The cold North…


After making the bold decision to start life anew in Norway, I have taken some photos here and there while being out and about (Places: Norway, Europe). Granted, I have not gone up north to see the Arctic Circle, but I do think it can get quite cold and dark around here!

Most of the photos are taken in an area called Trøndelag, central in Norway, which can be divided in Nord-Trøndelag and Sør-Trøndelag. In fact, the majority are and will most likely be taken around Trondheim, Norway’s first capital (until sometime in the 13th century) and the city where I live.

In my opinion the most pleasant time of year in Trondheim is during the Summer holidays. Peaceful, pleasant, sun (usually) shining on the colourful houses, plenty of nature (and dry ground) around the city to take a long walk to relax/run. The best part (in my opinion) is that during the high Summer, all the students are out of town (lots of locals are gone as well), giving you a somewhat higher odds in finding a table, having a drink and tourist-watching. Of course you will have to contend with the aforementioned tourists as well for that table… Oh, and there’s lots of daylight.
Winter, however, is a whole different experience. First off, a severe lack of daylight, winter depression could be looming! I am still not used to the whole ‘light-in-Summer, dark-in-Winter thing’ and am rather wrecked during these seasons. Secondly, there is snow. A lot of it. Way more than the bit that sometimes falls in The Netherlands (a Norwegian would scoff at it!) and despite me loving snow, I think it is rather scary in the city! Layers of snow turn to ice and pretty soon after the first snow, Trondheim’s streets have turned into a mini-glacier! Not really for the fainthearted among us that are not used to walking on ice (again, a Norwegian would not be impressed by a bit of ice!). Besides, they happily refer to the famous Ranulph Fiennes quote:

“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”

For more fun facts/weird sayings about Norway (and most of them confirmed by my Norwegian husband!), see after the cut for a quirky list as provided by Norway – the official site in the UK. I can already tell you though, I have not been here long enough!

You know you’ve been in Norway too long when…

  • You think there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing
  • You associate warm rice porridge with Saturday and Xmas eve
  • It seems nice to spend a week in a small wooden cottage up in the mountains, with no running water and no electricity
  • It seems sensible that the age limit at Oslo nightclubs is 25
  • You think cross-country skiing is the only “real” skiing
  • You know at least five different words describing different kinds of snow
  • A sharp intake of breath has become part of your active vocabulary
  • You associate Friday afternoon with a trip to Vinmonopolet
  • You rummage through your plastic bottles collection to see which ones you should store and which can be sacrificed to the recycling centre
  • It’s acceptable to eat lunch at 11.00 and dinner at 15.00
  • Your front door step is beginning to resemble a shoe shop
  • Silence is fun
  • The reason you take the ferry to Denmark is:
    a. duty free vodka
    b. duty free beer
    c. to party
  • The only reason for getting off the boat in Copenhagen is to eat pizza
  • It no longer seems excessive to spend 800 kr. on alcohol in a single night
  • Your old habit of being “fashionably late” is no longer acceptable. You are always on time.
  • You enjoy the taste of lutefisk
  • You use “Mmmm” as a conversation filler
  • An outside temperature of 9 degrees Celsius is mild (in mid June)
  • You wear sandals with socks
  • You think riding a racing bike in the snow is a perfectly sensible thing to do (with or without snowtires)
  • Traditional dinners may not necessarily mean a cooked meal
  • You think it’s acceptable to wrap your hotdog in a cold pancake
  • Can’t remember when to say “please” and “excuse me”
  • You will leave a pub if you can’t find a seat
  • You believe that having no choice of products in a supermarket makes it easier to shop
  • You don’t mind paying the same for a 200 metre bus ride as you do for going 10 kms
  • You have more than one scarf
  • You have more than one hat and at least one of them has earflaps
  • You know the difference between Blue and Red ski wax
  • You don’t fall over when walking on ice
  • Always prepare to catch the closing door if following too closely behind somebody
  • You know the rules to handball
  • You can prepare fish in five different ways without cooking it
  • You know Norway’s results the last three years in the “Eurovision Song Contest”
  • You start to believe that if it wasn’t for Norway’s efforts the world would probably collapse soon
  • You find yourself speaking halfway Swedish with Swedes
  • You don’t question the habit of always making “matpakke”

4 thoughts on “The cold North…

    1. Uhmm.. In all honesty, I have never given it a try! It looks somewhat dubious when I look in the frozen sections while at the supermarket (a plastic fish?!) and I think it did not look much appealing when I saw it in a warm edible state at my dept.’s ‘Julebord’ (a molten plastic fish?!). Besides, it doesn’t seem to be a popular dish among my husband’s family. Reindeer meat, deer meat, that sort of Norwegian food goes well with me!

      Did you like Lutefisk…?

      1. Well… let’s put it this way. You wrap Lutefisk in mashed potatoes, bacon, and bacon fat. If you like mashed potatoes, bacon, and bacon fat, you’ll probably like it. The Lutefisk is barely there. So I was able to eat the Lutefisk meal without problems – but the Lutefisk itself is not great. I think if you prepare it traditionally its worse, actually, but if you get it from the store its mostly an unappealing texture (like jelly), there isn’t much of a flavor. At any rate, it’s much better than Icelandic Hakarl (rotten shark)!

        1. Hehehe, I am quite certain I would not be that enticed regardless (I would eat it though if it was served to me and I would even dare to smile politely, I always do!). What I saw at ‘Julebord’ looked like traditional lutefisk, so yeh… But kudos to you for trying!!

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