Walking to a dinner party with some colleagues the other day (I had my mobile phone at hand as always), I hit on a scoop. Mind you, its winter and the temperatures were below freezing, but there still were quite a few people sitting outside at the local sidewalk cafés. I was thinking this was a great way to exemplify the significant four seasons in Norway and also my saying: “There is no such as bad weather, only bad clothes!”. Let’s start with the scenery:

Side Walk Caffe #2

This is at Aker Brygge: Oslo’s modest centre with shops, restaurants, bars and pubs. Most of them have a sidewalk area too, but I guess most of my readers would think that was closed in the winter time. It’s not and of course I should say that the main reason is that the Norwegian Government implemented a ban on smoking in public places in July 2004 (four months after Ireland – The whole of the United Kingdom became subject to a ban lasts year and so did Sweden, Denmark and a lot of other countries in Europe).

When I took the picture, these woman at the front table stared at me and I felt I should explain my interest. So I told that I had a blog about Norway; our culture, traditions and habits and asked if I could use the picture. They said sure and asked me even to take a closer one so that they could show the world how well they where doing, despite the temperature. Another reason was that two of them proudly like to show their new hand knitted mittens with the famous pattern from Selbu:
Side Walk Caffe #2

As you can see, the girls weren’t freezing their butt off (okay: they where sitting on sheep skin blankets) or their fingers, and even the beer was pleasantly nice and cold. The wanted me to tell you there is no problem surviving in Norway during the winter time. Besides; we have a wonderful summer season to look forward to. Let me give you the proof from my post about Aker Brygge last summer. This picture is taken in August (25C – 77F) from the same place if you turn around 180 degrees in the opposite direction:
AkerHarbour #4

So it’s your choice to come and visit during all four seasons – it’s nice and cosy here all year through :-)

42 Comments

  1. I think if i had nice fleeces to sit on it wouldn’t be so bad. and i love those mittens! the sad thing is in our area if a restaurant left the fleeces out for people to sit on, someone would just steal them. so it’s another nice comment on Norwegian culture that they can be put outside and no one will take them.

    RennyBA
    Fleece is a good substitution, but I like the original best – mittens is also an example (pure wolf).
    Good point about not stealing. Maybe those kind of thief people don’t go out when its cold :D

  2. Now that looks like fun but the summer photo, oh that looks way too inviting! We’ve had sun today. Amazing, and I am just hoping that in another month Switzerland will treat me to the same amazing stuff!

    RennyBA
    Well, its the significance from winter to summer that fascinate me the most.
    I so much hope you’ll have a great time next month visiting Switzerland and are looking forward to be kept posted!

  3. “There is no such as bad weather, only bad clothes!” great wisdom in that.

    It looks like a nice group of people you happened on in the cafe. No cafes open here now but it won’t be so long.

    RennyBA
    Its wise and also needed to know in Norway you know.
    So the spring is on its way in your part of Canada then? – or are you just hoping :)

  4. Wow! What a contrast…
    But honestly… even with the best and warmest clothes on earth I wouldn’t survive your Winters.

    RennyBA
    The beauty of the change you know….
    I hope one day you come and at least try Sidney – I’ll help you find the right clothes and dress well!

  5. After this winter I could easily come to Norway in the winter. But I think that after this winter I need to come in the summer!

    RennyBA
    I don’t blame you as I know you’ve had some bad snowstorms and of course you are welcome in the summertime too!

  6. It wouldn’t be so bad if you’re dressed appropriately, but I think I’d want some hot coffee instead of beer! I remember you posted about this last Winter as well, Renny.

    Hope your new week is a good one, my friend.

    Love and hugs,
    Diane

    RennyBA
    You can have whatever kind of drinks you want Diane, and I think you would like it!
    I have mentioned it in various posts, yes. Typical for Norway you know.
    Wish you a good one too!

  7. Nice post,Renny.You are really giving us an idea about Norway`s good weather.
    and its great that you had the attention of the women chatting outside and made them your models, LOL!

    but gee,i cant imagine myself sitting outside and drinking beer on this cold season!
    have a great week ahead, Renny!!

    ghee

    RennyBA
    Glad you liked it Ghee and you know, woman are always nice if you act like a gentleman.
    I know it might be hard to imagine, that’s I needed a proof to post about it – come and visit and try yourself!
    Wishing you a great one too Ghee!!

  8. I enjoy having four seasons ever since my sister lived in the Dominican Republic for some years: she would long to wear gloves and sweaters and got very tired of even temperatures and t-shirts.all.year.long!
    We had some drinks outside at friends’ but then we went in to have our lunch because the temperature was about 12 ºC “only” and no sunshine…I guess you would have remained seated out in the terrace
    Love those mittens, by the way!

    RennyBA
    To much of everything is not good you know – I love the variety too!
    Well, since it wasn’t sunshine, I might have gone inside as well – would depend of how much I needed a smoke :-)
    I knew you would like the mittens!

