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10 days - Independent - Norwegian mountains, coast and fjords.

Our new range, Norwegian Coast, comes from the heart. With pride, we offer independent itineraries exploring secret coastal gems. These tours utilise the coastal ferries, regional trains and express boats to get around.

On this tour, you will encounter some of the best fjord landscapes in Norway, stay at classic wooden hotels where hosting traditions have been kept alive for centuries. This self-guided itinerary has you travel by trains, local buses and ferries, making your way over mountains and across fjords.

Easy journey with emphasis on city stays and fabulous fjord scenery, departs any day all year (Geirangerfjord only in the summer months). Norway is breathtakingly beautiful and this is the perfect trip to enjoy it.

Day 1
Arrive in Oslo
Day 2
Explore the compact green capital, Oslo
Day 3
Depart Oslo by early train and enjoy the spectacular journey to Flåm
Day 4
Start with a spectacular 2 hour cruise from Flåm, marvel at the fjords and villages then head to Bergen
Day 5
Explore Bergen - head to the hills above Bergen, museums or fine dine by the water
Day 6
A free morning in Bergen and then board your Hurtigruten ship
Day 7
Ålesund and Geirangerfjord
Day 8
Arrive in Trondheim
Day 9
Explore Trondheim
Day 10
Board the Dovrebanen train, which passes over the Dovre mountain plateau through historic towns and nature preservations, finish in Oslo.
Start/End Place
Oslo, Norway
Country Visited
Norway
Duration
10 Days
Suitability
Easy independent holiday suitable for singles & couples
Code
TNC001

Details

Transportation

Norway in the Nutshell® train, Hurtigruten Coastal Ferry & regional train.

Included
  • All hotel accommodation in shared double/twin room with private facilities, single supplement available
  • Daily breakfast
  • Norway in the Nutshell® train/ferry/bus ticket from Oslo to Bergen
  • Luggage porter service during the Norway in the Nutshell® tour
  • Geirangerfjord with Trollstigen excursion (June to August only)
  • Seat reservations on trains where available
  • Norwegian regional train from Trondheim to Oslo
  • 2 nights twin outside cabin with private facilities aboard Hurtigruten ship
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes and service fees
Not Included

Flight tickets, any airport taxes, travel insurance, visas, gratitudes and any items of personal nature.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive to Oslo and make your own way to your central hotel in the heart of Oslo. The Norwegian capital has a great deal to offer for the discerning traveller. If you arrive early, we can recommend a walk around the centre of town to view the Parliament, the Castle & the Harbour area.

Accommodation
Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret

Day 2

Enjoy Oslo in depth with some of our suggestions:

WALK: Skjennungstua

Take metro line No 1 from any subway station in central Oslo to the final stop at Frognerseteren. Then set off on foot, following the sign posted paths towards Skjennungstua – a lovely 7km round-trip through the forested hills above the city. Stop for lunch at Skjennungstua, with its fantastic view over Oslomarka, Oslo's green space.

LAKE WALK: Sognsvann Lake

Take metro line No 5 from any subway station in central Oslo to the final spot at Sognsvann. This lake has a 3.2 kilometre-walking track around the lake which is well lit and wheel chair friendly. Good for picnicking, swimming, running and checking out the locals. This was a regular spot for us to visit when we lived in Oslo. Very relaxing and you feel very local being there!

OCEAN WALK: Bygdøy

Bygdøy is a peninsula on the west side of the city centre. Here you find several of Oslo’s most popular museums. The peninsula is mainly a residential area, but in addition to the museums, Bygdøy is also a popular recreational area during summer offering beaches, a beach volleyball court and a beach restaurant at Huk. There are also several beautiful trails both for cycling and walking. Look out for strawberries for sale!

Meals
1 Breakfast
Restaurants
Maaemo
Optional Add Ons
Summer night on Oslo fjord

Day 3

Catch an early morning train from Oslo to Myrdal. The train journey over Northern Europe’s largest mountain plateau is spectacular. In the comfort of your train, watch fjord scenery with beautiful waterfalls, flowing rivers, deep valleys and mountains. In the afternoon, you check into the cosy mountain hotel in Flåm. Overnight in Fretheim Hotel.

