Typical Norwegian Foods

I have been in Norway over 2 years now, and rightly or wrongly I think I have a feel for what typical Norwegian food is.

I discovered this by looking through a Norwegian recipe site (Mat Prat – Food Talk) for dinner ideas. I was struck that a fair few foods were familars now. So I am going would share these dishes with you, which form the basis of my Norwegian food vocabulary.

Main Meals

Lompe or long bread rolls are the accompliment to fried sausages, served with mustard, tomato sauce and onions. Lompe are potato based pancake shaped flat bread. As with most potato bread it is delicous, soft and moist. I enjoy eating finger foods so this is on my list of great things to eat. You can even get a gluten free version in grocery stores. The google translated english lompe recipe is spot on.

There is also a thicker sausage formed in a hourseshoe shape (like a black pudding in NZ). They come plain and  smoked and are served with my favourite surkål as well as boiled potatoes and carrots with mustard as the condiment. This is one of my favourite meals in winter.

MatPrat has an article (in Norwegian), called sausage facts (Fakta of Pølsevev) says that Norwegian sausages are some of the best in the world, most it says are 50% good meat and will not have more than 20% fat (down to3% being available). Other ingredients can include milk, starch, salt and spices.

Karbonader med lok (Meat pattie with onion) is a good meal I can get when going to my in-laws, and is commonly avaialble in my works cafeteria. I love the way my father-in-law cooks the onions.

A good comfort food for a cold day is Lapskaus (translated Lapkaus recipe).Use stewing beef, lamb, pork or a mixture for a hearty warming stew. I really have to get my mother-in-law, to teach me how to make this as I love her recipe. It’s the first thing I ate at my in-law’s place in Norway. Yum!

Lapskaus is served traditionally with flatbrød (Norwegian flat bread). Flat bread is a surprisingly tasty thin crispy bread, almost a large flat cracker. You break a sheet into pieces and spread with butter. We usually buy the store bought one – Mors Flatbrød.

I also really like fårikål (english translated recipe). Although I have only ever eaten a TV dinner style type. But it reminds me of NZ Corned beef boil up. Corned beef on this side of the world is thought of as the stuff in a can but in NZ the one used for boil up is a piece of beef which is submerged in salted water to “corn” it. It make a great meat for boiling with cabbage, carrots, potatoes and parsnips. Fårikål is lamb boiled with cabbage, so while it is different it is the same preparation I think that make me associate the two with each other.

Waffles, yum. Back home pancakes and pikelets are more the norm, even the neighbouring Swedes say norwegians eat more waffles than they. We had them at work evry Friday. If you buy a main meal you got to make a waffle on the waffle iron, cooked to your preferred crispness and accompanied by jam and sour cream. Mat Prats vafler (waffle) recipes are many, punctuating how popular they are here. We normally buy a Toro packet mix.

Either way its useful to know a Norwegian measure of fluids the decilitre or dl. One decilitre is a tenth of a litre (100 ml) so there are ten decilitres in a litre. 4 dl = 400 ml.

Light Meals

You can serve waffles with jam alone, jam and sour cream, or with brown cheese. Jarle eats his with bacon, maple syrup and a side salad, but I have a feeling that is not common practice. I eat mine kiwi styles with maple syrup, bacon and banana or berries.

My favourite jam recipe I got from my mother-in.law. It goes like this, pick some berries, sprinkle them with sugar and mash gently with a fork, leave to sit for a little and then use. Most of the jams (syltetøy) here are loser than back home and have less sugar so are fresher and taste more I find. Still her recipe is the best if you have fresh berries.


Desserts are usually simple affairs here, one of my favourites is Karamel pudding (caramel pudding). We usually serve with whipped cream, caramel sauce and dark chocolate pieces. Dark chocolate here can be bought in thin sheets which breaks easily into pieces. Back in NZ I think to recreate this for anyone I would coarsely grate the dark chocolate.

