslo. It is a magnificent city, green, with many strange sculptures, romantic quays and, of course, the famous Opera. We walked upon its inclined roof. In summer, when the weather is hot, residents of Oslo sunbathe there above the waters of Oslofjord.

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

In the evening, we took the train to the North. Mind a surprising numeration of carriages! Here you can see carriage 5 next to carriage 357 and then goes carriage 25. The carriage itself is divided into two parts, and each part has its own number. We were so confused that first occupied the wrong seats. With many excuses, we managed to find ours.

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

In the end of the journey, two old ladies were sitting in the neighboring block of seats. We did not exchange a word during the trip, but when we went out on our station, they were smiling to us and waving hands. Very positive experience! 

Then we boarded a bus and headed to Narvik. 

FJORDS AND NATURE 

First, Norway is fjords. They are everywhere.

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

Second, Norway is mountains. The further to the North, the more mountainous it becomes. 

What else? Fjords and mountains, crystal water, kind people and fresh air. Fresh air with no smell! If you open your window and breathe in, you will sense some sort of aroma – trees, moist, grass, fir, flowers. But in Norway it was nothing. Sterile. I believe, I did not have my allergies there. With such air, we felt healthy and had good sleep.

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

There is a golf field not far from Narvik, which is considered one of the best in the world. And it is the northernmost golf field, of course. We walked there with our Norwegian friends. The views were fabulous. We drank very tasty water from a nearby river. The locals (at least in the North) take drinking water from mountain rivers. 

SMALL TOWNS 

Population of Norway is quite small. The towns are small as well. Narvik, for example, has just 18 thousand inhabitants. In the evening, the town becomes empty. Only the sun shines. We made long calm walks in the evening.

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

The locals are very proud of their nature. Many of them plan holidays in Norway, they prefer to explore their own country then go to popular world resorts. 

Norwegians like to grill. If they do not have enough space in front of the house, they make balconies that allow them to grill!

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

Trampoline is a must for a household! They have trampolines even in the camps – for tourists who used to jump at home, I think. If you go along the street in the afternoon, you can bet that you will see someone jumping! 

During our trip, we saw just a couple of police cars. I think, if you can sleep safely with your door unlocked, maybe, you are really happy! 

ETERNAL SUN 

The sun is eternal. But only in Northern Norway, and only in summer. In winter, it is eternal night. Midnight sun and polar night offer very peculiar experience.

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

During our stay, the sun was shining 24 hours. Our biological hours were deeply confused.

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

 Warm mountain lakes were a great compensation!

Norway Trip Review: The Country of Wonders

One of the sights of Narvik is an artificial geyser. It burst out gallons of water daily at 9 pm. A good example of how to turn a usual and purely functional thing (getting rid of water surplus in order to decrease pressure) into a tourist attraction! 


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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

You Spent Too Much Time in Norway If…

Let us see what happens if someone spends too much time in Norway!

You Spent Too Much Time in Norway If…

1. You have a pair of dress-skis. 
2. You do not remember how money looks like: there is just a credit card in your wallet. 
3. You do not care what you put on. 
4. You do not remember what is butter. 
5. The weather forecast promises +15 Celsius, and you put on shorts. 
6. You know who Bjørn Dæhlie is and what time he showed at the10 km distance. 
7. You know how to write Bjørn Dæhlie. 
8. You always carry an umbrella – just in case. 

You Spent Too Much Time in Norway If…

9 You are not worried if you lose a mobile phone. 
10. You are not surprised when someone returns your mobile phone. 
11. You are envious if your neighbor has really cool skis. 
12. You always make jokes about the Swedes. 
13. You start to say "ja" instead of "yes/si/da/oui" etc. 
14. You know 50 Mortens, 40 Tronds and 30 Helgas. 
15. You diligently pack garbage. 
16. You know who is Queen Sonja, and you do not like her. 

You Spent Too Much Time in Norway If…

17. You are angry when a bus arrives at 12.39 instead of 12.37. 
18. You throw a towel down to dry your legs. 
19. You know what a matpakke is, and carry it regularly with you. 
20. You know several types of ski waxes, and the differences between the red and the blue ones. 
21. Holes in coins do not surprise you anymore. 
22. You feel uncomfortable without your backpack. 
23. You go skiing on Easter. 
24. You are aware of the all details of the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish royal families' lives. 
25. You do not want to leave Norway ever!


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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park: the Pulse of Untouched Nature

"In harmony and faith till Dovre falls" vowed participants of the Convention of Eidsvoll in 1814. 