Pack an overnight bag for your night in Flåm.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Fretheim Hotel

Day 4

The day starts with a spectacular 2-hour fjord cruise from Flåm to the tiny fjord village of Gudvangen. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Aurlandsfjord & the Næroyfjord-a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Gudvangen you change to the connecting bus to Voss, taking you through the beautiful Stalheim canyon with the Stalheimskleiven hairpin road (May to September). In Voss you change to a train that takes you to Bergen. Overnight Clarion Hotel Admiral or similar with breakfast.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Clarion Hotel Admiral
Restaurants
Cornelius Fish Restaurant

Day 5

Bergen offers many attractions and sights - many within walking distance. Recommended sights of interests are the Hanseatic harbour Bryggen, Fløibanen Funicular, Troldhaugen, the Fish and Flower market, Bergen Aquarium and Gamle Bergen (Old Bergen Open Air Museum).

Included is a Bergen card valid for 24 hours, which gives you free entrance to the cities museums, free public transportation, free parking and so much more.

Meals
1 Breakfast

Day 6

A free morning in Bergen and then board your Hurtigruten ship.

Representative Service in Norway
Hurtigruten's representative service in Norway in based in Bergen and may be contacted on +47 9094 6905
24-Hour Emergency number +61 280 695 866

Getting to your ship:
Your Hurtigruten ship will sail from the Hurtigruten Terminalen, located at Nostegarten 30, 5010 Bergen. Telephone +47 5554 3631. Please ask us about the Hurtigruten transfer shuttle.

Embarkation:
The terminal is staffed from 13:00 (1pm) and is open from 15:00 (3pm) for baggage check-in. Embarkation takes place from 16:00 (4pm) and your cabin will be available from approximately 18:00 (6pm). Dinner (buffet style) will be available from 18:00 (6pm). There are no restaurant facilities in the terminal, and should you arrive early to the terminal, you are free to explore Bergen independently until embarkation time. Leftluggage lockers are available in the terminal, however, you will need local currency (Norwegian Kroner) to access them. Please note you carry your own luggage onboard from the pier to your cabin.

Your ship departs at 20:00 (8pm).

An information meeting is usually held on the evening of departure from Bergen and includes details of safety onboard. There is an information folder in each cabin and safety procedures are illustrated on the back of your cabin door and in public areas. The Tour Leader on board will assist with general information and the shore excursion programme.

Meals
1 Breakfast
1 Dinner
Accommodation
Hurtigruten Norway

Day 7

Ports visited today: Florø, Måløy, Torvik, Ålesund, Molde.

Your ship navigates the skerries and islands further north before reaching Ålesund. Marvel at the inspiring architecture in the Apotekergate and Kongensgate pedestrian precinct, perfect examples of the Art Nouveau style. Don’t miss out on the view from Mount Aksla but beware, there are 418 steps to the top! In the summer months, the next destination will be the spectacular UNE SCO-listed Geirangerfjord. En route to the end of this beautiful fjord you pass sheer, 800m cliffs and impressive waterfalls.

In Autumn, you will explore the Hjørundfjord, amidst the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. Its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape are what give this fjord its special character.

Included is the Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass (June - August).

Other Optional Excursions depending on the season: Art Nouveau Tour, Hiking in Hjørundfjord, Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Mount Aksla and the A Taste of Norway which visits the historic Hotel Union.

Meals
1 Breakfast
1 Lunch
1 Dinner
Optional Add Ons
2B Geiranger with Trollstigen Pass
2C & 2E Ålesund Art Nouveau Walk
2D Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Mount Aksla
2F A Taste of Norway in Hjørundfjord
2G Mountain Hike in the Hjørundfjord
2H Hike with a visit to a Shieling

Day 8

Arrive into Trondheim after breakfast and transfer to your hotel. Discover the sights of this medieval city, including Norway's only catherdral Nidarosdomen and Bakklandet, an idyllic neighbourhood full of charm, history and culture.