  9. Hi Renny,
    I like your blog. The pictures are cool. I think I would actually enjoy your country’s weather. Thanks again for visiting me.
    Cheers,
    ;)

    RennyBA
    Hello to you and welcome – always great to see new commenter’s!
    If you like everything from cold and fresh to hot, I’m sure you would like to live in Norway.
    Your welcome and thanks for returning the favour ;)

  10. That looks like a lovely spot to sit if it has that lovely view which must be magnificent even in winter.

    In France too there is a ban on smoking in public, with restaurants and bars included only since January this year. In the UK it has produced a new problem of litter from the cigarette butts outside all these premises!

    RennyBA
    The view change from winter to summer and that is so great in itself you know.
    I knew France came after this year and have seen a lot of debate about it on TV and of course there is this problem with more cig butts here too :-(

  11. Well, maybe they should join my balloon dancers then, after all Vikings aren’t afraid of anything…. *giggles*

    RennyBA
    Balloon dancing outdoors in the winter time would be another great Norwegian delight I think. Would you like to come and be my partner *giggles*

  12. That is pretty amazing! Do they have those huge outdoor heaters like we have here in the cool fall? You’re tougher than Canadians! You’d never get too many people to sit outside! Yesterday we had hours of freezing rain, then rain, now back to snow flurries! We still have 30cm of snow on our picnic table!

    RennyBA
    Yea, they have ray heaters on the roof shelters.
    I know you’ve had some bad snowstorm over at your place in Canada – your posts about it was very good!

  13. I love this idea! Mind you, with the recent smoking ban in France, we’re seeing more people on the terraces even if the weather is cold…

    RennyBA
    Glad you like it and at least the smokers get some fresh air :D – The same tendency here…

  14. I sure hope this goes through! It took me 45 minutes to get here because of the slide show flash. (I’m the guy with a dial up connection)
    In Minnesota, people go out for a smoke when it’s -20 F. I work outside most of the time, and last week was below zero quite a bit. I come in with long shards of ice on my beard! No kidding. The summer here is wicked hot and humid. Yes, I think our climate is …. well, stupid :-)
    I love the photos. Having almost all Norway bloodlines in my DNA, I would love to travel there someday. Chances of that are about .00002, I’d have to win the lottery.
    BTW … you DID comment om my award post once before! I had messed up some of the links and HTML, so I started over moving pieces of my post to a fresh post. sorry … The new one of course lost the comments.

    You must check Technorati quite a bit! I have to admit, I check there once a day on my cell phone. Ha haaa!! I guess I can’t help it ;-)

    Hope tou have a fantastic week, and ohh please will this comment go through!

    Eric “SpeedyCat”

    RennyBA
    I’m sorry it takes so long to download – I’ll be more restrict about flash show in the future – glad you did not gave up anyway!
    I think your climate is very much like ours – although we might not have that much humid in the summer time.
    Oh yea, I check my Technoraty and the rank jumps every day :-)
    Wishing you a good one too!

  15. Those ladies are really cool to have their pictures taken and taking pride in what Norway has to offer in the winter. But you have to agree with me that winter this time is a bit odd, feels like spring already, and yet it’s only February!

    RennyBA
    I really liked those ladies too and it was real fun talking with them ;-)
    I do agree: its been an odd and to warm winter with too little snow in Oslo. I’m mean I’m looking forward to spring, but this is far too early!

  16. I was walking on a beach today in warm sunshine which for February in England is very strange! I rather liked it when we did have 4 distinct seasons – now we have cold wet summers and warm winters. It’s all gone crazy!
    The more I learn of Norway from your blog, the more I would like to visit – but in the summer – I am a hot house flower really :-)

    RennyBA
    The same in Oslo today and I do agree: The significant four seasons is to be preferred!
    I’m glad I’ve awaken your interest for Norway – you’re welcome any time and I’ll gladly show you around. Remember your bikini in the summer time :-)

  17. Thank you Renny for capturing this and the ladies were so nice and obliging….I am fascinated that they chose to sit outside despite the cool…hehheh..I’ll be brrrr….frozen by then when dinner is over ;)

    Same here in Singapore, smoking is banned in all restaurant, in queues too :D

    I’ve been to Finland, Sweden and Denmark now how did I miss not going to Norway huh….???? I’ll visit you one day Renny :)

    RennyBA
    Your welcome and mind you: they did not had a whole dinner, only a beer ;)
    Glad to hear smoking is band in your country too :D
    Then you have the best Scandinavia country left – welcome any time!

  18. I actually love the cooler months, I never thought I would say that. However curling up under one of those warming devices in the ceiling with a lovely sheep skin blanket to keep me warm is a fabulous experience, The warm sunshine in the Nordic climate is so special I think everyone should experience it at least once

    RennyBA
    I know you are well adjusted my dear and I’m so glad to have you buy my side now to share this beauty and the climate with you!

  19. I’m not scared of the cold (well, I draw the limit at –20C!) and would love to sit at a terrasse, but everything is buried under the snow right now! :lol:

    We do a lot of things outdoors though and I agree with you — it’s a matter of wearing the right clothes! Love these mitains by the way, the pattern looks nice.

