Friday, 31 March 2017

Norway Travel: Behave Yourself!

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Several tips on how avoid stupid mistakes while travelling in Norway.

Norway Travel: Behave Yourself!

NORWEGIANS

  • Norwegians seldom raise their voice and feel uncomfortable when others do so. 
  • Despite the existing stereotype, Norwegians usually speak English quite fluently. They learn the language at school and often use it at work. However, it will be wise to learn several useful phrases in Norwegian. 

Norway Travel: Behave Yourself!

  • Another stereotype says how reserved Norwegians are. However, nowadays it is mostly not true. If you find yourself in a trouble (e.g. got lost, missed a train etc.) during your Norway travel, the locals will gladly help you. 
  • The country has its common daily regimen: people wake up at 6 am, work until 4-5 pm, and go to bed at 9-10 pm. It is not so strict in big cities, but should anyway be taken into account. 

TOWNS

  • Do not litter, even if it is an apple core in the forest. If you do not see bins, put litter in a bag until you find one. 
  • It is forbidden to smoke and drink alcohol in public. It will show your disrespect towards others, and you will be fined. 

Norway Travel: Behave Yourself!

  • If you feel like walking, take a map with you. In Oslo or Bergen, you can have a map and multiple brochures free of charge at various tourist information points.

SHOPPING

  • Buy alcohol and beer at Duty Free. Do not be shy – the route is long, and booze costs a lot in Norway. 
  • Use your VISA or MasterCard, they are accepted almost everywhere in Norway. 

Norway Travel: Behave Yourself!

  • Try seafood at the morning Fish Market in Bergen as a highlight of your Norway travel. It is not cheap, but the atmosphere of Nordic uniqueness is worth it. 
  • Every large community has Narvesen news stalls that offer great fresh brewed coffee with fantastic cakes and hot-dogs. That food is not totally healthy, but is definitely tasty and affordable. 

CAMPING

  • When you stay in a camping, keep quiet after 9 pm. Move active communication outside – to a river bank or in the forest. 
  • Every camping offers a WC, tap drinking water, electricity and containers for litter. Sometimes you may find a washing machine and a shower – for extra money. 

Norway Travel: Behave Yourself!

  • From April 15th until September 15th, it is forbidden to make fires in the forest, including campings. However, grill is allowed. 
  • Almost every piece of the Norwegian territory belongs to someone – a private owner, or state (like in national parks). However, you may walk and cycle everywhere you want unless there is a special sign. And, of course, try to avoid being too close to the inside territory of private houses. 

Norway Travel Blog 
© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Top Restaurants of Bergen

A list of the most popular and elegant restaurants of Bergen. Bon appetite!

Top Restaurants of Bergen

1. A small and cozy restaurant Escalón is one of the favorite places of the citizens of Bergen and its guests. For already several years the restaurant is considered one of the best in its cohort. It offers you a variety of dishes from exquisite meatballs, tender mushrooms, or shrimps with a garlic and wine sauce. The restaurant is also famous for its Spanish tapas!

Top Restaurants of Bergen

Address: Vetrlidsalmenningen 21, Bergen
Phone: +47 5532-9099

2. Lucullus is considered one of Bergen’s best gourmet restaurants. Its cuisine is based on classical French food, with a focus on local ingredients. With an extensive wine list and the best seasonal ingredients on the menu, all is set for an exciting dining experience!

Top Restaurants of Bergen

Address: Hotel Neptun, Walckendorfsgt. 8, Bergen
Phone: +47 5530-6820

3. Enhjøringen Fiskerestaurant can boast of its historical location in Bryggen. It offers an impressive seafood menu with such delicacies as wale carpaccio, smoked salmon mousse, or hot and creamy house mussel soup.

Top Restaurants of Bergen

Address: Enhjørningsgården 29, Bergen
Phone: +47 5530-6950

4. Kitchen and Table is a chain of restaurants spread throughout Scandinavia. It was founded by Sweden born, New York based chef Marcus Samuelsson. The menu offers true Manhattan chic by fusing multicultural cuisine with the high-quality, fresh produce of Scandinavia.

Top Restaurants of Bergen

Address: C. Sundts gate 9, Bergen
Phone: + 47 5523 6510

5. Finnegaardstuene is situated in beautiful, historical surroundings at the Hanseatic Wharf in Bergen. The restaurant offers seasonal menus and the freshest produce. You will enjoy most sophisticated versions of traditional Norwegian cuisine.