Your hotel, the Grand Olav is centrally located in the city centre of Trondheim, walking distance from OlavsHallen concert hall and a ten minute walk from the Hurtigruten terminal.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Superior Room at Clarion Collection Grand Olav

Day 9

Take to time to unwind in this small Norwegian city. Hire a bike & follow one of the excellent cycling paths in and around the city centre.Be sure to take the world's first bike lift, located in the idyllic old town Bakklandet. You can ride out to the outdoor recreation area Bymarka, which is wonderful for hiking & biking.

Annual food festivals, the farmer's market, local breweries and excellent restaurants are all to be discovered.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Clarion Collection Grand Olav

Day 10

Board the 8.23 am train and sit back as you travel on the second highest line after the Bergen Railway. The Dovre Railway includes great variations in terrain and altitude along with 8 kilometres of tunnels, including the steep, curvy ascent from the Trondheim lowlands up to the Plateau. The train journey is 6 hours in total, reaching Oslo in the mid afternoon. Services finish on completion of this journey.

Ask us about stopping off along the way, either for an additional overnight in Lillehammer or Røros.

Meals
1 Breakfast

Dates & Prices

Prices per person. Hurtigruten sector rates fluctuate daily, please ask us for a specific quote for your preferred dates.

Dates
Valid From
Valid To
Price
Status
Accommodation
16 Aug 2017
31 Oct 2017
16 Aug 2017
31 Oct 2017
USD 3,148
Available
Standard
16 Aug 2017
31 Oct 2017
16 Aug 2017
31 Oct 2017
USD 1,057
Available
Extra for Single
1 May 2018
31 May 2018
1 May 2018
31 May 2018
USD 2,652
Available
Standard
1 Jun 2018
31 Aug 2018
1 Jun 2018
31 Aug 2018
USD 3,161
Available
Standard
1 Sep 2018
31 Oct 2018
1 Sep 2018
31 Oct 2018
USD 2,881
Available
Standard

Important Information

Interactive Tour Map

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Traveller 3
Traveller 4
Emergency Contact Details
Travel Insurance
Travel Documents
Travel Agent Details
Comments & Booking Conditions

On Arrival - Hurtigruten Bergen

Check-in Bergen The terminal is open daily from 13.00hrs for baggage delivery. Check-in commences at 15.00hrs and embarkation at 16.00hrs, with access to cabins from 18.00hrs.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/

Practical Information before your Hurtigruten Voyage

Hurtigruten

Practical information before your Hurtigruten Voyage

Hurtigruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set timetable, as shown in the Hurtigruten brochure and the above detailed itinerary, carrying goods, vehicles and foot passengers between ports, by night and day, as an integral part of Norwegian daily life (some noise may be experienced during docking and loading/unloading). It may very occasionally be necessary to omit or curtail stops due to weather or other conditions. Some stops may be very short and some are at night. As Christmas approaches itineraries may change in order for ships to host dinners and celebrations for local communities. Please ensure you are back onboard by sailing time, especially if the ship has arrived late, as it may leave as scheduled to make up time.

The departure time is advertised at the gangway and vessels are NOT able to wait for passengers who are late. If you miss the ship it is your responsibility to make arrangements to rejoin the voyage at the next possible stop or return home.

Hurtigruten

Cafe

This is generally available 24 hours a day serving beverages, sandwiches and a small selection of hot and cold dishes. On some departures the catering service at night will be managed by the reception staff.

Cars

If you are travelling by car further information on vehicles and parking at ports is available from Hurtigruten. Access to the vehicle deck is only permitted when the ship is moored.

Credit cards/currency

We accept VISA, American Express, Eurocard, Diners Club and JBC International, plus most currencies. On board MS Lofoten and MS Nordstjernen currently only VISA and Mastercard are accepted.

Cruise card

We recommend that passengers acquire a cruise card to make payments on board. This may be obtained from reception onboard and used to make payments throughout the ship. They accept credit cards or cash as a deposit. You need to get the bill sorted on the last night to be sure it is finalised.