Chocolate pudding and vanilla sauce is also a favourite. We get it pre-made or for a real treat get the packet mix and make it yourself. Making it yourself involves adding milk and the packet mix to a pot and cooking till it just boils then cooling for a couple of hours. Vanilla sauce can be bought pre-made or also made from a packet, and making this is just adding it to milk and mixing. Although the packet also suggests making it up with half milk and half cream to make vanilla cream. Vanilla cream can be used as a cake filling eg between layers of sponge, which sounds good to me.

Rips (red currents) are something I will always associate with Norway. I love berries and I love tartness and rips are both. Here is a recipe for a dessert using rips, but their uses are multitude, including use with meat and savoury sauces. Rips med vaniljesaus (Red currents with vannila sauce).

Want something for a cold winters morning that will stick to your ribs, then Rømmegrøt (Sour cream porrige)  is the dish for you. This heavy rich dish is often served with cold cuts I am told but I have only ever tried it alone, that is with sugar and cinnamon. After trying it at a food fair I tried to make it at home and found it magical how the sour cream on cooking turns into butter. They even have a special high fat sour cream here that is used to make it. Ordinary sour cream will work but I am not so sure about low fat sour cream. Low fat would make a tasty porrige I am sure but not sure it would make the butter. I have tried making it also with whole wheat flour and with semolina and while it’s not traditional I say semolina is my favourite.

I am told “tradditional” food also includes Le Grandiosa, a pizza. I havent covered Special occasion foods like Christmas or birthdays, as I tried more to cover every day foods.


Emergency Services Open Day – Nittedal Brannvesenet

Yesterday all round Norway Fire Stations opened their doors to the public, and we were among the many who went along. We turned up at the Nittedal Brannvesenet along with many others. I would guess at least half the attendees were there with their children. The day consisted of displays, and demonstrations.

We were greeted as we walked from the parking lot with the traditional red Fire Vehicles. As we got nearer and rounded the corner we saw the more recent yellow vehicles now being implemented for all emergency vehicles. Yellow is more visible for more of the day than any other colour, hence it’s choice now for the emergency vehicles.

A part of me thinks I should be mourning the loss of the colours I grew up with, but the common sense of the change is overriding that instinct.

The day was clearly enjoyed most by the children, and next most by those accompanying the children. Nothing like a child to drag you into an ambulance and make you feel comfortable playing acting in there and asking the emergency worker inside questions.

As we arrived there were two clearly popular attractions judging by the lines. The holding and directing a fire-hose, with the assistance of a fireman and the food.

I wandered round a bit and listened to the Red Cross teach folks how to give CPR. They had the CPR dummies people could practice on from baby, through child to adult size. Was interesting hearing something I knew well being told in Norwegian. They were also advertising their services to new immigrants and asking for people to sign up and help those new to the country find their way round the community etc. Thirdly they were asking for folks to donate blood.

The Red Cross took up quite a bit of real estate at the open day with not only the tent where they promoted the three messages but with a trailer packed out with emergency gear for a portable emergency response centre and some quad bikes which looked like they were for pulling the trailer.

Firemen gave out hats to every child who wanted one. I managed to knock the hat off one little girl. As she was being walked away by her father, I picked it up and ran and gave it to her and was rewarded with a big smile. Latter her little sister lost her hat too as I was walking towards them so I was able to give her her hat back as well.

The hats seemed to be a popular item with kids prizing them. They said on the front “Home Fire Chief” in Norwegian of course. And the brim had flames drawn on one side.

There were a number of displays. One that interested me was a table full of things that had caused fires and were now blackened or melted lumps. Each table had a table number attached to it and a multi choice question. I think the questions were for the kids and they could win prizes, maybe the reflective stickers I saw some kids with?

Strangely not everything the kids loved about the day were safety or emergency related. Just up the path from the fire-station was a field of horses. Parents and children went to visit and feed the horses grass. There were some pretty horses there, one was my dream horse when I was a teen.

