Category: Norway

Coffee as an art form at RISØ Tromsø, Norway

Kawaii cat cappuccino. RISØ Tromsø, Norway, takes coffee customization to the next level.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2018

If there was a must-visit café in Tromsø, then RISØ, located along Strandgata is it. A walk-past on most days will find this café filled with guests for want of an excellent, personalized cup of coffee. Their cinnamon rolls (closest to Swedish kanelbullar I’ve found here in Northern Norway) and coffee cake are good too.

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Egon Tromsø, Norway

A festive season pizza buffet on a Sunday? Super. At Egon Tromsø Norway.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2018

The Egon chain was established in 1984 with headquarters in Trondheim. Having worked as a waitress at Chili’s Grill & Bar when they first opened in Singapore prior to my university years, I was skeptical. Due to my experiences in bridging between kitchen and customers at Chili’s, I knew both what to expect and what not to expect at the same time. But any misgiving about bar and grill franchises dissipated stepping into Egon Tromsø. With warm friendly smiles from the service frontline to the complimentary coffee to each meal, I found very little not to like about Egon Tromsø.

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Alice and Indigo M-theory

Christmas light-up in Tromsø, Norway, 2018.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2018

Alice sat rag doll on the ground her full skirt semi-circling around her knees. Minutes, or was that tens of minutes (?) had passed when Caterpillar with a note of ire in his tone of voice asked, or was that suggested (?), “Contemplating…, Alice”

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Evening out with Olaf, Tromsø, Norway

Me (left) with Olaf.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2018

It was an evening stroll that led to the serendipitous meeting with Olaf. It had been some years since we last met, and I was delighted to see him standing there with arms outstretched in a welcoming Hello! I returned the warm greeting. It being a chilly night, we noted that it would be tempting to make a cup of hot chocolate and get warm in a blanket with a good book. We agreed however that it was perhaps not something he should do.

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Julebord at ROAST Tromsø Scandic Ishavshotel

Eyes on the view of the harbour that is just outside our table by the window at ROAST Tromsø. We were there for a traditional North Norwegian Christmas table sitting. ROAST restaurant is located at Scandic Ishavshotel, at Fredrik Langes Gate 2.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2018

This would be my first jultide spent in Northern Norway. It was mentioned several times in the course of various conversations had that the long Norwegian coastline has given rise to slight variations of culinary traditions and Norwegian culture within the country. And I could expect it to be much different from the culinary traditions of the Christmas tables in Gothenburg, along the Swedish west coast. As such, I was curious about the Northern Norwegian julebord or Christmas table. How different is it from the Swedish west coast julbord?

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Arctic Circle light on an October morning, Tromsø, Norway

Arctic Circle (latitude of 66°33′47.3″ N) morning light in October 2018, an intense gemstone colour of orange spinel, Tromsø (69°40′58″N), Norway
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2018

If weather was a significant fika topic in Sweden, the changing light reflected in the Arctic Circle through the seasons captures greater conversation interest over fredagskaffe sessions. These pictures were taken this morning at about 0725 hrs. I sit at Tromsø, staring at a morning sky that streaked an intense gemstone colour of orange spinel to the left over the mountains at Tomasjord. Moving the eyeline from left to right over Tromsdalen, the morning light turned an ametrine bi-colour, cleaving both mountain and ocean at an almost surreal perpendicular. Moving the eyeline further right towards Solligården, the morning light turned gradually into shades of pale amethyst.

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A walk through Tromsø sentrum, Sept 2018

Strandgata, a main shopping street in Tromsø city centre, Norway
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2018

With houses built from the 1700s that remain standing along narrow cobbled streets close to the waterfront, the city centre of Tromsø makes for romantic evening strolls and compact access. One could spend just about 20 minutes navigating the main shopping street from end to end. And where I have bypassed souvenir gift shops in most other places I have visited, I would certainly recommend visitors to stop by a souvenir shop in Tromsø. Souvenir shops here offer some well crafted, artisan Scandinavian products that range from sustainable fashion made from salmon leather, kitchen wear made from reindeer antlers and natural pure wool throws that is perfect for cooler nights in.

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Culinary journeys in Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø harbour, walking along Sjøgata, Norway.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2018

After the oil and mineral industry in Norway, fish is an USD 11 billion industry in Norway [1], making it the make the second largest industrial sector in the country. Tromsø with its location in the arctic region and access to the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea makes it perfect to serve up some of the world’s freshest seafood on a daily basis. Something of the most prized culinary experience here is to go out on a boat and catch your own white fish, in particular, cod, whose fish stock is currently abundant and has been expanding northward since 2004 [2]. And if not, there are many eateries and resturants around the city centre that serve an array of sustainable seafood that is fresh caught from the Arctic Ocean from king crab (a 2015 Seafood report ranked Red King crab from Norway’s Barents Sea–Pot as best sustainable source [3]) to minke whale meat [4].

