Pack Up: An expat Aussie in Oslo, Norway



Daisy Bohn, left, pictured on a Besseggen, Norway hike.

Q. If Oslo were a person, how would you describe its personality?

A. Oslo is in its adolescence and is coming out of the shadows of its older siblings – Stockholm and Copenhagen. Oslo is fast becoming a modern city, with new bars and restaurants opening, large-scale redevelopment and exciting architecture in the city centre. With their passion for outdoor activities, the environment, and fashion, the typical modern Viking is long-legged, blonde, athletic and very well groomed.

Q. Why did you move to Norway?
A. My husband and I initially moved over for a work opportunity (a two-year secondment), which has now extended to four years – and we are still loving life here in Norway.

Q. Top three eating experiences?
A. For those who thrive on culinary experiences (and have an unlimited budget), three-Michelin-starred Maaemo is a chic fine-dining option with a seasonal menu. A meal by the fjord on a sunny day provides a perfect vista and usually features champagne, fish soup, mussels or crayfish, or you could buy a single-use barbecue, and some cold beers and munch on the national food of summer, pølse med lompe (sausages in flat bread). Norwegian chocolate is particularly good, as are their bakeries, and a coffee with a cinnamon bun is a delight any time of year.

Q. What’s Norway’s best-kept secret?
A. The scenery is beautiful and it’s easy to find tranquillity atop a mountain or cruising the vast, still waters of the famous fjords. There are some amazing hikes such as Pulpit Rock, Troll Tongue and Besseggen. There are some beautiful, remote locations such as the old fishing villages on the Lofoten Islands or Svalbard, home of the polar bears. The near endless daylight in summer provides many hours for whale watching and hiking glaciers.

Q. For kicking your heels after dark you go to …?
A. Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen are lively spots for after work drinks. Grünerløkka is more relaxed and is known as the hipster centre of Oslo.

Q. Best free fun?
A. The natural scenery and open access to the forests and coastline is one of the greatest assets of Oslo. Those with extra time should take a city bike and cycle around the inner-city peninsula of Bygdøy and to the King of Norway’s farm. You can also swim at one of the popular beaches – Paradis beach, or Huk, and enjoy the beautiful picnic grounds.

Q. What’s your favourite hard to find haunt?
A. Norwegians love simplicity and beauty in design – and drinking black coffee. Tim Wendelboe incorporates all of these things at his espresso bar in Grünerløkka with an on-site micro-roastery.
The main street of Oslo, Norway.

Q. What is the one must see/do experience in Norway?
A. If you’re visiting, a selfie (screaming) next to Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream is always fun.

Q. Are there any traditions that you found surprising?
A. May 17 is Norway’s National Day. Schoolchildren dress in bunad, their national costume, and parade with banners and marching bands through the streets, past the Royal Palace, where the royal family wave to them from the balcony. It’s an impressive, but heart-warming display of national pride, followed by a champagne breakfast, with the national favourite of waffles with strawberry jam and sour cream.

Q. You can’t leave Norway without …
A. You should probably try brown cheese, which is unique to Norway and probably as important to Norwegians as Vegemite is to Australians. It’s a thick, sweet cheese made of goat’s milk and certainly an acquired taste. I’ve finally learnt to appreciate it after four years in Norway!

Where to stay
For a decadent weekend away, the Kragerø Resort, south of Oslo, is an excellent choice (www.krageroresort.no). There’s also the Thief Hotel, luxury accommodation in the heart of the city (thethief.com).

Published: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/stm/pack-up-an-expat-aussie-in-oslo-norway/news-story/02e95d621ffd43430af8b2af77579880

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