When you say Norway, the first things that comes to your mind are Vikings, fjords and beautiful nature. So beautiful that you would climb the highest mountains just for the view. The price doesn’t matter, it’s the experience.
Before heading out to Stavanger, my only plan and desire was to hike Preikestolen.
It’s no secret that we haven’t traveled Norway as much as we would like to. Apart from short city brakes to Drøbak, Drammen or Tønsberg, we still haven’t seen the west coast, the North or the South. To be completely honest, it’s crazy expensive to travel anywhere in Norway. And with long and hard winters, we always prefer to travel somewhere warm. But….last year we did several short trips around Norway.
So, I have this theory where the national food resembles basic characteristics of a certain nation. Like, let’s look at Mexican food…it’s spicy, it’s colorful, it’s versatile. Like Mexicans. Or French food par exemple. It’s fancy and artsy. Simple but rich at the same time. Or Norwegian food let’s say. Perfect representation of Norwegians themselves; plain, colorless, reserved.
Well German food in that case would be straightforward, strong and powerful. Like Germans, right?
Anyway, during our ten-day road trip we had the opportunity to both dine in and out. When your friends are chefs that means that you get the best food treats and you don’t even have to dress up. You just show up for the dinner. And that’s what we did in Hohnstorf where T made the best goulash ever with tons of spätzle .
Oh, my, how I love this egg noodles and I find traveling to Germany worth only because of it, and all of the bakery products.
When we were looking for an Airbnb accommodation in Braunschweig, I was more than satisfied when I found out that around the block there’s a sandwich shop, Brötchenmanufaktur.
They had all sorts of sandwiches with all sorts of fillings; so we had few during our stay. I preferred the usual ones with salami and cheese but D went wild ordering some weird combos like jam and brie, hamburger patty or tartar with onions.
Named after a marinated slice of pork neck grilled over charcoal that is a Thuringian speciality, Thüringer Rostbrät’l in Leipzig was our lunch destination upon arriving and visiting H.
The Gasthof or a type of a German trattoria / restaurant with typical German food and wood setting is situated near a park in Gholis neighborhood.
We had the classic meat and potato options in several variations. The food was good with no big surprises, very fatty and satisfying.
A short stop in Kassel was planed but we had no restaurant plans so we just visited the first mall food court and did a small step from German food. We had Asian & Turkish food instead.
Our last dining spot while on the trip was near Dortmund. A former colleague and a friend of D owns a classical German restaurant used for various occasions like conferences or wedding but it’s also very popular among the locals that like to dine out in the early evening hours of the weekend or for Sunday lunch.
The Bürgerhaus is set in a peaceful and idyllic village some thirty minutes drive from Dortmund.
The rich menu offers variety of dishes, both German and Croatian ones, so we had soup after long long time. SOUP!
If you come from Croatia you are probably familiar with the fact that no lunch, especially Sunday lunch is complete without a soup. My favorite ones are clear coups made from chicken or veal, something that one can’t find in Norway. They only have creamy, thick veggies soups, so I was delighted that we had, not just a plate but a bowl of soup offered to us.
We enjoyed some surf and turf combinations as well, and a lot of meat. Yum!
Simple but great and strong dishes enjoyed in a good company are the reason why I document these trips and stories, because I want to remember them forever. Not to make you envy, or me hungry again while writing about it 🙂
A lot of our friends and acquaintances in Germany invited us for a visit on several occasion, but only last year in March we decided to take up on those invitations.
Dining in London last year was not as exciting as dining somewhere else before. Staying with a family over the weekend, we didn’t have the time and the opportunity to explore the London food scene.
You know a situation when you plan something but then it doesn’t turn that way at all? Well, that’s what happened with our Christmas trip to London.
We planned one-week visit to the royal capital of UK for Christmas 2021, but instead ended up battling Covid for few weeks.
However, the Universe had different plans for us. Beginning of the New Year we were invited for a family birthday celebration in Surbiton, London.
We were in doubt if we should accept the invitation at all as we just got better from the sickness and we haven’t been sleeping well during that time, but the visit was just for a weekend so we decided to go.
M & I met with Debeli on the train station after his work on Thursday, to catch the airplane to Heathrow. It’s been snowing for a while and the metro from our home station was heavily delayed so I took the bus from another stop. Luckily, I decided to send the strollers with Debeli so I only had M in a carrier. Would be a lot of fun if I had to drag the strollers downhill in a snowstorm. Life in Norway….huh
The flight was on time and we were picked up by a cousin for a 30 minutes ride to the family accommodation during which M fell asleep because it was his bedtime already. One down, two more to go 🙂
The real reason I wanted to go for a weekend in London, other than visiting the city, of course, was The Van Gogh Exhibit: The Immersive Experience.
The real-life or virtual reality exhibits of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings are being held all over the world, with first show opening in the 2000s.
The van Gogh immersive experiences have received varying degrees of criticism, including over ticket providers, confusion over similar event names, and over artistic licenses taken to van Gogh’s paintings*.
Most of the experiences involve guests moving from room to room, with walls (and sometimes floors or ceilings) decorated with moving projections of van Gogh’s works. The works are typically accompanied by music, set to pair with them while some exhibits also use sensory tools like aromas of cedar, cypress, lemon, or nutmeg to help visitors feel more immersed with the works.
Some events involve virtual reality headsets that take visitors through the artist’s experiences which was the best part of the exhibition.
Although one should admire van Goghs work through his painting and not poster copies or through many research biographies, emerging yourself into the space where he used to live, pass daily, spend hours and hours on manically sketching it’s truly something else.
Even with a bad criticism, the show is reaching larger audience and not just art connoisseurs and art lovers. Combining ones painting and drawing visions with another digital skills it’s the real magic.
London itself is a story on its own. We all know it, even if we have never been there and I don’t think there’s much to say about it.
Nine million city with century’s long history is a chaotic place to live, I assume. It was hell of a chaotic when we have been there, and it was February for 3 days.
The traffic, the locals, the tourists, the tube with no elevators in sight so we had to carry the baby strollers, the noise….it’s been a challenge. Must have been nice to live there few years back, or a child ago :), but now I find the mini size of a capital of Oslo perfect to my needs.
This time a short visit was just fine. We strolled around the city and Camden town, got me shoes at Irregular choice, visited the van Goghs Sunflowers in a National gallery and had a lunch at Lyles, but that is a complete another blog post. Until then, enjoy the photos!
Buying and renovating a flat in Norway is a hustle. No bigger no less than anywhere else is, however the process might be a bit different then somewhere else.
It’s no secret that Debeli and me are hard-core carnivore eaters, but sometimes, and that is really sometimes, like to try all veggies meals.
The visit to Tønsberg was our last travel destination last year.