I was born in Norway. Left after high school to emigrate to Montreal, Canada. I just got back from a trip with my new French Canadian partner, she’s never been there before. We traveled from Vancouver to London and on to Oslo on British Airways. Great flight, great service. And the booze was free. More than I can say for Norway… A pint of everyday lager/pilsner is about 69 NOK = $12 CAN. Here in Vancouver it’s $5-6. But that’s ok.
Before we left we decided NOT to complain about prices, and just enjoy. Overall, everything is twice as expensive as Canada. A decent hotel is about 1,300 NOK = $223 CAN. But a great breakfast is included. So that’s not so bad. Some hotels even have nightly buffets, and finding those and eating two meals in the hotel – takes the bite off. At the Clarion Folketeateret in Oslo we did that, and the room suddenly became quite affordable. And the food was great!
Gas is also twice as expensive, we rented a Peugeot diesel car and got 40 MPG. Put 2,600 KMS on the thing in two weeks. Cruised the fjords and mountains. I love showing off my country’s scenery to an appreciative partner.
She stated that the Canadian scenery is great, but the Norwegian views are dramatic. We took local ferries, which I used to take often when I grew up. We also went through the longest tunnel in the world – 24 KMS long.
Bergen is the most scenic city in Norway, even the day we were there it poured. We had planned for this and brought our west-coast rain gear. We also went down the Trollstigen, which is spectacular. From there we went up to Sunndalsøra where I have family. We took daytrips every day, especially to Kristiansund – my home town.
Kristiansund is a coastal town that have progressed from a fishing town to an oil platform support base. Remembering having great fish and chips we went to the ‘old “fishan” booth down by the harbour. It was as good as I remembered, even at $15 for your basic meal it was great.
Driving in Norway can get interesting. Especially on the secondary roads, where often there is no dividing lines and curvy. I was brought up on those roads and it came right back to me. A few scary encounters with big trucks, but we survived. Trick is to keep to the left and not to worry too much about approaching traffic. They will do the same.
Last time I went to Norway was in mid-may. The mountain passes were tricky, some snow and the Trollstigen was closed. This time, beginning of October – the country was absolutely magnificent. Fall colours and for the most part sunny and great. A little cold in the evening, but as I said – we were prepared.
Most Norwegians speak good English. More than I thought actually. Even family members!
So – go to Norway. Don’t think pricing. Just enjoy.