Queer Oslo, Norway – Gay Star News

Author: , July 26th, 2018

Queer Oslo, Norway - Gay Star News

Walking like a geisha through queer Oslo’s sleet-laden streets, I curse my lack of layers. I wanted to explore the area around my hostel; five minutes later, my teeth are clattering too much to continue. And I’m not the only one. This sort-of-pint-sized capital (population: 545,000) gets even sleepier of a February evening, when people hunker down early for the night.

I pass a quiet, cozy bar; the lure of an open fire proves too tempting. I step inside, and I’m not in Oslo anymore. Rather, I’m Alice in Emerald-Isle-Wonderland.

Never did I expect my first beverage in the city to be an Australian beer in an Irish pub. Then again, I’ve eaten Italian food in Bangkok, and Chinese food across America, and we’re living in an increasingly globalized world, right? Well, ultimately, I do live to regret my decision, when the time comes to settle up.

‘That’ll be €14 please,’ says the local bartender, recognizing me as a British tourist, nonplussed by the look of sheer horror on my face.

Yep, I’m definitely in Oslo after all.

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News

Norway Gay Travel Resources

Exploring Svalbard: Norway’s High Arctic

Author: , February 25th, 2016

Arctic Husbands

Through a dense haze my boat follows the sounds of Ivory gulls, rhythmically squawking in a language all their own. I’m nearly dangling off the rail of the MS Nordstjernen, trying to make sense of my new surroundings. The wind is so strong and the air so cold that my tears nearly solidify and glue my eye to my Nikon. My perma-smile attracts the attention of a group of older Germans who wave from the inside lounge and raise their piping-hot coffees in solidarity. Three gulls fly along the railing, and seemingly give me the side-eye as they barely make headway against the strong winds. They suspiciously inspect the goings-on aboard our ship, curious as to what kind of creature we are. I look curiously back and try my best to capture their Arctic distinctiveness, but with one click of my shutter they tilt their left wings down and, like superheroes, dart into the dark mist. I too, with my bright-red survival suit, camera, and parochial wonder set a course for the 80th parallel in Svalbard, Norway and enter off into the dark mist.

Traveling to the northernmost settlement in the world, with a population of around 2,400, is surprisingly simple. Thanks to it being administratively part of Norway, flights from Tromso, Norway to the northernmost airport in the world with public flights, Svalbard Airport, is a short trip (around two hours), and its location is a cheap and quick bus ride into Longyearbyen. Although there are many chartered airlines that make the flight, Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Charter are the only companies to offer year-round flights.

I land and find myself face to face with a polar bear, literally. A stuffed bear greets visitors as he stands guard over the baggage carousel. My sneakers are already slipping on the tile floor, and as I regain my footing I look up at the parka-wearing crowd who are pulling tons of outdoor equipment off the belt. A handsome man standing in the corner waves to me, and I instantly recognize him as one half of a blog duo based out of Longyearbyen, The Arctic Husbands. The travel industry brought Stian Kristiansen to Longyearbyen, and he and his husband, Jorge Kristiansen, who is originally from Venezuela, took the (Arctic) plunge North and have been enjoying their adventures throughout Svalbard ever since.

Full Story at Passport Magazine

Norway Gay Travel Resources

Exploring Lesbian Scandinavia

Author: , December 28th, 2015

JeanettHealey-ac9c5197

Have you ever fallen for the myths about the Nordic countries? Do we have licorice? Are polar bears walking the streets? Is Norway the capital of Sweden? Is everyone blonde? Do we still wear Viking helmets? Does everyone buy their furniture at IKEA? Are we all very comfortable with public nudity and body hair? No. To all of the above. Except the blonde thing. There are a lot of blondes.

You may think our lesbians are like your lesbians. Well you are probably right. Ultimately the final goal is the same, but there are some things to remember. Instead of getting lost and missing signals in a tourist haze, I – a born and bred Norwegian will guide you through the local labyrinth of lesbian life in Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Helsinki. You can’t Google this shit.

I’ve been dumped, kissed, loved, and judged on these streets, not necessarily in that order. We, spawn of the north, can be perceived as a bit cold, but trust me–under our skin it’s like a delicious sauna. Ice breakers: Hiking, skiing, soccer and Lise Karlsnes.

By Sandrea Olea Jakobsen – Full Story at Curve

Denmark Gay Travel Resources

Finland Gay Travel Resources

Norway Gay Travel Resources

Switzerland Gay Travel Resources

Gay Oslo, Norway

Author: , November 25th, 2015

Oslo-Opera-House - Passport

I’ve always loved Oslo. How can you not, with its romantic setting right on Oslofjord, its sweet people, and its fascinating seafaring history? Now, however, it’s developing an overlay of chic, an urban buzz that’s exciting to see. It’s not quite at major metropolis status yet (it is, after all, just over half a million people), but the moderni- ty that’s set in is gratifying for an Oslophile. It’s always been pleasant. Now it’s hip and pleasant. What could be better?

