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Old 03-08-2006, 08:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: You don't want to live here
Tell me more about Norway!

I am making my dream happen. In late August we are going to Norway to see a-Ha in concert (Trondheim & Alesund). I've wanted to visit Norway since I was 10. The fjords, the snow (unlikely in August, I know), the ocean. I can't wait.

I'm taking the time to learn Norwegian. Not just, "where is the toilet," kinda stuff either; I want to be fluent, eventually. My Swedish friend is already making fun of me and the accent I'm developing. I know that many Norwegians understand English, but I think it is rude to visit a country and not make some effort to communicate in the native language.

I want to know more about what to see. I'm very much into the natural landscape of the region. I think that, if heaven exists, it must look like Alaska/Norway.

Another thing I am very curious about is the cuisine. I know that it is all about the seafood, but I'm a vegetarian. I am a little worried about missing out on the experience if I have to skip out on the food.
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've only ever been to Bergen and Oslo (and then only for a day or so in each place). While I flew to Bergen I hear that the train from Oslo to Bergen is really the way to go. Beautiful sights.

The one thing to remember about Norway is that it is *very* expensive. I remember boggling at the cost of a pint of beer.

Other than that, I don't have much advice. Sorry.
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ah, the former western provinces. I've never been there (okay, I crossed the border once but only by a few meters) but I know it's horribly expensive there. Norweigans actually drive to Sweden to buy groceries.

If you want to experience the nature, I strongly suggest Hurtigruten. It's a ferry line of sorts that go along the coast and slip into pretty much every fjord to pick up and drop off passengers. Also, mountain trekking (gå på tur) is pretty big in Norway and a nice way to get closer to the beautiful nature.

There's an Ibsen centenary going on this year, so it might be worthwile to read up on a few of his plays, and maybe go see one when in Norway. Peer Gynt is my particular favourite, but they're all good.

Whatever you do, don't mention the Torino Olympics.

Also, I think it's awesome that you're learning Norweigan. Bokmål eller nynorsk?
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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How exciting for you, astrahl! And may I add that I'm just a tad jealous of you seeing A-HA live!

Props to you for taking the time and effort to learn Norwegian! You know if you ever become fluent you'll be able to talk to Danes/Swedes too. Allthough there are, obviously, differences between our languages they're still so similar that we understand what each other are saying even though we speak in our native tongues.

Anyways! I highly recommend www.norway.com and http://www.flybirdy.com/Destination....FQFkQgodjUeK6Q - especially that last link seems to cover anything that you could ever possibly want to know about Norway.
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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By the way, which date will the concert take place? And how long are you planning on staying in Norway? I need to know the dates in order to dig up activities/events that will take place in Trondheim and Ålesund during your stay <- that is if you're interested of course
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I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy.
I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.
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Old 03-24-2006, 02:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrahl
Another thing I am very curious about is the cuisine. I know that it is all about the seafood, but I’m a vegetarian. I am a little worried about missing out on the experience if I have to skip out on the food.
I’m afraid you will, being a vegetarian. I mean, going to Norway and not trying their excellent cod (among other dishes including fish in particular) is like... going to Napoli and not giving pizza a go

But fret not, they have other interesting dishes that doesn’t contain meat. Like “Koldskål” for example:




Koldskål is usually served with Kammerjunkere (small bread-like things) but tastes just as good without them:


Koldskål is a cold dish made of buttermilk, suger, lemons and eggs. It’s such a popular dish in the summer that it’s also available in handy containers:




Æggekage (sort of the same as scrambled eggs):




Ris à la mande with hot cherry sauce (a Danish dish but it’s also popular in Norway). Basically it’s rice cream with red fruit sauce:




It’s a traditional Christmas dessert but some still serve them during summer. If you stumble across it on a restaurant then be sure to try it!



Then there’s rugbrød (rye bread):

But it seems to be almost impossible to locate in the North



...Oh yeah: do be sure to try snaps/akvavit

Popular Norwegian brands are:

Gammel Opland


Lysholm Linie


Løiten Linie


Simers Taffel Aquavit



Hey Pip! Were you aware that Norway only has four different akvavit brands whereas Sweden has 19 and Denmark has 18?! No wonder my dad always pour loads of akvavit into our Norwegian friends
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I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy.
I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.
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Old 03-24-2006, 05:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Nancy, thanks for all of the information and useful food tips. We (I'm astrahl's husband) will be in Norway toward the end of August. The concerts are going to be on August 29 and 30, I think in Trondheim and Alesund respectively. We are trying to plan our trip around either coming 2 weeks before the concerts or staying 2 weeks after. It doesn't make sense to travel all that way just to stay in Norway for a weekend and fly home.

This is one of the things that I love about TFP. It is like having a worldwide network of friends that can help you find out more about the things you want to know.

