10 undeniable truths about Norway

1) Doors open out. Particularly hotel room doors. Which is bad if say another tourist is walking past with a huge bag balanced on top of a wheelie suitcase. Best just shut the door quickly and let him pick himself up. Those eye holes in the door aren’t for you to identify a visitor – they’re for finding your next target.

2) Toilets are spotless. Even in the grungiest bar we went into the toilet was a throne room. Public toilets… the same.

3) Prices are high. Highest I’ve ever seen and that includes a trip to Brazil when the Real was over 2.5 to the pound and a lifetime living in London. We are pricing amateurs compared to these folks but that’s why they can have such nice toilets – those £4 snickers bars pay for the grouting (see point 2).

4) Drivers are incredibly nice to pedestrians. We just had a car stop 30 metres up the road at the zebra crossing just so we could jaywalk…

5) Some of the the food is, ahem, “unusual”.  Pickled herring for breakfast has to be a national joke they play on tourists and cod soaked in lye is probably the strangest thing you can do to a fish – why wouldn’t you use a freezer?

6) Duvets are single… even when the bed is a double (so you get a duvet each – not just a single to share, they’re nuts but not that nuts)

7) Norwegians love a statue.  If there is a space, there will be a statue. Sometimes they don’t need a space. A fair number of those statues are male and naked, and “document” the cold, ‘nough said.

8) Keeping up with the Jones’es (Jonessons’es?) is a Norwegian national pastime.  Due to the long winter nights,  Norwegians spend a lot of time holding dinner parties with friends.  As a bi-product, there is an inordinate amount of homeware shops in order to impress.

9) Santa Claus is a vegetarian.  Reindeer steak is one of the the most delicious foods in the world…if i had his job, Rudolf wouldn’t make it to Christmas and Donner would be a Shish!

10) Norway loves tunnels.  Why go round a mountain when you can drill a hole straight through it for 20km at a time.  In Tromso they even have a road network built in tunnels under the town, complete with roundabouts.

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