Then came the fire  demonstrations and everyone’s interest peaked up.

We were all herded to the right of the fire engines and behind a line made by plastic tape strung between two poles. Obviously what they use a scenes like crime scene tape police use.  A fireman talked to us explaining each demonstration.

First was a water blaster that was aimed at a free standing door. The water knocked over the door and it’s stand like was a house of cards. They then braced the door and the water punched out all the windows quick as a wink. Then they aimed the water at the wood of the door and punched holes clean through it.

Just to show what it really could do they then aimed the water at a cinder block and after a short while the water blasted it’s way through that and was coming out the other side of the block. Impressive. Jarle says it’s also cool to watch when they aim it at shipping containers as it just decimates the fire inside them. The water punches the hole through then douses the fire rapidly.

Then there was a pot with cooking oil in it on a camping gas stove. They wrapped the pot and stove in tin foil and the first double layer wrap burned through so they added another double layer. I presume that this was to raise the temperature of the oil enough for it to catch on fire.

Eventually the oil in the pot (sunflower oil I think) caught fire and they lifted the lid off the pot and the flames were licking the edge of the pot. Then with a water bottle on a long, long pole a fireman showed what happens when you try put an oil fire out with water. He tipped the water on the flames and they bloomed up to 10 or 12 times as big as before. Which could have been dangerous if you were inside and there were curtains anywhere near the stove, or worse your extractor fan has fat in it and that catches and burns in the ventilation shaft. Was quite spectacular, but I am sure the fireman was happy to be at poles length from that burst of flames.

The demonstrations were over. Many folks went inside to the Trygg og Sikker stand to buy smoke detectors and 110 hand held extinguishers and a saw quite a few of their bags in peoples hands as I walked around.

The last batches of kids went through the ambulances, fire trucks and patted the police dog. They asked their questions and were shown by emergency officers how things work. The last pølse (sausage most like NZ frankfurter) and waffles were purchased and eaten and before you knew it everyone was gone.

The stall were all packed up the fire trucks bought back inside and then there was one last “demonstration” more a test by those there with a square metal pan filled with some flammable fluid and set alight by a burning rag on the end of a long metal pole.

Then the  interesting open day was all over.

Things I miss

This post is probably more for me than anyone else, its a list I will add to from time to time of things I miss from New Zealand and things I know I will miss when I leave Norway.

Of course I miss and will miss about both places is people, they are the only important thing in life, but this is other than people.

Here is a list of the things that I miss from New Zealand and the things I think I am gonna miss when I am away from Norway:

New Zealand
Things I miss Reasons
Tear strips on cling film, aluminium foil, baking paper etc. In NZ most tear strips are okay and some are excellent, in Norway there just seems to be artistic renditions of what a tear strip would look like on the side of the boxes.
Kiwifruit being cheap. In Norway one Kiwifruit cost more than a kg does in NZ and I am not talking at the glut part of the season either.
Gingernuts There are ginger biscuits almost like but they are just close enough to make me really miss the real thing. NZ gingernuts are spicy and hard.

I finished my last gingernut from the packet sent to me for Christmas this week 🙁

Good roads I tended to think in NZ that everywhere in the western world would have a similar or better standard of roads to New Zealand. But Norwegian roads are narrow and poorly repaired, and street signs can be so old they are hard to read.

I wondered about this at first, but then I figured if NZ had to pay for snow ploughs for a few months each year there would be less money putting into repairing the road surface itself.

Still I miss New Zealand roads and signs. Not to mention sitting on the right side of the car when driving!!

Instant Pudding There are similar things here and I love them, but sometimes a taste of home calls out to me and I hanker after a pack of instant pudding, butterscotch or chocolate mostly.

