Posted by: Sarah | August 16, 2009

Booze Cruising For Norwegians


swedenbordersmallYesterday we took a trip to Sweden…not for sightseeing but for the food shop.  Yes, it’s common practice for those living near to Oslo to pop over to Sweden to buy some food and drink but unlike the typical British booze cruise…they don’t take the ferry or Eurostar.   From Oslo we took the E6 towards Gotenburg and stayed on that until we crossed the Sweden/Norway border 1.5 hours later (bridge on the right). 

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Immediately after you cross the border there’s a signpost for Nordby Shopping Center.  There’s not a lot around this area and it isn’t until you pull up in the car park that you realise why…this place was built for one sole purpose and that was for Norwegians.  Approximately 95% of the cars in the car park had Norwegian number plates and when you purchase goods they ask if you’re paying Swedish or Norwegian kroner.  It’s not too disimilar to the set up in Calais – for anyone who has done that trip from Dover!

Once inside, the shops are pretty similar to Norway but there were a couple of things we noticed.  The first was cheese!  We love cheese and it’s very expensive in Norway so when we saw FOUR AISLES of cheese in the Maximat food shop we were in dairy heaven!  

Also sweet stuff…Chocolate, sweets and pop drinks are also pricey in Norway and this place had shops dedicated to fulfilling that void.  Trollies were loaded with tubs of chocolate, bags of “pick n’ mix” and crates of pepsi.  We grabbed half kilo of cheddar and 10 kilos of meat for the freezer and skipped the fizzy drinks and sweets. 

Bu our shopping trip wasn’t over…there’s a golden rule when living in Norwayalways take your full alcohol allowance back with you when returning to the country.  Sweden, like Norway, doesn’t sell spirits or wine in the supermarkets but in heavily regulated “Wine Monopoly” stores so that was our next stop….

Only we learned another rule yesterday…always check the opening times before leaving home!  We arrived 30 minutes after it closed and it really pains me to say that we ended up coming back into Norway completely dry of alcohol.   We know for next time!

I couldn’t resist adding these pages from the “Brown Cheese Please” book – it sums up the trip perfectly.

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