No need to wait for 21st December for winter to come. This year snow, cold and darkness came early. Temperature dropped early November. It started snowing whilst the leaves had still not all fallen off their trees yet. Last year, snow only started falling in December.
Winter started early in November with subzero (Celsius) temperatures
Here is a picture where the road got all icy in the morning and the leaves are still red. Don’t be fooled! It looks like crunchy snow but this thin deceptive thin layer lies a much harder layer of ice. Yikes!
That’s when you need to walk like a penguin, balancing your weight from side to side as opposed to front to back… Here’s a popular infographic among foreigners living in Oslo!
November, the worst month in Oslo
As we arrived in July 2015, this is the second time we’re experiencing the month of November in Oslo. We can confirm the local sentiment: November is the worst month in Oslo. Main culprits: darkness. You wake up it’s pitch black, you pick up the kids from school it’s pitch black. How depressing. And you keep losing daylight every day util 21 December!
The cold is not that bad as it’s dry and there is little wind. Terrible when it gets wet.
One year later I learnt to account for wind. Below 5km/h, now matter how cold it is, it is very bearable. Above 10km/h I know I really need to rug up, even if it’s above 0 Celsius.
This year I went straightway for the Snødress (warm winter/ ski overall) for my 5 year old son. Too cold for just a Regndress (waterproof overall). Went to Sweden and got this one for 699 SEK (€60). The teachers also advised they get that thingy around the neck.
It’s so warm that you can just dress up your child with jeans, a t-shirt and a jumper underneath so that they are not too warm in their overheated class rooms!
However this year, we had very little rain. The sky and sun have put up a great show for us.
We had amazing sunrises and sunsets
On local Facebook groups people were all posting their photos where the sky looked like on fire. Orange, pink, sea view, mountain view, it was truly beautiful. Although it’s not that hard to catch the sun rise at 8.30am, it’s quite depressing that sunset happens before 4pm!
Below: Niels Juels Gate with a view on the sea
Aker Brygge Marina covered with snow with its sail boats and a beautiful sun set
The vibrant city of Oslo
Below, Karl Johan Gate, the main street of the city with all it’s upmarket shops and historical hotels. View from the Royal Palace.
Aker Brygge and its marina, great shopping and dining precinct
The backstreets of the marina, towards Tjuvholmen
Oslo’s Christmas feel
Vinterland, the Christmas market and its Ferris Wheel
Best 2016 Christmas gift idea ever: Beer Advent Calendar
My husband is one of those guys who’s got everything he wants and more. When I heard about this Beer Advent Calendar containing local beers from the Oslo region including 9 Christmas beer I knew it would be a winner!
It’s not cheap: 1,495 kr (€140) nor light (20kg) but I managed to bring it home using a big suitcase!
How to top that in 2017?
The Salvation Army Christmas tree
Last year we attended the lighting of the Christmas tree right on Karl Johan Gate. We were not impressed. We were expecting something grand for the “Champs Elysees” of Oslo. The previous year we got to see the Swarovski Christmas at Zürich central station. That was magic.
In fact celebration is linked to the Salvation Army. They provide hot soup and collect donations for the underprivileged. It’s all warm and fuzzy, songs and human connection. This year we learnt that we could pack used toys, label them by gender and age group and put them under the tree.
So we spent a couple of hour with the kids sorting old toys, packing and labeling them nicely to give them away.
When decluttering meets feel good, Yay!
If you’re in Norway, it’s safe to give your gift to the Salvation Army staff from 10am to 8pm everyday. They are there to collect donations and make sure that gifts don’t get stolen. Apparently it happened, even in Oslo, five years ago.
Christmas lights and decorations throughout Oslo City
Morning lights (8.30am)
Look who’s climbing!
Bogstadveien, busy with Christmas shopping (3.30pm)
Night lights (7pm)
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