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Oslo, Norway


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#1 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 01:20 AM

I PM'd the one MF'er I've known who has been there -- but I'm curious if anyone else has and if they have any thoughts on it as a destination. I discovered over my weekend in Los Angeles that I have an old acquaintence living there and as I am looking for an escape in late July, wondering what info might out there to entice me one way or another.

#2 flyfish

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 01:37 AM

QUOTE(Carolyn Tillie @ Jun 5 2008, 09:20 PM) View Post
I PM'd the one MF'er I've known who has been there -- but I'm curious if anyone else has and if they have any thoughts on it as a destination. I discovered over my weekend in Los Angeles that I have an old acquaintence living there and as I am looking for an escape in late July, wondering what info might out there to entice me one way or another.

Mr. Fly has a painting on permanent display at the Canadian Embassy there, but I suspect you'd need more enticement than that!

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#3 Melonious Thunk

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:22 AM

QUOTE(Carolyn Tillie @ Jun 5 2008, 09:20 PM) View Post
I PM'd the one MF'er I've known who has been there -- but I'm curious if anyone else has and if they have any thoughts on it as a destination. I discovered over my weekend in Los Angeles that I have an old acquaintence living there and as I am looking for an escape in late July, wondering what info might out there to entice me one way or another.

My son's wife is from a Norwegian family who travel their frequently. I will ask her.
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#4 g.johnson

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 01:38 PM

We visited Oslo a few years ago and really liked it. It's quite small, though, so a weekend is probably sufficient. But you could combine it with a trip to the fjords (which are magnificent) for a longer vacation.

If you do go, the Norwegian Folk Museum (not as dull as it sounds -- an open-air museum of old Norwegian buildings) is great.

The food's ok but nothing exceptional.
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#5 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 01:40 PM

I'm re-thinking the plan. I have tickets for Amsterdam and "a quick jaunt" up to Oslo just to see old friends (and the Munch museum, the fjords, and a few other things) might not be worth the extra money.

Europe was so bloody expensive in March and I'm trying to do this for myself on a shoe-string.

#6 splinky

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 01:49 PM

were i you, i'd just hold out till i won the peace prize. they pay your airfare and give you a nice cash prize, maybe enough for a weekend in paris

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#7 g.johnson

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 02:12 PM

QUOTE(Carolyn Tillie @ Jun 6 2008, 09:40 AM) View Post
I'm re-thinking the plan. I have tickets for Amsterdam and "a quick jaunt" up to Oslo just to see old friends (and the Munch museum, the fjords, and a few other things) might not be worth the extra money.

Europe was so bloody expensive in March and I'm trying to do this for myself on a shoe-string.

It is a long way from civilization. I was there for a conference and getting there took the best part of two days. Flying JFK to London, London to Oslo, Oslo to Alesunde, bus (three hours) from Alesunde to Geiranger (the fjord).
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#8 Wilfrid1

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:40 PM

Not pining for it, then? The fjord?
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#9 Daisy

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:52 PM

QUOTE(Wilfrid @ Jun 6 2008, 12:40 PM) View Post
Not pining for it, then? The fjord?

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#10 Sneakeater

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:51 PM

were i you, i'd just hold out till i won the peace prize. they pay your airfare and give you a nice cash prize, maybe enough for a weekend in paris

 

See, I figured I'd come here before I win the Peace Prize, so that when I visit when I do, I won't seem uncosmopolitan.

 

The first thing is the usual shock when you get off an airplane in Scandinavia:  everybody is physically perfect!  All genders.  At first it's distracting to be surrounded by such consistent physical beauty.  But you get used to it.  And everybody is very friendly, in that reserved Scandinavian way.*

 

Small city with a fabulous situation on the fjord.  I had thought San Francisco's situation couldn't be improved on.  I was wrong.

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* When I was in Stockholm I actually became temporarily friendly with a famous Swedish model and her model husband.  We had a couple of meals together.  The thing was, I had no idea, when I met them, who they were.  They were extremely good looking -- but not so much better looking than everybody else around (as they would be in most places) that their looks screamed out, professional models!!  I only found out when someone who saw us together told me about them.  (They just evasively said they were "in the fashion industry".)


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#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:54 PM

Brooklyn-obsessed Stockholm won't want to hear it, but here is my comparative estimation of the three major Scandinavian capitals (we're excluding Helsinki as not totally Scandinavian):  Oslo is Brooklyn to Stockholm's Uptown and Copenhagen's Downtown.  Obviously I like it here.


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#12 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:56 PM

Really? I don't buy that.

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#13 Sneakeater

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 04:08 PM

Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin

 

Norway is famous for the insanely high-quality seafood it extracts from the icy waters that surround and suffuse it.  In fact, I would say that if you don't like eating fish, you should probably not come here.  But if you do . . . .

 

This is an upscale fish restaurant in the new Tjuvholmen district, a formerly derelict waterfront area that is not being gentrified but rather totally redeveloped.  As such, it's the kind of neighborhood I usually hate:  shiny, new, and soulless -- a playground for the wealthy douche squad.  (Think of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires.)  But here, it kind of works:  the city is small enough that this new area doesn't seem (and in fact isn't) cut off from the rest of the city.  And in egalitarian Scandinavia, the douche factor is less of a problem (not that I'm running to the nightclub whose house drink is the vodka martini -- and not that I haven't been spending most of my time in the bohemian East [but later for that]).

 

But anyway, back to the fish.  This is a good restaurant.  The food is fancied up, but the kitchen's grasp is well within its reach.  So the curried king crab salad -- king crab is the pride of Norway -- impressed mainly by its freshness, the curry adding a slight accent on the way down.  And the fried trout, sitting on top of a mild cream sauce:  what a thing of beauty.

 

Not to oversell this.  It's an above-average fish restaurant.  But what fish.


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#14 Sneakeater

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 04:15 PM

Lofoten

 

More fish.  Lofoten is an archipelago in the north of Norway.  I have no idea how characteristic this food is of there.  But again, it was good.

 

To start, pickled skate with pickled chanterelles.  This just worked.  The skate was succulent (although cooked this way -- or rather, not cooked -- the cartilage was absolutely unsoftened, much less cooked out).

 

Then, grilled mink whale in what I took to be a red wine sauce.  Just think, up until this week I had never eaten whale.  What it's like is, it's like wild venison, but even more livery.  Too livery for me, in fact:  I now know that wild venison is where I stop.  It's nice not to crave a food that's so endangered.

 

Anyway, another recommended fish restaurant.  A little more elemental than the other one.


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#15 Sneakeater

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 04:29 PM

Matshallen

 

Oslo joins many other world cities in establishing a disappointing food hall.

 

This is in Vulkan, just across the river from Grünerløkka, the Brooklyn of Oslo (it's a small river).  In terms of prepared food, the best on offer seemed to be the fish and chips that the fishmonger made.  With fries and mushy peas.  Not necessarily characteristically Norwegian.  But the fish itself was insanely good.  I'm pretty sure it was halibut.


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