Top Restaurants of Bergen

Address: Rosenkrantzgaten 6, Bergen
Phone: +47 5555-0300


 6. A popular and modern Potetkjelleren (or, "Potato Cellar") offers a monthly menu based around seasonal ingredients and Norwegian traditions, like deer tenderloin with parmesan crust , roasted sweet potato, onion puree and game sauce or scallop tagliatelle, seaweed, mushrooms, leeks and lemon red wine sauce.

Top Restaurants of Bergen

Address: Kong Oscars gt. 1 A, Bergen
Phone: +47 5532-0070

7. One of the Best Bergen’s restаurants, To Kokker presents a menu that combines traditional Norwegian cuisine with an added special touch. Based on well-known recipes, its experienced chefs have sought to provide that little extra that will make the meal experience like no other.

Top Restaurants of Bergen

Address: Bryggen 29, Bergen
Phone: +47 5530-6955

8. At BOHA you will find a variety of dishes from French and Italian cuisine. With southern hospitality and local produce, you will get an abundance of food and wine experiences. And generous portions, of course. As you know, it’s not full until it flows over.

Top Restaurants of Bergen

Address: Vaskerelven 6, Bergen
Phone: +47 5531-3160


Norway Travel Blog
© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Norway in Summer: Experiences of a Tourist

This summer I made it to the country of my dreams – Norway. The route was short but intense. I visited museums in Oslo, took an unforgettable cruise around the fjord.

Norway in Summer: Experiences of a Tourist

Many people asked me how I managed to get to Norway, as if I was in Narnia. I assure you, it is quite easy to get to the country, though your trip will be quite expensive.

WHERE TO STAY 

Accommodation options are multiple in Norway, as everywhere. You may find some free of charge options via couchsurfing, rent a separate apartment (which is especially advantageous for big groups), or stay in a hostel or a hotel. There are many campings where you can rent a place for your tent, car or motorhome. Some campings offer small houses – cabins.

Norway in Summer: Experiences of a Tourist

If your main goal is to enjoy the beauty of nature, book your accommodation in advance. Usually there are small villages nearby famous natural sights, and you will hardly find a couchserfer here. Moreover, local hotels are scarce, and rooms are booked fast.

WHAT TOO EAT 

Norway is a really expensive country, so eating in cafes and restaurants is not an option. Find an accommodation with cooking opportunities. Although food is expensive as well, cooking will be cheaper than eating out all the time.

Norway in Summer: Experiences of a Tourist

I used to buy food at the Oslo railway station that resembles a huge shopping center, where I had an opportunity to compare prices and choose the cheapest offers. I especially liked three stores – Kiwi, Rimi, and Joker. Kiwi was the cheapest, but the latter ones held from time to time actions like "first price" or "two at the price of one". And you can safely drink tap water.

WHAT TO DO 

In Oslo (and some other cities), you can find many free of charge sights: parks, churches, buildings of historical value. There are some museums with free entrance as well.

Norway in Summer: Experiences of a Tourist

However, if you plan to visit many museums, buy Oslo Pass, a special card for tourists. You can purchase it at Oslo Visitor Centre in the railway station building. The card can be of three types – 24, 48, and 72 hours. With this card you can use public transport, park your car and enter a considerable number of museums free of charge, as well as have discounts for some excursions and cafes. Taking into account local prices, it pays back almost immediately.


Norway Travel Blog
© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Friday, 17 March 2017

Before You Go to Norway: Advice from a Tourist

We travelled to Norway in July. And here are some recommendations based on our experience.

Before You Go to Norway: Advice from a Tourist

Our route was the following: Oslo – Hardangervidda plateau – Hardangerfjord – Waterfalls Road (a part of RV13 that goes from Kinsarvik to the south) – Preikestolen – Stavanger – Haugesund – Bergen – Sognefjord – Ålesund – Trollstigen – Eagle Road – Old Strynefjell Mountain Road – Geyrangerfjord – Nordfjord – Nigardsbreen Glacier – Stalheim – Sognefjord. The route took us 11 days to complete.

COLD 

We checked the weather forecast in Oslo, and it showed + 20 degrees Celsius. We totally forgot that it may be cold in Norway and took just several sweatshirts to get warm. In the result, +20 and cold wind made us freeze in the very first day.