Then there are the things I think I am gonna miss (savner) when I am away from Norway:

Norway Reasons
Gelé / Jelly Jelly that dissolves easy and sets perfect every time. Feels thicker when stirring more like egg yolk where as NZ jelly feels like water when your stirring.
SurkÃ¥l / sauerkraut Always thought I would like this but never did in NZ, but here I could sit down to a meal of just sauerkraut. 🙂
Gudbrandsdalsost, Brunost / brown cheese Gudbrandsdalsost is apparently this is not ‘real’ cheese but is made by caramelising milk and making like cheese, but it is sooo yummy its like cheese and marmite all in one.

Jarle adds few slices to brown sauce and gravy to add a yummy taste, mmm.

There are a few types of brunost round, for example:
Regional and locally made

The only thing better than Gudbrandsdalsost is Ekte Geitost which is brown cheese made with goats milks.

Snøfrisk This is a soft cheese like cream cheese but has a nice sharp taste to it. I so want to remake all my cream cheese recipes using snøfrisk. (Snø = snow, and it is white; frisk = fresh, and fresh is what it is).
Yogurt / yoghurt Here the yoghurt is so rich and creamy it’s like a decadent treat, obviously not as low fat as the NZ equivalent which I like too, just Norwegian yogurt is just a couple of points higher on the yummy scale.
Kokosboller Kokosboller and other sweet boller, there is just nothing like them in NZ. I thought I was going to miss mallowpuffs and so had a pack before I left NZ. But I really don’t anymore. Boller are so light and lickable on the inside which makes them fun to eat as well as delicious. But at least by doing this article I found a recipe for them. http://nuftenoft.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/kokosboller/
White Christmas Despite growing up in NZ for most of my life, and enjoying summer Christmas times, swimming at the beach, backyard BBQs, family gatherings easy to arrange as telling everyone to bring a salad or a desert.

Still all the movies and cards and other cultural references are to snow at Christmas so it was special to have a white Christmas and I know there would be a pang for it.

Brown Sugar We have soft brown sugar in NZ but the stuff here is so rich smelling I am sure it is processed less. Has a nice treacley smell and adds so much to what ever you use it in. Really would miss it.
Napoleankake Okay so napoleankake is like a custard square which is a good old favourite of mine from NZ but the pastry is more flakey and the filling is more creamy, need I say more?

The sooner they make a teleport device the better, then I need miss nothing, but then would I appreciate it as much?

Lapskaus – Stew

I made my first Lapskaus today. Which is a biggie as Jarle’s Mum makes a Lapskaus to die for. In fact I may not even tell Jarle it’s lapskaus till after he has eaten it so he does not expect it to be like his mother’s.

Jarle has been sick and is just getting his appetite back so I thought a dish that evokes childhood might be in order. That and the meat was on sale yesterday. Hard to get away from my Scottish genes.

The recipe I read a while back was on one of the Sons of Norway sites but I could not find that today for some reason.

So I found this lapskaus recipe that promises good lapskaus in 40 mins. The recipe is in Norwegian so here is my translation of it (please note my Norwegian is limited and mistakes are likely, but this is what I read it as and its cooking now. I’ll let you know at the end of the article how it turned out, as its cooking as I write.)

Lapskaus with thanks, from Marthe42 Blogspot
lapskaus with thanks from Marthe42 Blogspot

Lapskaus Recipe Translation

Amount Ingredient
about 600 grams stewing beef, eg shoulder, chuck steak
2 tablespoons butter
20 ml water or stock
1 beef stock cube
6 potatoes
3 carrots
1 thick slice swede
1 parsley root (I am guessing this is like parsnip)
about 40 ml water
1 teaspoon salt
half teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  1. Cut beef into 1.5cm cubes
  2. Melt butter in a large pot
  3. Brown meat in small batches
  4. Return meat to pot and add water/stock
  5. Wash the vegetables and peel potatoes
  6. Cut vegetables into 1 cm cubes and add to the pot
  7. Cook over a medium heat till all vegetables are cooked. Stir as little as possible so the vegetables don’t mush, but don’t let it stick on the bottom.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste

The stew may be cooked without browning and often precooked meat is used. Serve with a coarse wholemeal bread or flatbread and cranberries.


