Thursday, June 28, 2012

Observations on Oslo

Originally I had hoped that this trip to Oslo would be more of a house hunting trip, but our move dates keep changing.   So instead, I tried to use this trip to explore the city and check on a few specific details that will be important to us while we are there.  
This was my dinner the second night we were in Oslo.  We went to a Spanish restaurant and I had the paella.  It was delicious, but expensive.  Everyone will tell you that food is expensive in Oslo and they are right.  Once you get over the shock you are able to enjoy yourself.  
These flowers were at a roadside farmers market on Bygdoy, right across from the Norwegian Folk Museum.  We ended up grabbing some fresh fruit to go with our lunch, it was so good.  
The colors were just gorgeous.

This is the style of stroller that almost everyone has in Oslo.  Women in Oslo get almost a year of paid maternity leave so there are a lot of babies.  People don't drive that much so they don't need the infant car seat so all the babies are in this bassinet style stroller.  They all have pretty rugged tires on them, but I guess you would need that for the snow and ice in the winter.  Norwegian parents were pros at getting the strollers up on the trams, buses and subways that traveled around the city.
This is a day care group out at the park.  This was a very common sight around the city.  The children were adorable, it made me miss the kids so much.
One thing that I was very curious was grocery shopping.  Our family eats a lot of food and I spend a lot of my time planning, buying, and cooking food.  I went into about 6 different grocery stores that were in different neighborhoods, different brands and different sizes.  This was the biggest store I came across in my travels and it was still so small.  The Norwegian currency is the Kroner or NOK.  The exchange rate while we were there was about NOK 5.93 to $1.  That would make that container of OJ almost $9.
I did not see milk sold by the gallon.
This was the extent of their cereal aisle.  
The price of Pampers seemed about the same to the US.
That yellow bag had frozen chicken and it was the only chicken that I could find in the meat section.  They had two cases of frozen fish of all different varieties.  I know it makes sense that they sell a lot of fish, it was just surprising to see so little chicken and beef.  
You could buy prawns by the pound.
This razor set is almost $40  I know what I am so thankful for my stockpile right now.  
Apple Juice was more reasonable.  
The cucumbers worked about to about $2.50 per cucumber.
The one item I didn't see at all that I was concerned about was peanut butter, we eat a lot of peanut butter.  I asked one of Jon's Norwegian co-workers and they said they do have peanut butter in Oslo, but it is not as popular.  
In all of my exploring I did find my favorite kind of store, a second hand store.  They had books, and beautiful dishes, and odds and ends and furniture.  I loved this little corner cabinet.
And it was on sale!  NOK 800 works out to $135 US.  Can you believe that?  I think I am going to have fun  furniture shopping.
This yummy tower of seafood was dinner for Jon and several of his co-workers one night while we were out.  There was a lot of seafood and the guys enjoyed it, but one surprise was that they brought it out and everything was cold.  The server thought they were a little crazy when the guys all asked for warm melted butter to dip everything in.
Our last night there we had the privilege of visiting this amazing place.  The Holmenkollen Hotel is right next to the ski jump that is visible around most of Oslo.  The hotel was originally built as a TB sanitarium in the 1880's and was used the Germans during their occupation in WW II.  The inside had been restored and it was just gorgeous.  It was a little bit of a trip to get here, but it was well worth it.  
You could see almost all of Oslo and into the fjord from up here.  
The banisters inside that had been restored.  
After a fun 5 course meal Jon and I headed outside for more pictures.  The sun was finally setting well after 10 PM.  
Everything was so beautiful.  
I took a picture of the sign so I would remember how to spell it.  
I loved the attention to detail.  
A view of the city, it was so spectacular.  
This is Stephen and Jon.  From here we went and did a little more exploring around the city, we still had some day light and the guys had seen very little of the city because they were working so hard.  In the picture you can see the end of the ski jump right behind the hotel.
I really did have an amazing time in Oslo.  I feel much more prepared to move when the time comes.  I feel like our family can have a lot of fun exploring here.  As for timing, we are still waiting to hear.  

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