Before You Go to Norway: Advice from a Tourist

Taking into account changeable weather, penetrating wind, precipitation, and constant physical activity, it is wise to put the following into your bag:

  • thermal underwear (2 sets as you will sweat a lot); 
  • a raincoat – there is no use in umbrella in the mountains; 
  • training shoes with thick sole – to hop in the mountains; 
  • something warm you can put on at night, as hotels are quite chilly; 
  • a jacket from a ski suit or something similar – light and warm. 

Mind that I am writing about SUMMER!

EXPENSIVE 

Everything is expensive inside the country. That is why, take a mini-kettle, a pack of tea or coffee, snacks (like biscuits or chocolate). Running water is really good, we drank it too.

Before You Go to Norway: Advice from a Tourist

However, do not drink from rivers or glaciers. The water is clean but ice-freezing!

If alcohol is your thing, by it in advance in duty free, otherwise you will have to pay several times more for it. Duty free is in the baggage dispensing zone in the airport as well, that is convenient.

FAR AWAY

Before You Go to Norway: Advice from a Tourist

If you want to see anything interesting, you will have to walk a lot and to climb a lot. So, prepare yourself in advance, go to fitness, do some exercises in order to prepare your muscles. And by trekking sticks – they will become your best helpers!

CHANGEABLE 

If you wake up and see the sun, do not be glad in advance, it is possible that rain starts in a half an hour. Or it may be foggy in the morning, and sunny for the rest of the day.

DISAPPOINTED? 

Do not expect to see wow-views, like in the Internet pictures, to avoid disappointment.

Before You Go to Norway: Advice from a Tourist

Once, we climbed up to Preikestolen for 2 hours, and it was raining. When we reached the top, it was foggy. We sat and waited for the weather to clear up a bit, but in vain. Thus, we had a 5-hour-long hike under the rain and in the fog. So, views are a matter of luck.

FAST 

A positive factor was a very fast Internet! We did not have problems with it. Almost all hotels we stayed offered free of charge Internet connection. Often, it is protected by a password, so do not forget to ask the code at the reception.

I hope some points I made would not make you change your mind, because Norway is worth visiting!


Norway Travel Blog
© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Accommodation Matters: Where to Stay in Norway

Sometimes when you look at the prices for accommodation in Norway, you may feel sad. However, if the country enchants you so much and that you want to return there again and again – and preferably not to sleep in a tent – you may look for more budget options. But, possibly, at a cost of some comforts.

Accommodation Matters: Where to Stay in Norway

Of course, the first option is campings, far away fishing houses (or "robrua"), motels and hotels for the locals.

In some cases, the price of living in such places is not considerably lower, however, you get an opportunity to cook for yourself and significantly decrease your spending. Campings may be expensive as well – when they are still comfortable. In many of them offer shared toilet and shower. Usually there is a shared kitchen as well equipped with all necessary stuff. Often, you have a mini-kitchen in the house as well – with a microwave or an oven, sometimes there is a fridge.

Accommodation Matters: Where to Stay in Norway

In some cases, those houses can be as comfortable as real cottages, and their price equals to a second-hand hotel's. Or it may be even higher, if a camping is located in an especially beautiful place.  

WHERE TO BOOK 

Certainly, Booking.com and similar websites go first. But if you want to find a cheaper place or look for some special locations, usually they are not the best solution.

There are special websites about campings with the minimum information about living conditions and facilities. However, booking may be more difficult. It is very useful when a camping (usually a large one) has its own website, and sometimes a booking platform as well. If not, you may email or call them. The difficulty may be when a camping works only in summer, and you try to book in winter or spring. Then, they may not answer you back for a lo-o-ng time.

Accommodation Matters: Where to Stay in Norway

Another option is to search local websites. Here, you may find budget accommodation, including hotels. Just keep in mind that cheap accommodation cannot be ideal, especially if it is oriented to the locals. As a usual disadvantage, they do not have a website or at least an email address. Only the phone number. Even worse, usually the owners do not speak English. Even if they have an email address, they may reply very late or do not answer at all. Just call them by phone – and you are welcome.

Mind also that some campings and houses are open only in summer. When you plan to go in autumn, you should take it into account.