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella National Park was established in 2002 to replace the former Dovrefjell National Park, originally founded in 1974. It occupies 1693 sq. km and encompasses areas in three Norwegian counties: Oppland, Sør-Trøndelag, and Møre og Romsdal. 

FLORA… 

Its unique flora attracts botanists – professional and amateur – for more than 200 years. The plants, like wormwood or various species of mountain poppies, survived the Ice Age. 

…AND FAUNA 

Initial balance of the mountain ecosystem was troubled by human intervention and modern activities. Nevertheless, Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park contains some untouched mountainous areas. The local fauna includes wild deer, wolverines, Arctic foxes, and golden eagles. 

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

Arctic foxes survived despite the fact that until recently they were desired prey of hunters. 

Beautiful Sunndalsfjella offers wonderful summer pastures for wild deer. Winter pastures are located to the East, with less atmospheric precipitation. 

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

The Dovrefjell mountains are home for a herd of musk-oxen. 

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

You will find a ruff in wetlands, and a white grouse in heather moors. Among predatory birds, there are gyrfalcon, golden eagle, and roughleg. 

LANDSCAPES 

The landscape from Sunndalsfjella to Knutshøene mountains gradually changes from wild heights on the west to more soft and flat contours on the east. Storkalken, Storskrymten and famous Snøhetta peaks dominate the landscape. 

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

It is worth mentioning Åmotan gorge with its mighty 156 meter high waterfall. 

FROM HUNTERS AND PILGRIMS TO TOURISTS 

Cultural and historical traces show that humankind has been using the resources of Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella for more than 10,000 years. 

The oldest traces were found in the western part where hunters persecuted deer with bows and arrows while the ice was melting and retreating. Dovrefjell possesses the largest in Southern Norway hunting holes dug to catch deer. 

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

Later, first pilgrims crossed the high mountain and made their way to Nidaros. First small inns were built on the mountain ridge, the road connected South and North, stimulating trade and transport development. 

Households started to graze their cattle in the mountains. Villages were rapidly developing. 

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

Hiking in Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella is an opportunity to feel the pulse of mountainous nature at its fullest. The net of passes will lead you through various landscapes. You will have an opportunity to sleep in a tourist base inside or outside the Park. You may climb into the mountains, go fishing or hunting – just do not forget about the license! 


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Monday, 6 June 2016

Original Souvenirs from Norway

What unusual souvenirs may you bring from Norway? 

Original Souvenirs from Norway

WOOLEN PULLOVER 

A woolen pullover with traditional Norwegian ornament is an expensive and an exquisite gift. Pullovers are spun of 100 per cent fleece that is why they are so soft and tender. The usual ornaments include patterns, seer and troll silhouettes. Norwegian pullovers are famous for their high quality; you may wear them for years! 

Original Souvenirs from Norway

Such pullover costs from 700 NOK. If you choose an item from Dale of Norway  the most renowned Norwegian brand of woolen clothes – the sum will be twice as big. 

ALCOHOL LINIE AKVAVIT 

Each Nordic country has its own akvavit. However, the Norwegian is unique. "Linie" means equator in Norwegian. 200 years ago Norwegian merchants brought to Indonesia their goods, akvavit among them. Some barrels were taken back home to Norway, so they crossed the equator twice. Ocean salt, swell and temperature differences changed the taste of the beverage. And the locals found it really good! 

Original Souvenirs from Norway

Traditional akvavit is made the following way: they boil potatoes with caraway then copper the beverage and send to Austria and back. On the tag of every bottle, you may find the route, the name of the ship and dates of departure and return to Norway. 

It is better to buy Linie Akvavit in duty-free. The price per bottle is 80-100 NOK. 

REAL NORWEGIAN CHEESE 

Speaking about gastronomic souvenirs, do not miss famous brunost. This Norwegian cheese is made of cream and milk whey, it is brown by color and tastes caramel. 

Original Souvenirs from Norway

Its price starts from 100 NOK per kilo. 

NORWEGIAN CHEESE-SLICER 

Did you know that cheese-slicer was invented in Norway? In 1925, a carpenter Thor Bjørklund invented a plane for cheese and patented it. In a couple of years, Bjørklund & Sønner company started mass production of cheese-slicers. 

Original Souvenirs from Norway

The firm produces them even today, as well as other kitchen utensils. 

ROSEMÅLING 

Rosemåling is a style of decorative painting on wood that originated in the 18th in the rural Norway. The name means "rose painting" as this flower is the main pattern in the style. Among basic colors, prevail blue and scarlet. Rosemåling is used to paint furniture, kitchen utensils, shoes, clock and many other things. 

Original Souvenirs from Norway

A small painted souvenir will be a nice present! 


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