A guide to supermarkets in a foreign Country

When I first moved to Germany in 2011, I had a bit of culture shock when I visited the supermarket.  I’m not sure if we are just lucky with our produce in Australia, however the amount of variety you see in supermarkets are endless, so stepping into one that doesn’t stock ten different brands of salted capers makes me feel somewhat disheartened.  Germany is practically spoilt for choice compared to Norway.  I’ve done a lot of travelling throughout my 25 years and I must say, for one of the wealthiest Countries in the world, Norway certainly needs to step up their supermarket game. IMG_2592

They have several chains, Coop Prix, Rema 1000, Kiwi and Meny. I am still waiting for the day that I walk into a Norwegian supermarket and immediately find exactly what I went in for.  I wander aimlessly like a lost child looking for the rice noodles that were essential to my dish this evening and after asking in my broken Norwegian, again I feel deflated when my dinner dish is cancelled because they don’t stock this particular item.  Obviously they have the basics, which is all you need really, it’s the lack of quality in the items that you buy in Norway that end up costing a whole months wage just on a weekly shop.

Small tips-

  • If you want quality and a little more variety Meny is the better chain of the lot, however more expensive.
  • Unlike Australia, they do not pack your bags for you.  So when you are staring at the bag waiting for the check out chick to pack your fruit and vegetables, don’t expect her to. That is your job, that goes throughout all of Europe.
  • Because they are environmentally friendly the less plastic bags the better, so it does cost extra if you want to bag your items.

A guide to Oslo

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Aker Brygge

For the past 3 months I have been living and working in Norway which has been quite an experience.  It was all a whirlwind decision after I was asked to get on a plane and join a company immediately. As soon as I could, I packed my life in a 32kg suitcase and jetted across the globe not knowing what was ahead.

I got out my translation book and started brushing up on the basics so that I was able to at least communicate with a please, thank-you, yes and no answer. Upon arrival I was immediately taken aback at how incredible everyone’s English is throughout Scandinavia and I feel quite ashamed that my Norsk is so poor. Fear not, I continued attempting my Norwegian skills with plenty of weird looks, eventually giving in to English because clearly it was too embarrassing for all parties.

I luckily arrived during the heart of Spring so the sun was still shining and I was walking around in a tshirt, which is not the case right now, currently sitting at a mild 1 degree celsius and snowing.  It’s always good to explore a new city, but in the heart of winter, where it gets dark at 3pm it’s easy to lock yourself indoors and sit by the fire in hibernation mode.

Things to do places to see.

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Akker Brygee  

By the water this place is particularly gorgeous in the summer/spring. It’s full of cafes, restaurants, yachts and occasionally a good market or two. Good if you want to take a nice looking photo. You can also catch a ferry to several of the Islands…which I am still yet to do.

The Tiger 

There’s a tiger in front of Oslo’s Central Station and this is Oslo’s most photographed “sculpture” which was a gift for the 1000th year anniversary in year 2000. Nothing too special, but it’s a good meeting spot if you ever get lost.5110e778354f66a13645420006996151

Vigeland Sculpture Park

Vigeland Sculpture Park is one of Norway’s most visited attractions. It is the world’s largest sculpture park made by an individual artist.

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Vigeland Park
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Sculpture Park, Frogner

Grünerlokka

My favourite area in all of Oslo because it reminds me so much of Melbourne, this funky area is the eclectic hipsters quatre. Amongst it is tons of graffiti, dans hus, and Mathallen with an array of restaurants, bars and food stores.

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Grünerlokka

Den Norske Opera & Ballett

This beautiful theatre is quite a standout and a main attraction in Oslo, it sits along the fjords with an incredible view. They give guided tours of the theatre in Norwegian and English and you are able to climb the roof and get some pretty spectacular shots. Seeing a ballet or Opera would be something worth doing also.img_2914img_2468

A guide to London

During my trip to London I re-discovered how beautiful this City is. I didn’t pack accordingly, it is actually much hotter than I thought it would be, which is surprising for the typically grey skied City.

I thrive on busy Cities, which is why I love travelling to London. If you’re not into the hectic life, the hoards of people and tourists everywhere, then I suggest you travel somewhere less crowded – like Cambridge for instance.

The diversity in this City is apparent and the range of stores, markets and food places are endless. There is always something to do and see.  Aside from the typical tourist attractions, I found that the best places to go were down hidden streets, in the middle of tiny suburbs where I came across fairyfloss coloured houses and fancy cars.

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Things to do, places to see.

Ride a double decker bus – The iconic red double deckers are a true London experience and seeing the City from a higher view is pretty epic. You discover places you don’t see whilst travelling on the hot stinking tube.

Notting Hill – This would definitely be my favourite area of London, with colourful architecture, markets and cute cafes it’s a place to add to the list.

Big Ben – It’s pretty spectacular during the evening.

High St Kensington – If you love shopping this is the place to go

Kings Cross Station – If you’re a Harry Potter fan like me, indulge a little and get a photo at platform 9 3/4. It’s completely ridiculous, but it’s fun reliving those childhood memories of reading books about witches and wizards.

Buckingham Palace – The best part is seeing the changing of the guards.

London Eye – It’s worth the long line and cost of a ticket. The view of London is pretty spectacular from high above.

Piciddily Circus – A mini Times Square

Shoreditch – For all the Melbournians out there, this is the Fitzroy of London. A little bit eclectic with lots of quirky cafes and graffitied walls.

Neal’s Yard – I only discovered this little place after getting lost in Covent Garden. A little alleyway full of great restaurants, massage parlours, hairdressers and stores. It’s very colourful and brightens up any day, perfect in the summer with an aperol spritz.

Hyde Park – London has more green space than any other City on earth and Hyde Park is beautiful. It has lakeside cafes, roaming squirrels and you can ride your bike along the track. Unfortunately if you want to sit on the stools and people watch you have to pay, so I suggest bringing a rug and picnic instead if you want to sun bake and enjoy the surroundings.

Marble Arch – This was one of the busiest parts of London, a lot of tourists. It’s another attraction to tick off.

Roam the streets – I love just walking everywhere, because you get to discover parts of the City you would never have come across having travelled by public transport. London has beautiful buildings and my obsession with old architecture and colourful doors was regained.