Accommodation Matters: Where to Stay in Norway

Some types of accommodation are more attractive by price and location. Those are houses for fishers on rivers' banks and for hikers at national parks. For those who are open to more "extreme ways", there are huts, where everyone can stay. Normally, they are designed for several travelers (up to ten, but it depends on the hut's size).

Whether or not to book in advance? You may argue that you may come across many possible accommodations along the road – and budget ones – that are impossible to be found in advance. On the other hand, and it is typical for Norway, you may pass 100 km and find nothing. Another typical thing is that cheaper variants there should be booked in advance. So, the answer here is quite straightforward.


Norway Travel Blog
© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Monday, 13 March 2017

Exciting Facts About Norway

Possibly, you think that Norway is a northern country covered with snow and ice. Then, visit the country in summer and behold blooming orchards and ripening strawberries. Because of warm Gulf Stream, the climate in Norway is relatively soft and summer is warm. Sea in the North of the country, despite it is located above the Polar Circle, does not freeze even in winter, and in summer temperatures rise as high as 20-30 degrees Celsius even in the North.

Exciting Facts About Norway

Do you know that “Everything for Norway” is a motto on the coat of arms of the Norwegian King?

Do you know that phenetic analysis of cats showed that Norwegian cats are similar to cats of the Shetland Islands, cats of the Shetland Islands are similar to cats of the Orkney Islands and the Isle of Man? The latter are closer to cats of the Faroe Islands and of Iceland. Exactly in this sequence, the Vikings explored North Atlantics.

Exciting Facts About Norway

Do you know that Hockey Championship of 1999 in Norway could have been moved to another country, if the authorities of Norway did not allow the German Warsteiner beer corporate group advertise their production during the games? The problem was that already in 1977 Norway adopted the law against beer advertising, and in 1998 another law was approved that prohibited to advertise light beer to the companies that produce stronger types of the beverage as well.

Do you know that because of mountainous landscape plane is one of the cheapest means of transportation in Norway? With the plane you do not need to pass tunnels, mountain roads or ferries. However that type of transport is not the fastest. For example, although the flight from Stavanger to Trondheim should take around 1.5 hours, it may last as long as five because of multiple landings for passengers to get off the plane at their stops.

Exciting Facts About Norway

Do you know that the major way of transportation in Norway is by bicycle, no matter what the weather is? If it is freezing, people put on warmer clothes, if it rains, they just draw raincoats upon and open umbrellas.

Do you know that you may see a lot of animal (deer, roes, sheep) crossing signs in Norway? Usually there are specifying notes under the sign, like “100 meters – 1.5 km”. It seems that deer are disciplined in Norway, they can be met exclusively at the mentioned distance and do not go further the mark of 1.5 km.


Norway Travel Blog
© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 11 March 2017

How to Save Money on Food in Norway

It is not a secret that Norway is an expensive country, and prices for food and services there are enormous. We offer you seven useful tips about how to save some money on food.

How to Save Money on Food in Norway

1. Tap water is drinking and of a high quality. You do not need to spend money on bottled water.

2. If you are in Oslo, there is a shop at Grønnland underground station with the lowest prices on groceries. It is easy to recognize by a large counter outside with fruit and vegetables – and by a crowd of people.

3. Buy cigarettes and alcohol at Duty Free. In shops, they are considerably more expensive. You can find alcohol at Vinmonopolet as well, it works on Saturdays by 3 pm, or in Oslo City shopping center.
4. There is Foodora food delivery service that delivers food to your house (or hotel) from almost all restaurants around you. It is a good option if you starve but do not want to go out, have not booked a table, or it is raining heavily etc. The website provides the prices as well. In order to see a list of restaurants, just insert any address in the city center.

How to Save Money on Food in Norway

5. Delicacies are sold at Mathallen, where you can find cozy restaurants as well. However, on weekends it is difficult to find a free place.

6. Among Norwegian grocery chains, the cheapest (by Norwegian standards) are Kiwi, Rema 1000, and Coop. Somewhat more expensive are Meny and Coop Extra, but thez offer delicacies as well.

7. In Kiwi and Rema 1000, you can find fridges with "50 per cent discount" announcement, where they sell products with expiring shelf life at half of its price. The goods are perfectly fine, you just need to eat them quickly.


Norway Travel Blog
© 2017 All Rights Reserved