I am not sure why the recipe has two entries for water. What I did was just add water to the pot till it was 3/4 up the pot knowing this would almost cover the vegetables. As it turned out it 3/4 covered the vegetables so was a good big pot full of vegetables. The recipe does not call for the stew to be thickened but I did all a little cornflour to water and added it in.

For the beef stock cube I used one ice-cube of home-made chicken stock and one beef fondu. Beef fondu is something I just dicovered in Norway, it’s a is kind of a concentrated beef stock in a gel form.

Also I cheated on the vegetable front, I bought a bag of frozen lapskaus vegetables which had them all already diced. I did add more leek to the mix as the pack came with leek and I am guessing no swede or parsley root. Also we had quarter of a leek left in the fridge.

Flat Bread:

Flat bread is a uniquely Norwegian food (to me). Its hard to describe, as there is no New Zealand equivalent. But its not like a bread, more like a steam roller cracker, which has been rolled out to almost A4 size. You break a bit of one off and eat it with butter. It’s a traditional accompanyment to lapskaus. Its also very good to have dry if your feeling queasy.

Flatbrød ingrediants are, rye meal, white wheat meal, water, oatmeal, wheat bran and salt.

Box of Mors flatbrød
Mors Flatbrød, yummy with lapskaus

By the way for all those cooks out there , there’s a cool site with the equivalent ingrediant names in various languages ie: english, finnish, swedish, norwegian, danish, icelandic and russian. The top of the page lets you choose what group of foods your intersted in then you can sort alphabetically by any of the languages. It’s well worth a look.

Well all I am waiting for now is dinner time. The lapskaus smells good, but I’ll come back and update the post after we have eaten it.


Okay the verdict after the Lapskaus has been tasted and consumed.

It was good and tasty, I am very satisfied with the result. Though Jarle says for a real lapskaus it would have more potatoes but he still says it still tastes good. So next time I think I will do the vegetables myself and see how that goes. For now though I am a happy camper having made an edible attemt at my first lapskaus. Actually next time I am going to ask Jarle’s Mum for tips…


I love seasons and spring and autumn are my favourites so its so wonderful to see so many signs spring is coming around. Today is my father´s birthday so I thought I would document the day and the signs spring is a-coming.

This is the back yard currently, the sun is shining bright and the snow is melting.
Snow melting back from the house, midwinter snow was covering windowsill and our cute little splant
Love the bright blue sky behind the budding blossoms. Even though snow is still onthe ground these trees believe sring is coming.
See snow on the ground and trees are sure spring is coming. Good to see these signs.
This rock face was covered in snow only a few weeks back.
Road had hard winter
This road has had a hard winter, potholes all along it
A steady flow of water is flowing over this rock as the sun melts the snow
I love the way the bright sun today just makes this evergreen so vivid.
I am kinda waiting for the rose bushes to decide spring is coming too. At the moment they are kinda beautiful in their stark thorniness.
Their bright red hips are what helps them look beautiful, even though they have been damaged by the ravages of winter.
Here is the valley below, odd to me that the snow clings to the valley floor, I am used to it clinging to the high places.

It´s a beautiful day today, got very warm out on walk even in mid-lengthed sleeves. Norway is a country for those who love seeing the seasons change as the changes are so dramatic, and wonderful.

Happy birthday Dad!

Driving in Snowy conditions

Things you don´t think about when you think of having a white christmas. Driving!

You look out the window and see the pretty snow swirling in the shifting breezes.

You go outside and shovel snow so that latter the car can get out and you enjoy working together with your sweetie for a common goal.

Then later you leave and he drives you to the movies. This is where the reality of driving while its snowing hits you. We have driven before in snow but not with as much as today.

