Norwegian Nutshell

We definitely adored Norway. It’s pure and pristine and wild and wacky, all in one. It was never really on my radar before we visited four Norwegian port towns, but now it decidedly is, and I’d happily spend more time there. Here’s a little combo plate of Norwegian delights, for your delectation, in no particular order.

On the food front, which I’ve been neglecting lately, Norway is all about the fish. Even the famed Spanish bacalao is made from Norwegian cod.

The fish market in Bergen was bursting with gorgeous fish, both fresh

and dried.

They’ll even cook for you right on the spot, although we felt like sitting down for an indoor lunch.

This restaurant in Bergen looked alluringly trendy, but instead we opted for

the reassuringly homey Restaurant Dampen, where I fell in love with the music of Siri Nilsen,

and had one of the hugest and most delicious bowls of mussels of my life.

At the opposite end of the food pyramid, in a grocery store in Aalesund, I walked into a ballroom-sized refrigerator case, which held all of the store’s perishables, including these tubes of cheese, in flavors like bacon and pepper, tomato, jalapeno, and taco.

But taco-flavored tube cheese wasn’t Aalesund’s biggest surprise. That honor went to

this not-so-giant egg, in which in 1904 4 men spent 5 months, bobbing and being battered, from Norway to Boston, just to prove that lifeboats were a worthy concept.

Think about it: 4 men, 5 months, crossing the Atlantic, in this.

The same museum reminded me of the not-so-distant day when you had to be an artist to make photographs, none of the point, shoot, and post foo that we resort to today.

A pretty view over Aalesund,

and one over Bergen from the top of Mt. Ulriken. Much is made of Bergen’s funicular, but we accidentally took the cable car instead, and were rewarded with these splendid views,

in addition to being greeted at the top by these friendly sheep,

a little parking place to leave your dog,

and a hardy post-Viking guy changing out of his long-sleeved shirt, because after all it was Norwegian summer, even if it was windy and cool.

Back at sea level we admired the Norwegian architecture

and pondered the sad fact that no matter how lovely Norway is, no matter how useful Shel’s bit of Danish and my few words of Swedish are,

we’ll never be able to afford to live there. It’s a place to return to, though, and I hope we will.

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2 Comments on “Norwegian Nutshell”

  1. Barbara Says:

    You’ve found the great spots–I’d better go back for them.

  2. Carrie Says:

    Cheese tubes . . . brilliant!

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