Diets

Special diets, such as vegetarian must be ordered well before departure.

Disabled guests

All ships, except MS Lofoten have lifts and cabins for disabled guests. People with severe disabilities or who are unable to take care of themselves must be accompanied by a carer.

Drinks

The ships are licensed to sell drinks onboard, however please note the price of alcohol in Norway due to heavy taxes. The water package can be included into your voyage at a small extra cost

Electricity

220 V AC 2 pin, and a continental adaptor is required.Hurtigruten

Fitness room/sauna

Available on all ships except MS Vesterålen and MS Lofoten.

Be sure to bring some swimming attire for the jacuzzi!

Internet access

All ships, except MS Lofoten, offer internet access via satellite. In most harbours, mobile/cellular networks (3G) are available if bringing your own PC and a mobile access subscription. The wireless coverage varies from ship to ship and will be improved yearly. The passengers have to contact the reception on board for information on how to get access to the internet (free of charge). No internet access in the cabins (except in some suites). Internet cafe (if present), with minimum 2 PCs.

Itinerary

Hurtigruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set schedule, carrying vehicles, cargo and foot passengers by day and night (some noise may be noticed during docking or loading). Some stops are short and/or are during the night. It may occasionally be necessary to omit or curtail visits due to weather/local conditions, and you will be notified of this.

Laundry

Most ships have laundry facilities with washing machines and tumble dryers, except MS Lofoten. Tokens may be purchased from reception.

Luggage

A daily baggage service is available in Bergen from the airport and selected city-centre hotels to the Hurtigruten terminal. For groups, luggage handling must be agreed with Hurtigruten prior to travel. This in not included in the price of your voyage.

Meals

Meals are served at set times in the restaurant. In high season, times may vary if there are several sittings. A breakfast buffet (open seating) with a wide selection is served 07.30hrs -10.00hrs. A buffet lunch (open seating) with hot and cold dishes and desserts is usually served 12Hurtigruten Hospitalityhrs-14.30hrs and a three course set dinner 18.30hrs-21.00hrs. In Bergen a buffet is usually served 18.30hrs-21.30hrs. Exact times are given on board. Tea and coffee facilities are only provided in cabins above U Class. Tea and coffee are available free of charge after lunch and dinner but can be purchased around the clock. Please read our news articles about dining on board Hurtigruten. 

Pets

It is recommended that pets are not brought on long journeys and special rules apply to the transport of animals; contact us for further information. We do however welcome guide dogs on board.

Pharmacy/doctor

As there are only short distances between ports there is neither a doctor nor a pharmacy on board.

Playroom

Most ships have a playroom except MS Lofoten, MS Midnatsol and MS Trollfjord.

Remember

Do not forget to bring your binoculars, camera and/or a video camera. Take practical, warm and windproof clothing for going out on deck. Smart, but casual clothes are recommended on board. Good comfortable footwear is vital for excursions.

Shop

Souvenirs, knitwear, postcards, DVDs of the journey, stamps and a small supply of toiletries are sold on board.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in cabins or public areas. It is allowed up on the open deck but prohibited at all times when the ships are in port.

Safety regulations

For reasons of safety it may sometimes be necessary to keep cabin ventilators/port-holes obscured.

Sick bay

On all ships except MS Vesterålen, MS Nordstjernen and MS Lofoten.

Telephone and fax

All ships have payphones and a fax machine. There is generally good coverage for mobile phones.Hurtigruten Midnight Sun

Tour leader

There is a tour leader on board all year round. On some departures this service is managed by reception. External tour leaders (groups) are requested to contact the reception for information on practical details.

Transfer

We can offer transfers in Bergen, Trondheim and Kirkenes.

Valuables

There is a safe in reception. Hurtigruten accept no responsibility for valuables and money kept in cabins.

Wake-up calls

When arriving at night disembarking passengers are woken between half an hour and one hour before arrival.

Weather and climate

Temperatures usually vary between 2°C and -10°C in winter. Summer temperatures in northern Norway vary between 10°C and 30°C depending on latitude.