Oh, and we can get the Aquavit here in the US too. We have some at home, but I would have to check the bottle to say which brand.
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think I've eaten koldskål at some time... do you have it in Denmark too? They make yummy cheeses in Norway, you have to try the Jarlsberg and Gamle Ole (if you're brave.... it smells!) and of course the goats milk cheese. Mmmmm!

Hey, if you go way way way up north to Svalbard before the 20th of August, you'll catch the midnight sun!
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
Koldskål is a cold dish made of buttermilk, suger, lemons and eggs.
Mmm, summer eggnog. Sounds pretty good, I'll have to check the local Scandinavian store in a few months to see if they carry it. My mostly-Norwegian wife has never mentioned that stuff.
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And I LOVE aqvavit! Mmm...

We, braisler and I, are studying our Norwegian. Mostly by ear during our commutes, but I'm also using several learning books and dictionaries so I can learn to recognize and pronounce the different alphabet symbols.

I am freaky excited about it.

And I saw a-ha in New York last September, super-hella-awesome. Morten smiled at me and outside, when I waved at Pal in the van, he smiled and waved back. It's like I'm a giddy little teenager all over again. I can post some pics on myspace if you like...or even here. We were SO close to the stage.
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I was just searching the web for more information about Koldskål. If you restrict the results to only English sites, the third website points back to TFP! Here's Nancy's recipe!
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Old 03-28-2006, 05:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip
I think I've eaten koldskål at some time... do you have it in Denmark too?
I think the dish orginantes from Denmark so yes, it's available here and everybody eats it during summer..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlemon
Mmm, summer eggnog. Sounds pretty good, I'll have to check the local Scandinavian store in a few months to see if they carry it. My mostly-Norwegian wife has never mentioned that stuff.
That's probably because it's not such a widespread dish in Norway. I'm fairly sure they know about the dish in South Norway though. The essential ingredient is Kærnemælk (= churned milk) you see, and that is only available in Denmark where it has been produced since the early 1900 (the original recipes from around 1700 based the dish on beer or whitewine instead). So if you do find Koldskål over there, there's a 50% chance that it's not based on kærnemælk which is a shame as it adds something extra special to the taste.

Do let me know if you find it! Oh and, if it's not to much trouble I'd like to see what the packaging looks like
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I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy.
I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.
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Old 03-28-2006, 05:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Elysium
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlemon
I was just searching the web for more information about Koldskål. If you restrict the results to only English sites, the third website points back to TFP! Here's Nancy's recipe!


I don't think anybody has actually tried it yet though. Do Scandinavian food really seem that freakish to you guys?
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I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy.
I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.
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Old 03-28-2006, 05:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braisler
Nancy, thanks for all of the information and useful food tips.
No problem! While we're on the subject of food: do try rundstykker and Danish while you're in Norway. Seeing as both are Danish products I don't know if they are available all over Norway or only in some areas. I assume you know what a Danish is? I suggest you try ours instead because I'm told that they taste a lot better than the ones being made in America.

Rundstykker:


Traditional Danish morning bread made of wheat flour. There are around.. *counts* 10 different types of rundstykker. That one above is called a "Håndværker" (craftsman) - my favourite.

Say, are you a vegetarian too, braisler?


Quote:
Originally Posted by braisler
We (I'm astrahl's husband) will be in Norway toward the end of August. The concerts are going to be on August 29 and 30, I think in Trondheim and Alesund respectively. We are trying to plan our trip around either coming 2 weeks before the concerts or staying 2 weeks after. It doesn't make sense to travel all that way just to stay in Norway for a weekend and fly home.
Exactly
I'll ask my Norwegian friends if there are any particularly thrilling sights and regional dishes in Trondheim and Ålesund then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by braisler
Oh, and we can get the Aquavit here in the US too. We have some at home, but I would have to check the bottle to say which brand.
Please do!
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I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy.
I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
I assume you know what a Danish is? I suggest you try ours instead because I'm told that they taste a lot better than the ones being made in America.
I'm sure anything made outside America tastes better. The food here is aweful. People should really focus on flavor instead of mass-production.
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Oooh, Norway. Beautiful country, my favorite in Europe (other than Spain). I was there in July 2002, and I have a friend in Lillehammer and a cousin in Trodheim, so that's where we went. We took the train up the coast from Oslo, which was amaaaaaaazing.. I highly recommend it. Lillehammer has a great outdoor folk museum that I can vouch for, and Trondheim is just beautiful in the summer. We went on a hike to view the whole city, then took a short cruise to a little island, which was great. It really is a fantastic town. We would have liked to see the cathedral (quite famous in Scandinavian history... well, at least Icelandic) but didn't have time, and I think it was closed that day.

Have fun!!
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Nidarosdomen in Trondheim? Definitely a must-see. (Not that I've been there but man, it's famous for a reason.) Just look at it! http://www.nidarosdomen.no/english/
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I was just listening to A-Ha and was reminded of this thread.

May I ask how the trip was? Was the concert a success?
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I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy.
I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.
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