Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back from Rehab

Left is the famous painting by Edward Munch, The Scream. I'm convinced it is actually a painting of an English tourist looking at the prices on a Norwegian restaurant menu.

Having experienced Norway this weekend I can only liken it to some kind of huge rehabilitation centre, a picturesque one but not for the weak, unless you are terribly rich.

We went through the ritual humiliation that is airport security and a few hours later trundled into Oslo, not quite as picturesque as the countryside en route, but still, a new city to explore. The rehab. feeling hits you when you look at the menu in the first 'reasonably priced' restaurant that you have been recommended. Hunger pangs tend to disappear when you see that starters cost £12 or more, and the cheapest wine is over £20 per bottle. So you check that you are converting the currency correctly. And you are. You check that this is actually the 'reasonably priced' restaurant that was recommended. And it is. And so the weekend progressed, with minimal alcohol consumption and massive calorie intake reduction, the driest weekend I've had in decades, rehabilitation!

Apart from the cost, oh yes beer around £7 per pint, Oslo is well worth a weekend, especially the Munch Museum, a touch of irony there, and the Resistance Museum. But I came back with the distinct feeling that airport security confiscating a 125cl bottle of deodorant, because the limit is 100cl, is not going to stop a repeat of 9/11. Afraid airport security is now so oppressive that I no longer wish to go by plane , it's ferries and trains in future.


Beaman said...

£7 per pint. Blimey. Sounds like a mini-Nordic Hell. At least the country looks beautiful.

Gregg Beaman said...

It is picturesque and, despite the expense, well worth a visit. It seems that Norwegian income tax is minimal and the government raises taxes through purchases, hence the high cost of living for we visitors. Having said that the people, generally and those working in shops, museums, stations etc., are extremely pleasant and hospitable.