First thing I noticed was there was no middle line in the road. In fact no road markings really. How well do you know your roads to your nearest city to you?? Do you know when there is one lane each way and two lanes your side of road or theirs? Well in weather like this where there are no median strips you really need to know. Luckily my partner does!

Second thing you notice is the car moving sideways at times when you don´t expect it. Luckily my man is well used to driving in snowy conditions and these were just little movements.

Third thing I noticed was that road signs like the round speed ones had snow stuck to their face and were partly or fully obscured. Which made me wonder if I remember the speed limits from Porirua to Paraparaumu well enough to drive the right speed at the right time.

So in short I was glad it was my man driving not me!! And a resolution not to drive unknown roads in these conditions if ever faced with that dilemma.

To end the night we were faced with wind swept swaths of snow and had to dig our way into the car park. Adds to the whole going out experience 🙂


When I moved to Norway I expected to be surprised by some things. In much the same way when I tell people I came form New Zealand they expect me to be surprised by some things. The things that surprised me has not always been as expected from either side.


I expected food to be much the same generally but traditional foods to be way different than traditional kiwi fare. How wrong I was, the traditional dishes I have been fed so far would pass as kiwi food, anglo kiwi that is.

Take lapskus its a good meat casserole like grandma would cook. There are many recipes on the net but to give you one in english I grabbed this from the Daughters of Norway site. http://www.daughtersofnorway.org/dnFood.html

Lapskaus (Norwegian Stew)
Unattributed, combined and edited two recipes.
1-1/2 pounds lean beef, cubed 1 large onion, cubed
1-1/2 pounds lean lamb, cubed 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 pound pork, cubed salt to taste
4 cups or about 8 potatoes, cubed optional: 2 carrots sliced
optional: 1/4 tsp. nutmeg optional: 2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. oil water to cover
Stew recipes are inherently flexible in the details. Brown meat lightly in oil. Add water to cover and let boil about 30 minutes. Add seasonings and vegetables. Simmer another half hour or until the meat is tender. Serve with a side salad, and flat bread.

I was told I would be surprised by Norwegian potato use, practically every day Norwegians eat potatoes I was told. No joking, Every Day!! I had to let them down gently and tell them this is not surprise, most kiwis would eat pototatoes every day too.

On the food front I was surprised though about

  • lollies, namely that there was so much licorice and marzipan based lollies.
  • Now its getting closer to Christmas how much christmas food is in the stores.
  • How good yogurt is here
  • How good real sauerkraut is, mmmmm and its considered one of the new super foods too!
  • That they don’t have pickles and chutneys like we do.
  • That Worcestershire sauce would be so expensive.
  • That good number of folks know and love marmite / vegemite.

On the Christmas food front, I don’t mean they are getting in turkeys and mixed nuts and all. I mean that normal foods have Christmas versions that are appearing on the shelf. Like Christmas fizzy drinks (bris) Christmas sausages (pølser), Christmas this and Christmas that. Jarle says they will be brewing Christmas beer (øl), not his favourite as its too an old time recipe.

Christmas sausage (Julepølser)
Christmas sausage (Julepølser)
Jule Bris (Christmas FIzzy Drink)
Jule Bris (Christmas Fizzy Drink)
Sweet Christmas Treats
Sweet Christmas Treats

I spotted a jar of fruit mincemeat on the shelf and thought all was not that different maybe, but Jarle said he had not seen it before. He also looked a bit dubious about meat being in a jar on the shelf. Common mistake seeing as English only uses the word meat for animal flesh nowadays and fruit mincemeat was named back when dried fruit had a meaty texture so was meat. Many folks I know are confused why anyone would call dried fruit meat too. We bought a jar as could be the only one we find, though I think I maybe eating the fruit mince pies alone LOL.

