Sep092014

Six days in Norway and $6 spent on food

Thought I would give an update on Norway now that I have completed six days of my 13 day trip. Six days in Norway and $6 spent on food so far. I have not been lying awake at night with hunger pangs either.

The duvet overheating me is what wakes me at night.

Nordic Choice Hotels are feeding me well. Each day I have had smoked salmon, bread, brie, assorted fruits, yogurt, an egg, a salad, juice, several double lattes and more. Every hotel has complimentary breakfast and I am now staying in my second Clarion Collection Hotel where they also serve a light dinner buffet.

I am not shedding the pounds like I expected on the Norway diet. The 12-mile hikes help, but looks like I might need to boost the activity level. The Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret in Bergen has free bicycle rentals for guests. May have to up the activity level to 50-mile bike rides to get the Norway diet on track. There are plenty of mountains here in Bergen to hike too.

I walked by a packed Irish Pub in Bergen Tuesday evening. Price of a pint is 96 NOK or $16 US. I have not had a beer in a week. That is probably something I have not done in 30 years. Sober living in Norway is not bad; particularly since I encountered several drunks today for the first time on this trip. Half of them were American tourists. I think the other half were Brits. I blame it all on those low cost carriers serving Bergen and leaving tourists with too much spare cash.

The train to Bergen from Larvik would have been $90 and 9 hours. The NSB.no website kept coming back with a message of fail every time I tried to buy a rail ticket online. No matter which credit card I used.

Flew Norwegian Air instead on a $33 ticket plus $17 for a checked bag.

$50 and 50 minutes to fly from Torp Airport in Sandefjord, about 80 miles south of Oslo in the area where I was staying at Farris Bad spa resort. Another $15 for the airport express bus from Bergen BGO Airport directly to my hotel.

Norway is expensive if you buy food and stuff. In six days I have spent $150 on transportation for three train tickets, one bus ticket and one airline ticket. Only $6 spent on food. Nordic Choice Hotels provide plenty of food to get by for the day.

And Clarion Collection Havnekontoret provides a free bicycle too.

Bergen at night

Bergen, Norway. Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret is building seen on far left.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

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I even had a Subway ham sandwich. If you eat ham, Subway is possibly more prevalent than McDonalds in Norway. They have a special 25 NOK ($4.25) 6-inch ham sandwich that I have seen advertised in a dozen or more shops in the five towns and cities I have been.

Transportation is where my money has been spent

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. @Kate – brought an 18-pack of KIND bars from Costco with me to Norway. Ration to one per day, two if I get hungry. Should have also brought a bag of trail mix since I had room in my bag, but I didn’t. I collect fruit whenever I come across them. I currently have an orange, banana and plum and a piece of bread I just munched down after a two hour bike ride.

    50 miles on a bike. Ha!

    My legs are jelly after less than 20k and a few small hills. I am walking the rest of today.

    My motivation has been the Disney movie ‘Bears’ I watched twice on the United Flight to Oslo. Mama bear and two cubs trudge along through Alaska in search of salmon until they find the locations where they can feast. I trudge along through the day waiting for my morning salmon feast at the breakfast buffet.

    I have a good fat reserve to burn off from a summer of relative inactivity while nursing my wife through a recovery period from foot surgery in June.

    3:12pm in Bergen right now. That means pancakes. I have not had a pancake yet in Norway.

  2. Glad to hear you are enjoying yourself! We were on a cruise through various Norwegian ports, and yes we were shocked at the food prices. $25 for a hamburger and $40 for teriyaki chicken rice bowl is typical. And yes, breakfast is bountiful and standard at most hotels.

  3. Seems like you’re missing out on local food, like the famous Norwegian hamburgers and teriyaki chicken rice bowls (eye-roll).

  4. @Jimmy – But I did try the Subway ham sandwich, and from I what I have seen, Subway is one of the main local foods of Norway.

    Seriously though, yesterday I went into the Bergen Fish Market and saw the largest lobsters I have ever seen. And I lived two years in Maine with my classroom teacher’s aide married to a lobsterman who I had a deal with to buy the two largest lobsters he caught each week. Some of the lobsters in the tank here in Bergen must be five or six pounders. In my experience though, over 3.5 pounds and the meat is tougher.

    There were also two kinds of whale meat in the fish market. I recognized the name since I now know the Norwegian word for whale is Hval after spending yesterday at Hvalfangstmuseet, Whaling Museum in Sandefjord, Norway.

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