We have spent a week in Norway now, and we have all noticed some interesting things about the life and people in this lovely and welcoming country...
Norwegians love butter. That is what they put on their sandwiches, not mayonnaise. This makes me very happy, as that is just how I make my sandwiches at home. The butter here is deep yellow and super creamy...it is served in big slabs at breakfast, usually at the perfect spreading consistency!
Norwegians seem to love both tea and coffee, stopping often for little breaks where both tea and coffee are available...often with something sweet to eat! I counted 21 different kinds of tea offered at breakfast today.
They do outdoor dining very well...you will never get cold when sitting outside, as restaurants have sheepskin or reindeer seat covers and blankets for outside diners!
The eggs in Norway have yolks that are almost orange in color. The eggs are also a lot smaller than the ones at home. Soft boiled eggs served in egg cups, or hard boiled eggs served cut in half cross the short side are both served at breakfast.
Norwegians are tall, with long legs. Do the long legs help them to be such great cross country skiers...or does all that cross country skiing make their legs long and lean!? With these long legs, they walk with very long strides, almost like cross country skiing!
There has been one universal smoothie that has been served at every breakfast we have had. Served in small glasses, not huge super-size gluttonous American portions...it is always strawberry, blueberry, banana, blackberry and apple juice. These smoothies are delicious, and I just may have to start my day at home with a Norwegian smoothie when I return!
We are all finding the hotel rooms, the restaurants, the museums to be very hot. People are walking around in jackets, and Lenore and I are roasting in just our shirts! For a land that gets lots of snow, I would think they would have thicker blood than us Californians!
Cobblestones are a bitch to walk on! But then that is true all over Europe, not just in Norway! However we realized yesterday that we have only seen one woman in high heels...I've been amazed in Paris and all through Italy that women could walk so gracefully in heels on cobblestones, but in Norway sensible shoes rule!!!
They are starting to have immigration issues here. The have an influx of workers from Eastern Europe coming here to work at low paying jobs, in order to take advantage of their generous health benefits. I think there are a lot of emigrants from North Africa also...we have had cab drivers from Somalia and Eritrea. Just like at home in the U.S., this is a concern to the established native Norwegians.
Public bathrooms in Norway are awesome...super clean. The unusual thing is that the "stalls" are really private little rooms! The clean and beautifully tiled walls go floor to ceiling! In other words, you might go into the bathroom, but within that room, there might be anywhere from 2 -10 private little rooms...some even have their own sink! Sleek "floating toilets" suspended from the wall, not sitting on the floor like ours...and clean, clean, clean!