Norway has the dubious reputation of being one of the most expensive destinations in the world. According to the big mac index, which is a lighthearted tool for comparing relative expense from one country to the next, a Big Mac purchased in the US in January 2014 would cost 64% more in Norway during the same time period.
My husband and I experienced this first hand when we inadvertently racked up a $120 dollar bill for a hamburger combo, and a Caesar salad plate at the Hard Rock Cafe. After recovering from our shock we asked the locals how they felt about their local economy. Opinions differed with one native stating if you have a Norwegian paycheck you could afford Norwegian prices. Another, upon hearing our tale of fast food woe, told us that the locals never eat at restaurants, those being reserved for rich(?) foreigners like ourselves.
Well, the foreigners were soon to be poor if they didn’t figure out a different way of obtaining sustenance, so upon returning to our Hotel, the lovely Clarion Gabelshus, we decided to check out the breakfast and dinner buffet which was included in our stay there.
When the dinner bell rang, we warily approached, expecting a steam table of lukewarm whitefish and overcooked vegetables. We were astounded to find a gourmet selection of local dishes and American favorites. The fare differed every night and breakfast was just as tempting. Clearly, the chef took great pride in his work. To top it off there was an all-day waffle bar and endless refills of delicious hot cocoa. Needless to say, we never dined elsewhere for the rest of our stay in Oslo.
While Norway is a beautiful and must-see country, it is very expensive. When booking your lodgings seriously consider places which offer a breakfast and or dinner buffet option. The cost of the Clarion was a bit more than other establishments, but the savings in food costs more than made up the difference.
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