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Visit from Abroad

May 21, 2012

One of my friends from the US has been studying in the UK over the past semester, and she wanted to come visit before heading back to the States, hence my absence the past week. We were able to time it perfectly with May 17th, which is our constitutional day in Norway. I guess, according to my friend after the experience, it’s a little like the 4th of July celebration, but the 4th of July is a little more relaxed. I must say that we probably had a hectic schedule that day compared to average Norwegians our age, but this was of course so that my friend got such a complete experience as possible (perhaps our schedule could be compared to that of families with little children, who usually have a lot to do, as it’s a dedicated to the children). On May 17th, many my age basically walk from one champagne party to the other, however, as kids we all attended the parade that takes place in every city and town. Norway is unique in the sense that we have children’s parade instead of i.e. military parades. May 17th 1814, our constitution was signed, and there has been a celebration annually ever since.

We started our day by walking to the castle in Oslo to see the parade and the King and Queen of Norway waving at the children in the parade. Most people wear a bunad, which is a very traditional piece of clothing. There are many different types, depending on which part of the country you or your family is from.

We had “soft is” (resembles the flavor and texture of cool whip, but it’s sold in a cone or cup, just like frozen yogurt). Lots of hot dogs (wiener pølser) and the soft drink Solo. My friend loved all of it, and just like my previous visitors from abroad she thought the food here is very flavorful and creamy! Creamy ice-cream, creamy chocolate, creamy  brunost/brown cheese (can be found at Hornbachers – at least  in Minnesota – called ski cheese gjeitost) etc.. We ate other stuff too that I think tastes better in Norway (at least compared to inland Minnesota!) such as shrimp, salmon (salma laks), real Italian style pizza, strawberries, multigrain bread, just to mention a few things… : )

We only stayed in Oslo on Thursday, and headed to my hometown outside Lillehammer the same night. It was really nice to see my parents and my sister again for the first time in four months!! Friday me and my friend went exploring the city, had more soft is, and she was able to try some moose sausage and reindeer sausage at a market! She preferred the moose, which is what I do too : )

Friday night we watched “KeinOhrHasen”, a German movie that is hilarious (recommend it if you want to watch something foreign!). Saturday we had a Spa day with a sauna before attending the Glava Tour of Norway (Norway’s “Tour de France”) and watching the local hero Edvald Boasson Hagen win stage 4 of the race (Hamar-Lillehammer). Such an atmosphere and a great crowd!

My boyfriend arrived with the train around five that day as well, and as wonderful as he is he had brought me roses! ♥ So cute : ) Later that night we went to my friend’s house and had a pre-game there before going out. We danced like crazy all night, and it was so much fun! To top it off we ran into Tommy, from the Norwegian TV show Paradise Hotel. He’s also a local, and he was actually my best friend’s classmate in High School, so we’ve been to a few parties together in the past, before he was “famous”. What was so fun was that my friend and I had watched an episode of the show Thursday May 17th, so she recognized him as well and got to take a picture with him

Sunday morning we got up early, and went back to Oslo. We ate lunch in the incredible weather at Villa Paradiso (they have awesome pizzas!!), went to the Opera House and some tourist shops to get some souvenirs. We went back to where we live and chilled for a few hours before I drove my friend to the train station.

Today I’m back at work, and two of our Norwegian friends from the US are coming to pick us up at five. We’re probably going to barbeque at our house, before watching a new episode of Game of Thrones! I’m addicted to that show..

Enjoy the rest of your day! ♥

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