January 11, 2017. It has long been a dream of mine to enjoy a European Christmas with my family. In fact, I often find it hard to fully revel in the privilege of living overseas when my friends and family can’t share the experience with me. Since this may be our last winter in Norway, and because the past several months have been quite rough personally, Matthew and I decided to splurge and spend all of our frequent flyer miles to bring my mom, sister, and niece to Oslo. Nothing like a family Christmas to hold the blues at bay.
August 14, 2016. Since I’ve written about Ullevålseter in winter and spring, I thought I’d take some time to praise its summer splendors — because every season brings surprises. The trek to this old-farmstead-now-hiker’s-haven is one of our favorite jaunts. Not only because of the gorgeous forests, wetlands, and pastures we pass through along the way, but also because we always start our jaunt from the front porch of the picturesque Frognerseteren Restaurant, which offers a heart-stopping view of the Oslo fjord (and some yummy trail food if you haven’t stocked up beforehand). Continue reading Ullevålseter Summer Hike
December 27, 2015. The holiday promised to be a rather quiet affair this year, with both of us being sickies on the mend. Not to mention that all the Norwegians have been wearing long faces because the lack of snow this winter has meant no skiing, no sledding, and very little Julestemning (Christmas atmosphere). “Global warming is ruining Norway,” is the constant refrain. And I have to say, Matthew and I felt inclined to join the locals in their depression, as we moped towards a Christmas Eve that measured a balmy 50º F. Felt more like Florida than Scandinavia. Continue reading A Quiet Christmas
January 15, 2015. The stereotypes are true; Norwegians are avid (some might say obsessive) cross-country skiers. I’ve yet to pass a bus or tram stop without spotting at least one or two ski-toting folks waiting for a ride to the end of the transportation lines, where snowy forests beckon. And in the middle of the day, the train platforms are clogged with throngs of schoolchildren headed to skiskole (ski school) as part of their regular class curriculum.
December 27, 2014. A couple of days after Christmas, much was still closed, so we decided to go for a walk. This time we picked Sognsvann, which we’d been told had a lovely lake that we could stroll around, as well as paths for cross-country skiing. We thought we’d join the Norwegians, who love to picnic despite frigid temperatures, so I packed a lunch of leftover pickled herring and grilled veggies, along with a thermos of hot coffee. Continue reading A Walk at Sognsvann