End of your voyage

On your final morning of your voyage, be sure to take everything with you when you go for breakfast. The ship gets prepared for the next voyage and your rooms will be cleaned promptly. You may be charged for re-entry.

Optional Activities on board your Hurtigruten voyage

You can pre-book your optional excursions with us. However, you can also wait until you are onboard and do it then - however, there is a maximum number and they can book out. It is not possible to pre-book within 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and weather/local conditions. During quieter months, some excursions may not get the numbers required so please ask us when booking about the minimum numbers needed for each excursion.

Practical information about Scandinavian Hotels

Practical information about Scandinavian Hotels

  • Hotel rooms in Scandinavia are normally furnished with twin beds, which can be moved together to form a double bed or placed separately. Please note that single rooms are generally smaller than doubles, and are often equipped with a shower instead of a bath. Purpose-built triple or family rooms are likewise unusual in Scandinavian hotels. Whilst it is possible for 3 persons to share a room, this will normally be a double room with an extra bed, with correspondingly less space to move about in.
  • It is also unusual to have a porter at hotels to carry your luggage.
  • There is free wi-fi in many hotels in Scandinavia.
  • Unexpectedly, all forms of Scandinavian accommodation rarely provide tea and coffee facilities in their rooms. If you are lucky, a kettle will be supplied but nothing else. Please ask at reception for some provisions when you arrive or just carry a small selection from home.
  • Please also note that in Scandinavia - in particular, during winter - the included lunch will often be a hearty warm soup with bread.
  • More remote hotels in Lapland will offer dinner at an additional cost. In some spots, there will be limited choices else where. Generally, you get a very nice home-cooked Scandinavian dinner. However, you may sometimes find only one or two choices only for your main course.
  • In Scandinavia, it is normal for washing and laundry facilities to be in the basement. If you are staying in apartment type accommodation, check downstairs or ask for assistance.

Twin beds in Scandinavia

Practical budgeting information before your departure to Norway

Practical budgeting information before your departure to Norway:

Budget surprises:

Norway has a few items that typically surprise travellers when visiting Norway for the first time. Alcohol and luxury items are heavily taxed and therefore prices are higher than you would expect. On the other hand, necessities such as bread and milk, are taxed low and therefore are great value.

Alcohol import allowance into Norway:

We recommend that you bring all the alcohol you’re allowed to bring into the country when you arrive. There are many lovely parks and balconies where you can enjoy your duty free. However, be sure not to bring more than you’re allowed!

As of May 2014, the allowances according to Visit Norway are:

Alcoholic beverages:
Minimum age: 18/ 20*

1 litre of beverages with more than 22% up to and including 60% alcohol per volume as well as 1½ litre with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume or three litres with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume
and
2 litres of beer with more than 2.5 % or other beverages with more than 2.5% up to and including 4.7% alcohol per volume.
This means that you may for example bring with you five litres of beer provided you do not have any other alcoholic beverages with you.

*For importing alcoholic beverages with more than 22% alcohol per volume the minimum age is 20.

It’s illegal to bring extra alcohol into Norway and can end up costing you. Another thing you should bring and not buy in Norway is razor blades. Good razor blades in Norway are expensive.

Self-catering in Norway

Self-catering in Norway

Written by Jayde Kincaid, who married a Norwegian, and was happily (albeit with some hesitation) introduced to a world of Norwegian every day food habits.

At 50 Degrees North, we want to encourage our travellers to try local Norwegian food & drink. This may seem difficult in Scandinavia in general without a large budget, and in particular Norway. Some of the more remote villages you might visit have limited restaurants or cafes, some of which can be pretty expensive. There is certainly no street food! One way to get about sampling local food is by self-catering. You will find plenty of friendly locals in the small town grocery stores and supermarkets who will be happy to help you picking out local ingredients. Just don’t be shy – ask! And, don’t rush – make your local small town shopping part of your holiday experience. Read the local notice boards, and enjoy an ice cream out the front when you have finished. It is what the locals do!

