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Norway: Some nice surprises in Geiranger and Oslo

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yvonne johnson Nov 3, 2000 12:44 PM

Norway was not top of my list of places to visit. But a recent conference took us over there, and now I recommend Norway as a place for a good vacation! Maybe I was prejudiced. I thought the food would be awful and resemble German fare, but no.

First stop was Geiranger. This is a tiny hamlet on the west coast. Getting there involves an hour flight from Oslo to Alesund, and then a two and a half-hour drive. Quite involved, but is it worth it! At the end of the trip you see Norway’s most spectacular fjord (the sight is on a par with the Pyrenees) and awaiting you is a tasty dinner at the Union Hotel. The accommodation is fair, but the food is good. Salmon, prawns, roe of various varieties, tasty farm eggs.

Second stop was Oslo. This is a very pretty city with some very decent restaurants. I had two wonderful dishes at The Theatercafeen. My app, potted shrimp was delicious. My main, venison with juniper berries, was equally so. The maitre d’ on this night was a starchy woman with a stern look on her face, and semi-hostile manner and the place itself is decorated in Viennese style--not to my taste--but what the heck? I’d go back for the food.

Another dinner was at the Bristol Hotel (where we stayed. Nice rooms recently renovated. Some rooms on the 6th floor have small balconies.) Our dinner was good, nothing spectacular, but it was competent and flavorful. By the way, the hotel bar does a very nice open-faced shrimp sandwich.

A third dinner in Oslo was at "Dinner", a Szechuan place. (I’m no expert on this food. Can’t say if it is authentic.) My hot and sour soup was nice and spicy (the crying sort. As I like it.) The mains were good—crispy beef especially--again good and hot. The staff was incredibly welcoming.

To avoid: The cafes in the gardens near the main street. Service was abysmal and the food not good.

Final thought. It’s true. Norwegians are very beautiful. Seeing so many attractive men and women in mass is quite something.

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