Easter in Norway means vacay! Best of all, it starts today!
Maundy Thursday through Easter Monday is a public holiday. Additionally, many work places (and all schools) take the rest of the week off as well. In short: a glorious 10-day-vacation with long days of cross country skiing, eating lamb, oranges, chocolate and marzipan eggs. And, oddly, solving mysteries.
Snow is melting and spring flowers bloom in the city, but Norwegians aren’t ready to give up winter just yet, so families head for their mountain cabins to live closer to nature for a bit. Cabins used to be simple: no electricity, no indoor plumbing. You were meant to work: to shovel your way to the front door, dig for water and light oil lamps and candles. Increasingly, however, you’ll find cabin palaces with 34 bathrooms, espresso-machines, TVs and computers cleverly hidden beneath antique rose-painted chests. To the owners of these “cabins”, we say: Wimps! Sell-outs!
There’s really nothing quite like gliding along forest tracks on a bright, sunny Easter day, snow crunching under your skis. Your backpack is filled with sandwiches, oranges, Solo and Kvikklunsj. (Solo is an orange drink, Kvikklunsj is a chocolate-covered wafer biscuit, both have been around since the 1930s).
Back in the cabin, in front of the fire place after dinner, the whole family plays board games and reads crime stories. If you’re in a cabin with a TV (loser!), Midsomer Murders or Hercule Poirot is part of the family enjoyment. Norwegians seem to be weirdly fascinated with brutal murders during Easter. Even milk cartons feature mysteries these days.
With a nicely tanned face from all those days spent outdoors, you return to work (or school). And to left-over marzipan on sale. Enjoying marzipan eggs after a long vigorous day of skiing is one thing. Snacking on hi-cal sweets when sitting on your bum in front of the computer all day is quite another. And bikini-season is right aroung the corner. Yikes!
Have a happy Easter everyone! I know I will. Offline. Mostly.