Public Service

I didn´t expect to be surprised at the public service I mean it´s the same the world over right? Least western countries it´s gotta be pretty much the same right? But some close at 14:00 or 15:00 in an afternoon and I find that just pure strange. I thought closing at 16:30 like some of ours do was early enough in a day.

Movie Theatres

I expected to find films dubbed in Norwegian but everything else pretty much the same in the movie going world. Was a little surprised at how many films you can view in English some films playing in a variety of formats eg:

  • English no subtitles
  • English with Norwegian subtitles
  • Norwegian
  • Norwegian with subtitles

Take a look http://program.filmweb.no/kinoprogram/kinoprogram.aspx

But more than this was my surprise at how you buy tickets.

While you can bowl up to the theatre and buy tickets, most people buy over the Internet. You can reserve your seat when you buy online and the system sends you a code to your cellphone. Once you get to the cinema you bowl up to a friendly machine and put in your code and it prints out your tickets for you.

This is so much better than buying tickets over the Internet back home. Where I had to write down or print out my confirmation of purchase. Go to the cinema and bowl up to the counter along with everyone else buying tickets. Then go through a three point security check to ensure it was me that bought the tickets and then the theater staff logged in and assigned me my seats and it seemed a bit of a hassle for them to do this rather than just sell me the ticket. I decided after doing it once just before I left NZ that I would not do it again given the chance.

The Norwegian system seems to be more really electronic ticketing while the NZ one seems only halfway there making it the worst of both worlds, for me.

The other thing about movie theatres that surprised me is the way the let you out of a movie. In New Zealand you go out the way you came in. In Norway you go out those doors that in NZ are emergency only exits and they ´dump´you right out on the street or an alley. Except the one went to today (the collesuem) which took you to a small internal strip opposite which were the doors that took you outside.


I expected it to be colder here in Norway than my pacific home New Zealand, but the first month here (Sept 2009) was great weather. Sunny still days with enough heat to keep me happy.
I am eternally surprised though by how still it is. Days on end the trees may as well be painted backdrops for they move not at all. I am not really complaining though it kinda creeps me out. The cold is no way near as bad as I suspect when I look at the temperature, as there is no wind to whip under your clothes and through fastenings to chill you. I really appreciate what wind chill factor is now I know how cold cold is without that good old Welly wind.

I was also surprised how non-slippery snow is. It´s ice I have to watch for I am told.


Road Signs

New Zealand has been slowly changing its road signs to internationally accepted ones (say the PR for the changes) so I was expecting Norway being part of European continent would have pretty similar signs to NZ. Boy was I wrong. Not that they are all different, but there are enough different to throw me.

Road signs in Norway (wikipedia)

The grey signs here threw me at first:

Road signs of Norway (wikipedia)

especially the ones with cars and people on as I thought it was saying there can be no cars / people after this sign, yet patently this was not being followed by those around me. Eventually I learnt that is means end of a zone. So the people one has a people only sign compatriot and when you get the grey people sign with lines thorugh it it means end of the people only zone ie now you are in a car and people zone so watch out…

Road signs of Norway (Wikipedia)

The yellow diamond sign flummoxed me for a while too but its kinda a cool sign now I have been told what it is for. In New Zealand we have a rule that traffic on minor roads give way to traffic on major roads. This is even in the driving test with minor roads being drawn narrower than major and questions being asked which car gives way to which.

The yellow diamond however lets you know (for certain) that your road has right of way and the yellow diamond with a black slash over it means your road no longer has right of way. Now in New Zealand there is never much confusion in peoples minds which is the minor and which is the major road but this sign makes it very clear what is going on.


Obviously coming to Norway meant learning a new language. I thought it would be consonants and not vowels I would have trouble with seeing I as was coming from a vowel based language area (Maori and Samoan have lots of vowels in words).
However, it seems that while I am struggling to pronounce a word right and listening to the consonants it usually turns out its the vowels I am mangling.