Note: Statoil cups - a good idea to save money as you drive around Norway: purcahse a Statoil (petrol station) metal cup and you get free refills of coffee, tea and hot chocolate at the Statoil stations.

Grocery shopping in remote or far flung Norway:

Norway has an extensive range of grocery stores, and in most small villages you will find at least one, if not two or three grocery stores. However, they do have limited opening hours, and except for ‘Bunnpris’, they are all closed on Sundays. You will see the weekend hours shown in brackets on the store sign out front. If you are arriving in a larger town, we do suggest you stock up with some staples before you head out into the mountains or on a coastal drive.

A few tips:

• Plastic bags are NOK1-2 and you will always need to pack your own shopping.
• You can recycle your bottles and cans for a receipt that you can cash in. Recycling points are found in all stores.
• Alcohol sold in food stores (mainly beer and cider) is restricted by government regulation to certain hours. This varies slightly, but on weekdays alcohol sales stop at 8pm regardless and on Saturdays at 6pm. Outside these hours and on Sundays you can only buy alcohol in licensed restaurants or bars.
• Any alcohol over 4.7% can only be bought at special government controlled liquor store (Vinmonopolet). These are very rare in smaller remote towns and villages, so stock up before you leave the city.

Things to try from a general grocery store:

Meatballs or “meatcakes’: these come in all shapes, sizes and quality. They are generally really tasty and a bit better than what you find at IKEA. Also pick up a packet of dried ready-made brown sauce that goes with them. Be on the look out for Lingonberry sauce/jam, or even fresh lingonberries that you can use to make a fresh sauce (little red circular berries). Don’t add too much sugar, they are served quite tart.

If you want to try to make this brown sauce yourself, buy some ‘brunost’ (brown cheese), the required creams and follow the recipe below.

Hotdogs: known as ‘pølse’ in Norwegian, hot dogs are abundant in Norway. Cheap and cheerful – pølse is THE fast food of Norway. They are sold at service stations, newsagents, corner stores and fast food outlets. Pølse come with a dazzling variety of toppings and bread. Some of the pølse highlights would be the bacon wrapped ones, sprinkled with dried onion, mustards and mayonnaise. You will also find them wrapped in waffles (mostly in and around Fredrikstad) or the Norwegian pancake, ‘lompe’.

Note: there are strict requirements by the Food Safety commission for traditional pølse to be of the highest quality and they have even set requirements for what types of ingredients are allowed.

Like Norwegian beer, you will find seasonal pølse – Christmas pølse (Julepølse) is obviously found only in the lead up to the celebrations.

If you are planning to eat Norwegian style, use boil pølse on the stove and add to meals with potatoes and stew.

Note; steer away from tinned cheap pølse and meatballs.

Fish cakes: these also come in lots of variation and are generally served with a white sauce and lots of parsley. The Norwegians also use a basic white sauce on broccoli with cheese on top. These fish cakes are often found in fish shops, fried or steamed, ready to eat. A great fast snack.

Reindeer: we strongly suggest you try reindeer meat when you are travelling in the far north. It generally comes frozen, so look for finely cut reindeer meat in the freezer section. It is a more expensive option, but absolutely delicious albeit quite gamey. Be sure to get mushrooms, a small amount of brown cheese and rømme (crème fraiche). Fry it all up in a pan - a bit like a beef stroganoff. Serve with boiled potatoes or rice.

Mushrooms: if you are travelling in the chanterelle harvest season (mid/late August), be sure to try them. They are the yellow mushroom found in autumn. Or better still, have a look around the pine forests and pick some. Be sure to image search them before you head out so you know what to pick. They are really delicious with the brown cheese sauce and reindeer.

Salmon, prawns & fish: always be on the look out for a chance to buy fresh fish. Yes, it is possible to smooth talk a fisherman at the harbour. Or look for the local fish-kiosk or fish-shop. Be on the look out for small signs pointing you in the direction of fresh fish sales – ‘reker’ (shrimps, not prawns) or ‘fersk fisk’ (fresh fish) are the words you need.
Norwegians are very proud of their shrimps – and of course completely justified. Their shrimps are small and tasty and harvested from the cool North Sea. Norwegians traditionally serve them with mayonnaise and lemon. Peel them and pop them on a fresh white slice of bread. Mayonnaise is layered on top with dill, pepper & salt.

