Now when I was planning on coming to Norway, I thought that I was basically saying goodbye to most ethnic food (I was willing to make notable exceptions for Chinese takeout and sushi), but I was pleasantly surprised when I was told secondhand that Norway has a number of “asian” or ethnic markets. Once I arrived, it quickly became apparent that this was true. I’ve even seem them up in Tromsø!
When it comes to Trondheim, the city has a number of “asian” markets (I’ve put asian in quotes since not all of them are asian), and after much wandering and exploring I’ve managed to find a number of them around town. There are two main benefits to shopping at these markets in Norway. The first is that you are often able to buy some foods that might be out of the ordinary, and the second is that most of the products are cheaper than what you can find at your normal grocery store, particularly when it comes to produce (the freshness of the produce does tend to be a bit hit or miss). I’ve included the markets that I’ve managed to find in the map below, and I’ve also included my own notes on the map (to see them simple click on the pin and the notes should pop up).
Unfortunately, my next day in Oslo was gloomy and overcast. This normally wouldn’t have been a big deal, but it did prevent me from catching a nice view of the harbor when I went to Ekeberg Park. Ekeberg Park lies just beyond the Oslo Opera House up on a hill, and Susan told me that the view of the harbor is just gorgeous on a clear day.
So while my view of the city was the gray mess above, the park was definitely still worth a visit. Ekeberg park is notable for the statues that it has scattered throughout the grounds. Many of these sculptures are done by renowned artists such as Salvador Dali, Renoir, and Rodin (more information on the park and statues here).
Ekeberg Park also has an interesting World War II history. Because of its high position and sprawling views, German occupying forces often used it for ceremonial occasions. In 1940, the park even held a German cemetery. The war remains were later moved to Alfaset. According to the park’s website, the Germans also planted over 5000 mines in the park from 1940 to 1945. Apparently if you look closely at some of the tree trunks you can see markings indicating where some of the mine fields were.
After our jaunt through the park, Susan helped me look for a Norwegian sweater. Unfortunately, our efforts at the two biggest secondhand shops, UFF and Fretex, were in vain, but it was still good to be out and about town. Oslo is still a beautiful city even in winter.
Afterwards we went to Hausmanns Gate, one of the more diverse areas of the city. Our destination: the ethnic supermarkets. While Trondheim has a handful of these markets, none of them has quite the diversity or the scale that I saw in Oslo. However, not even these markets had kimchi, something that I’ve kept an eye out for since I’ve started craving spicy food. I’ve always had easy access to spicy food, namely good Mexican food, so it’s been strange not having it as readily available in Norway.