By Dana Yu
When it is spring in Oslo, Norwegians walk with a little more bounce in their step, most of them wear sunglasses even if it’s mostly overcast outside, and patios fill up with friends enjoying the first utepils of the year. Directly translated, utepils means “outdoor beer,” and though it refers to any beer enjoyed outside, the first utepils of the year has become an annual Norwegian rite, a long- awaited celebration marking the end of the long dark months of winter.
At Aker Brygge, a popular waterfront area to shop, dine, or gather for an utepils (half of Aker Brygge’s total restaurant capacity is outdoors), many of the restaurant servers are Swedish. Because Swedes can earn sometimes double the amount of money in Norway as they make working a similar job in Sweden, it is common for young Swedish people to spend summers or longer periods of time working in Oslo to save money for their studies or travels.
By Dana Yu
By Svein-Magne Tunli – tunliweb.no (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Norway boasts beautiful women, wild reindeer, and the world’s highest consumption of frozen pizza. If that’s not impressive enough, the 324,220 square km-country’s wealth of natural wonders is sure to charm even the most resistant outdoorsman.
A road trip outside of Norway’s capital, Oslo, will introduce rich mountainous terrain and a well-preserved rural life. Norwegians have historically retained a unique connection to the raw nature that defines their country’s landscape. Several times a year, Norwegians break from their lives in the cities to spend time outdoors, sailing, hiking or climbing mountains. Many families own cabins in the countryside, sometimes even in the most remote areas with no water or electricity. As Norway continues to urbanize, though, more modern cabin homes are being built.