Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sunday Phenomenon

I was in Oslo this past weekend visiting some friends, and I noticed something which is quite strange, if you're an American.

This is Karl Johans Gate. Otherwise known as the main walking street. This picture is what it would look like on any given day of the week...except Sunday, of course. 

This is the same street, this past Sunday.

EMPTY. That's because it's Sunday!

A good majority of things are closed in Norway on Sunday--clothing shops, grocery stores (except for a few expensive ones), train station information windows, etc.

The things that are open are museums, tourist shops and some little convenience stores and restaurants. It is, in my option, the strangest thing and something I will never get used to.

Sundays are considered the day "å gå på tur" (go for a walk) or at least the day to do something outside. Norwegians usually go for a walk for at least a few hours and take with food and drinks. Otherwise, there are hytter (cabins) around that you walk to (or ski to in Winter) and can go in to buy food and drinks. It's a pretty neat concept.

So, think about this next time you are relaxing inside on a Sunday (watching football perhaps?)--Norwegians consider it "relaxing" to be outside in nature, not home on the couch.

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