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Kristiansand, Norway, summer 2017

Postcards from Kristiansand, Norway, summer 2017.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

The initial expectations of a long and tiring drive north along E18 from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Kristiansand in southernmost part of Norway, via the Bastø Fosen ferry between Horten and Moss turned out to be one that was scenic and comfortable. The comforts of a long drive being provided for in terms of a more than adequate number of rest stops, and eateries dotted along the way.

Kristiansand is Norway’s fifth largest city with the sixth largest municipality. The city has about 90,000 inhabitants. A number that can swell to more than a hundred times its local population during the summer months when tourism is at its peak.

Most houses in the city and in its archipelago are beautifully kept, pristine in detail of wood oak panels, generously coated with linseed oil paint in colours of mostly white or earth yellow for houses, and red for boat houses and barnyards. Some barnyards are so large in comparison to the main house that they looked more like mansions in themselves from a distance. Driving along the coast in southern Norway, the small clusters of houses and villages are breathtakingly beautiful. This drive reminded me of the drive along the coastline of the French Riviera some years ago, the houses here being distinctly Nordic in architecture.

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Beauty Pageants, a peek behind the scene in Oslo, Norway, 2009

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro visiting the Norwegian Miss Model of the World and Miss Tourism Queen International pageant in Oslo, Norway, 2009. Red coat by Patrizia Pepe.
Photo for CMC by: Jan-Erik Nilsson © 2009.

A while back I got a call from pageant organizer Peter Hadward in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the national director and franchise owner of most of the beauty pageants there are in Scandinavia. After successfully having “done it all” in the entertainment industry in the 1980s and 90s, he has now settled for the challenging task of coaching young women towards fame and glory in the fashion industry.

During the talk Peter mentioned the upcoming international pageants of Miss Model of the World (MMW) and Miss Tourism Queen International (TQI) that were to be held in Oslo, Norway in early March 2009. He also mentioned the possibility that I could come along and coach a small group of Swedish girls through a real pageant.

The girls would participate outside the real Norwegian competition, but would be allowed to appear on stage and would be modelling sponsored designer dresses
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Beauty Pageants, a peek behind the scene
1 – Dressing and outfit

Natasha showing the dress that later actually is worn by the winner

Natasha, the head stylist, shows the dress that later actually was worn by one of the the winners
Photo for CMC by: Jan-Erik Nilsson © 2009.

The trip up to Oslo from Gothenburg was some four hours of relaxed travelling. The roads were good and were being improved along the way as we travelled towards a more and more wintry landscape in southern Norway. We arrived at about 2 pm and after checking in at the Clarion Hotel Royal Christiania, the first thing was to meet up with Peter and his styling team, and to send the girls off to their various appointments.

Clarion Hotel Royal Christiania is one of Oslo’s most modern and comfortable first-class hotels, and is located at the very heart of Oslo. It was a very good choice and was a very pleasant stay. Though we were early, the atmosphere at the meeting place was electric, with the styling team on location and already at work! Continue reading “Beauty Pageants, a peek behind the scene
1 – Dressing and outfit”

Beauty Pageants, a peek behind the scene
2 – Hair and Make-up

Natasha at work, in the hair and make-up room for the girls.
Photo for CMC by: Jan-Erik Nilsson © 2009.

After selecting the gowns and being properly fitted, the girls were off to do their hair and make-up. The styling team on location had superb energy and focus, working several hours to get all the girls ready for the event.

The waiting time for hair and make-up gave a pleasant opportunity for the girls to socialize, network and do some girl-talk!
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2 – Hair and Make-up”

Beauty Pageants, a peek behind the scene
3 – Stage Rehersal

CMC coaching and giving pageant tips to Katarina (left) and Minna (center) just before the event at Sirkus, Oslo, Norway, 2009.
Photo for CMC by: Jan-Erik Nilsson © 2009.

1. Rehearsal begins

When the dresses were all set, the make-up and hair stylists were done, we proceeded to the event arena, which in this case was Sirkus, the largest club in Oslo which could seat 1,100 guests. Appearing in front of that many people would be scary for anyone. However it now turned out that the seats were distributed over several floors, so the show would be less intimidating for the girls than we initially had feared.
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3 – Stage Rehersal”

Beauty Pageants, a peek behind the scene
4 – Crowning and After-Party!

The bartenders were not about to be upstaged by the girls; they offered a brilliant show of their own bartender tricks, juggling bottles, glasses and blenders.
Photo JE Nilsson CM Cordeiro-Nilsson © 2009.

Around 10 pm the crowd started to pour in. The photography crews settled in and representatives from print newspapers as well as on-line journals started to appear and introduced themselves. The lights flashed and the sound checks punched holes in the ambience once in awhile. Girl friends, boyfriends, talent scouts and the hot and successful of the clubbing crowd milled around, settling in the VIP areas and the bought tables.

It wasn’t before long that the music was pumping to a vigorous dance beat and the DJ created new sound waves that got the crowd on their feat before the event began. Everything with the show was rehearsed and planned by now. The second stylist crew was on site and they were busy re-tangling any hair that the rehearsal could have untangled. Continue reading “Beauty Pageants, a peek behind the scene
4 – Crowning and After-Party!”