Smoked Salmon: Norwegian smoked salmon is the best in the world hands down. Be sure to try all the different varieties you see – often, in larger supermarkets or delis, you can try before you buy.

Tubed ‘kaviar’ (caviar): this is a must try. It is cheap and perfect for the travellers pantry. This is what my husband craves like an Australian abroad would crave vegemite.

Norwegian pre-made dips and salads: the Norwegian supermarkets have a large range of premade salads and dips. They last quite a while and are good fillers for sandwiches. Our favourite are the cubed beetroot salad and the potato salads. They come in easy-to-carry and pack-up containers – perfect for picnics. Tubed mayonnaise is also handy for picnics.

‘Leverpostei’ (liver pate) in many variations can also be found in the supermarket. This pate is normally served on brown bread then topped with sliced red onions or sweet pickles. Protein rich and very tasty if you like pate – it is found on most Norwegian breakfast tables.

Yoghurt: now – this is an interesting one. Norwegian yoghurt comes in a variety of styles - some can be very runny, sour and low fat. There are varying names/codes for each sort. You might like to check with a local when you are buying yoghurt to be sure you are getting what you want. Some of the yoghurt comes as though it is milk, in normal milk cartons - sour runny yoghurt is NOT nice in your coffee.

Bread: the Norwegian supermarket bread generally comes un-cut. You can either cut it in the shop – ask for help the first time you do it. They have industrial bread cutting machines near the bakery section. The bread can be quite plain in the main supermarkets so be on the look out for boutique bakeries in the larger towns if you enjoy fancy bread. Also keep an eye out for the Norwegian flatbread, Lefse, which is similar to Mexican tortillas. Usually served with butter and sugar, sometimes cinnamon too. Occasionally made with potato.

Waffles: Norwegian waffle stalls are similar to the sausage sizzle or hot dog stand. It is the most common fundraising or community building food product. Don’t expect sickly sweet jams or whipped cream – you will find these fresh chewy waffles served with sour cream and home made tart berry jams. Never go past one!

Chocolate: we recommend that you try the ‘FREIA’ milk chocolate during your stay. It melts in your mouth.

Berries: if you travel in early autumn (mid/late August) this is berry season. Forest berries that is. Ask a local and head up into the hills or forest in search for berries. You may find; blueberries, lingonberries, rasberries and if you are up north or in the central mountains; the rare yellow cloudberries.

Norwegian Farm Produce:

On a self-drive journey, always be on the look out for small farm shops or stands along the road. Things you cannot drive past:

Strawberries: if you are travelling in the strawberry season – you MUST try Norwegian strawberries. They are seriously amazing. Grown in the nutritious earth that has the chance to rejuvenate through a long winter.

_And if you go past a self-pick strawberry farm, put everything else on hold and enter!  Norwegians wait all year for this event. _

New potatoes: be on the look out for new season potatoes – they are often sold in little stands beside the road. Often on an honesty basis; i.e. grab a bag and put the money in an allocated tin.

CLASSIC RECIPE:

Basic Brown Cheese Recipe – can be used with meatballs, reindeer, with added mushrooms.
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 3⁄4 cup light cream
• 1⁄2 cup chicken broth (optional - just use water if you cannot find this)
• 1 cup shredded gjetost or brown goats cheese
• 3⁄4 cup rømme (crème fraiche)
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or 2 tablespoons fresh dill

Method:
Using the meat dish that has been browned off, remove as much oil from the pan as possible and blend in butter and flour. Remove from heat and blend in light cream. Add chicken broth, bring to boil, stirring and cooking until thickened. Mix in Gjetost cheese. Turn heat low.
Blend some of the sauce into the rømme (crème fraiche), then return all to sauce. Add chopped parsley or fresh dill.

Happy shopping and cooking!