When we told our daughters that our first stop on this trip would be Norway, they immediately cried “That’s where Frozen is!!!” Yes, children, that’s why we’re going. We’ll be visiting Elsa’s ice castle and taking rides on Christoph’s sled. In reality, the reason we came here is because the one-way tickets were ludicrously cheap and the flight from here to Barcelona was only about $55 per person. Economically, it made sense to come to Norway for a few days.
That is, until we realized how crazy expensive this country is!! I know what you’re thinking….”Duh, Tracey. How did you not know this?” In my defense, let me say that, yes, we knew Norway was going to be pretty high-priced. I thought I was prepared for it. But knowing it and actually paying it are very different things. I do have to say that we’re having a great time, this is a beautiful country, and we’re really glad we came. That said, here are some fun little comparisons for our American friends who might be thinking things are getting too expensive at their local Target. (Norway’s currency is the Kroner, so I’ve done the conversion for you.)
- A dozen eggs – $7
- A gallon of gas – $12
- Box of spaghetti – $4.75
- Glass of beer at a restaurant – $15
- 12 oz. can of Coke at convenience store- $4.25
- Steak from a grocery store – $28
Okay, now that I’m done whining about prices, I’ll tell you all the great things we’ve learned about this country so far. The mass transit system is incredibly easy and gets us everywhere we want to go. Everything is green and beautifully landscaped. The town of Oslo is incredibly diverse in its population, which makes for an interesting variety of shops and food. Green spaces abound, so we’ve visited a number of parks and ocean front areas.
Em, Liv and Ali got a little embarrassed when we first arrived at the Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park, which has over 200 life-size nude figures by artist Gustav Vigeland. The girls got over it pretty quickly though and were soon entertaining themselves by mimicking the poses and climbing into the statues’ arms. Alison even told me in a very serious tone that she believes they come to life at night, put on fancy clothes and have a party. I kind of think she’s right…those statues did have a bit of a twinkle in their eyes. Old Gustav was certainly a master at his craft.
Vigelandsparken is an extraordinary, intriguing and somewhat bizarre place. If you’re ever in Oslo you have to go.
Tomorrow we will go to the festivities for Norway’s Constitution Day. Exactly 200 years ago tomorrow, Norway declared its independence and drafted a constitution. Even though it soon fell under a Swedish occupation that lasted about 90 years, Norway’s Parliament remained in tact. Therefore, the country still celebrates May 17 as its day of independence. This being the bicentennial it’s supposed to be a big event. Stay tuned folks…the Carisches could get crazy here in Oslo.