Norwegian vowels are

a e i o u æ ø å

Easiest vowels to explain are:

  • a which sounds like maori a
  • i which sounds like maori i
  • Ã¥ which sounds like maori o

Forest Farmhouse

I loved this farm house surrounded by trees, so close to Oslo but it loks like it is isolated and in the whoop whoops.

This is Jarle´s photo of the farm house we saw while up in the hills overlooking Oslo. We were up in clear air and there were trees for miles, then peeping out at me I spotted this farm house.

It looked small from where I was but it is obviously a good sized set of buildings. Must be nice to be in such a peacful environment but close to all the amenities Oslo offers.

Forest Walk

Jarle and I went for a walk in the forest today. Walked for about 2.5 hours over hilly terrain, had some ´interesting´ patches.

Lots of different mushrooms and toadstools, got to take some photos of those next time.

The path was stony, rocky, grassy or boggy depending where along track you were. At one stage we climbed along a steep hillside with a rocky stream coming down it to avoid a good boggy patch below.

It was a very peaceful walk, with widely spaced trees. occasional birds and quite a few people walking dogs.

Words for the day:

  • Kongle = pinecone
  • sopp = Mushroom
  • Lyng = group of bushes
Forest path
Forest path
  • Trees and blue sky overhead
    Trees and blue sky overhead

    Small ghost stone along the path
    Small ghost stone along the path
Roots creeping across path
Roots creeping across path

Week One in Norway

Saturday I arrived in Norway, after too many hours in flight. traveled from 4pm Friday NZ time till 12.30 am Sunday NZ time, so arrived 2.30 pm Saturday Norwegian time.

Took homeopathic pills on journey called No-more-jet-lag. Think they are brilliant as do not feel half as bad as I should.

Was almost sureal to see Jarle after all this time. Was only May since I last saw him but felt like a year had passed. Was very good to be able to hug him again. Norway turned on a spectacularly fine day for my arrival. Hot day after coming out of early spring in NZ.

First impressions of Norway:

– Lots of trees

– Older country than NZ

– Houses are like fairy tale houses.

The landlords put out a collection of wee Norwegian flags on their verandah  to welcome me. I have not met them yet but that was sweet.

I managed to stay up till bed time day one so that will help me settle into the time zone, but I woke up at 5am the next day unable to go back to sleep, so still catching up sleep here. Monday slept till 7am so things are settling.

Sunday went to the sculpture park in Oslo, seen photos of it before so it was good to actually be there. Very pretty expansive grounds. Can picture great picnics being held here.


Jarle & I at Frognerparken

Sunday, also met Jarle´s family and they were very welcoming. His parents are self confessed cat people and spoil their cats. They served apple cake, yum my favourite, and homemade cherry juice, unsweetened, nice and tart, yum.

Strangest things I have seen so far,

– water feature, spurting up a circle of water in the middle of a road where trams drive over. Handy for washing underside of trams I suppose and quite pretty, but strange.

– people driving on wrong side of road, going round roundabouts the wrong way and yielding to the wrong side, LOL

– Hardly any wind 😀

. white raspberry jam made from white raspberries, who knew there were such things, not me obviously. Looking forward to next autumn and seeing some white raspberries, Jarle´s parents grow them.

– Street signs so old and worn you almost can´t read the street name.

Cool things:

– houses so pretty

– people take their shoes off indoors (very reminiscent of Pacific cultures)  makes me feel at home.

– Cloak bays in entrances to houses, makes sense for the snowy days, but this has been a feature I always wanted in a house and here it is the norm it seems. Door on other side of cloak room is also a feature I have always wanted in a house as it gives that barrier to the cold on windy days

– Under floor heating, mmm cozy!

– trees trees trees, got to love so many trees being round

. Berries, berries are my favourite fresh fruit and they grow in abundance here.

– new type of berry called rips, small red berries on a long woody stalk, very tart! yumm yumm.

I really think I am going to like it here.