    RennyBA
    I’ve always said that Norwegian and Canadians have a lot in common :lol:
    .. and we both know to dress the right way for the weather too.

  20. Oh, it makes me homesick! haha. They’ll soon be sitting out at “Hansenhjørnet” in Stavanger with wool blankets across their laps. ;o))

    RennyBA
    I know you’ve studied in Stavanger and hope you’ll come back to Norway and visit Oslo too!

  21. I’ve always found just the right beverage and a warm and cozy snuggly -something- always cures me in the winter time as well! Nice photos!! Have a gr8 day *smooches*

    RennyBA
    Great to know you’ve found a cure for this adventures too!
    Wishing you a good one too!

  22. Hi Renny, Its been a while since i havent passed your blog, and now im your neighbor now in word press. update the link anyway, but i havent seen my blog here though! anyway. more power!

    RennyBA
    Good to see you here again Neil – it’s been a while – hope to see you more regularly.

  23. Oh I would LOVE to visit Norway in the winter! Your blog has taught me much about all the wonderful things that go on throughout the year, Renny. :)
    How nice that those ladies posed for you, too!

    RennyBA
    I’m glad I’ve given you inspiration to visit us too – in the winter time is great – don’t forget your skis!
    They where actually surprisingly easy to talk into posing for me :lol:

  24. Gord and I are huge fans of patios and try to sit on them as early as possible.

    We have waaaaay too much snow and it’s waaaay too cold for us to have patios. But soon enough !!

  25. great candid shots Renny and the summers look wonderful….
    I don’t like cold weather but I can adjust as long as there is plenty of sunlight…
    that’s probably why I loved Switzerland when I was over that way….
    wishing you and Diane a warm and cosy week :)

  26. It’s good to gone through your blog..Winter season is always enjoyable for me..
    Gets lots energy to work..no sweat….
    Nice…

  27. I love the smoking ban. I wish the US would implement one. Now it is state by state or even city by city.

    I cannot imagine sitting at a sidewalk cafe here today– even with a sheepskin blanket. I must not have proper clothes for our weather! :)

  28. Nice post Renny! I’m sure the nice women had good time out at the front table and I imagine the view on the boats they had at this season. I enjoy I don’t smoke since a few years. What I don’t like all the “mégots” on the road now since people can no smoke in bars when there are no table out.

  29. I would also prefer hot coffee to beer anytime. Is there a particular brand of coffee that is good in Norway?

  30. Renny,
    when daring to sit outside in Oslo, then you have the right feeling that really beeing at 60 degrees North. Inside, well, it’s like beeing what ever place on Planet Earth.
    If it’s too hot, they use energy to cool – we have to heat to survive. But we survive thanks to understanding that it’s nothing called bad weather but bad clothing.

    Thanks for sharing our way of life to the World.

    btw. May we have a great time together in Mariestad. (sure we will)

  31. Now I am definitely homesick! I miss drinking warm coffee outside on some cafes with a matching chilly weather.

  32. Another reason to miss the cooler months. Hot coffee is just not the same in 80 degree weather! Love the mittens.

  33. Are there outside heaters – I see none? Even in Melbourne the outdoor cafes/restaurants use these.

  34. Hola Renny! What a great post, I’d love to hang out at one of ur sidewalk cafes one fine day. And it was nice of those ladies to let u take their pics! ;)

  35. ah just lovely! the yachts docking at the pier look kinda mediterranean to me. :D

  36. “There is no such as bad weather, only bad clothes!” I love this! We should take this attitude in Ohio–only I suspect we really do have bad weather despite the clothes. Many in the Midwest have had unusually heavy snowfall this winter and are sick of it. We haven’t (central Ohio), but are expecting some white stuff tonight. Our schools close with 2-3 inches–some are out of emergency days. Lovely photos as always. It is always a pleasure to visit.

  37. As a non-smoker and looking forward to going out with the ban in place, but I have to hand it to those women for sticking it out.

  38. Those hand knitted mittens are too lovely! I would be frozen stiff in such cold weather. brrr…..

    RennyBA
    With the right clothes and those mitten, I’m sure you’ll been fine … when you get used to it :D

  39. Thanks Renny, for an interesting blog about a part of the world we don’t hear from much here in the USA. Love the pictures! Reading your blog has broadened my horizons!

  40. Nice photos. I love Aker Brygge!

    The mittens look good too :-)

  41. Speakinig of Norway, my high school friend joined the student exchage program 2 years back and she hosted a girl from Norway. She was great and friendly. Love the pictures! =)

  42. I can relate at this precise moment. It is -4C 24F in Chicago right now and snowing. And the city just implemented it’s no smoking, not only in public places but bars too!!! this January 1. So there are a lot of folks hanging around outside these establishments and it is only a matter of time when the space heaters (I don’t see any in your pix) and outdoor seating comes out in the winter. Skal!!

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