When you arrive at the airport, the best option for getting into the city is Flytorget. This high-speed train gets you to the central railway station in half the time and is much cheaper than a cab, which can push $100. Flytor- get trains are comfy, fast, run all the time, and whisk you into the city seamlessly. Take a taxi to your hotel from the Central Station (Oslo S) if you want, but let Flytorget get you into town.

With Oslo’s great public transport (metro, trams, and buses), it’s a breeze to get around, even though most of it is very walkable. Definitely invest in an Oslo Pass, which provides free entrance to most museums and unlimit- ed rides on public transport. Best of all: you don’t have to deal with buying transport tickets, just hop on, since you’re covered by your pass. You can even download the pass onto your phone before you leave, and you’ll prob- ably end up saving money, depending on how many museums you visit. Even if you don’t, the convenience alone is worth the price.

By Rich Rubin – Full Story at Passport

Norway Gay Travel Resources

Finding Fjord Norway from Stavanger to Bergen

Author: , December 30th, 2014

Norway Fjords Apple Maps

My bare feet are trying to solidly cling to a cold wooden dock. The snowcapped-mountain wind whips through the fjord as if the mountains are collectively sighing, and the gale hits my pale skin turning it cheek-pinched pink. I clutch the hand of my friend, Laura, creating such pressure it’s as if we’re gripping a knuckleball. Moody dark skies serve as the backdrop to floating ghost-like clouds that shield the mountaintops as their shadows dance against the uneven terrain. “We can do this,” Laura utters. A circus-crowd gasp is heard from a group of onlookers. “Ready?” I ask looking out at the foreboding scene as we take a step toward the ice-cold water. Another collective gasp gives us that extra push off the dock.

Like taking a terrible tumble, time slows down: I see the sun burst through layers of cloud coverage and light up the choppy waters that begin to glisten like a tear. And then, I hit the water and a sharp, needle-like cold shoots through my body faster than panic. Underwater quiet is quickly interrupted by above-water fighting for breath. It’s as if I’ve stepped into a million too cold showers. “Ahhh,” we yell as tourists snap photos from their balconies at the Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus. After moments of prickly numbness, a beautiful calm overcomes us both. It’s no longer panic, it’s no longer fear, it’s no longer just a silly I-bet-you-can’t-jump-in-the-water dare; it’s a connection and a sense of belonging. The wind gusts bob the waves that gently rock my warming body, and I admire the soft clouds that hug the mountains and blanket their rough edges. We dove in and became part of the Hardangerfjord, part of Lofthus, and part of Norway. Like the creation myth, we’re every bit as much a part of the world as the world is a part of us.

It’s a symbiosis that Norwegians have with the earth, with one another, with their towns, and with their country that creates a balance and beauty seen in the preservation of its nature, in day-to-day interactions, in its collectivism, and in the perpetuation of its unique heritage. Because of this, finding a sense of place and belonging is easy throughout its cities and throughout the countryside. And as I learn journeying Fjord Norway in the southwestern part of the country from Stavanger to Bergen, finding this sense of place sometimes just takes a small dive.

By Joseph pedro – Full Story at Passport Magazine | Norway Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps

Bergen, Norway on the Cheap

Author: , August 27th, 2014

Bergen, Norway

Ever since Bergen was the inspiration for the kingdom of Arendelle in the hit Disney film Frozen, this Norwegian town has been getting a lot of attention from travelers. But the city is more than a fairytale setting — although the vibrant colors on the historic buildings in Bryggen wharf may seem straight out of a storybook. Teeming with culture, nature, and adventure alike, some of Bergen’s other proud badges include Norway’s second largest city, the Gateway to the Fjords, and a European City of Culture. Here are five ways to experience the best of all that on a budget:

1. Sample regional specialties.

Stroll through the stalls at the outdoor Torget Fish Market, located right on the wharf, and try some of local favorites like fish cakes, smoked whale meat, salmon caviar, and reindeer. Vendors also grill up seafood dishes at reasonable prices, so grab a plate of something fishy for lunch and take a seat at the picnic tables with views over the old Bryggen wharf. For an inexpensive sit-down meal, Pygmalion is a cozy spot with brick-covered walls and organic fare located near the fish market.

2. Buy the Bergen Card.

Not only does this pass give you free access to many of the museums and attractions in town — such as the Bergen Aquarium, the Leprosy Museum, and contemporary art center Bergen Kunsthall — it also works on the light rail and bus. Other perks include discounts on the sightseeing train tour and the funicular up to Mount Floyen (free October through April, half-off otherwise). The 24-hour pass is NOK 200 ($33) for adults and NOK 75 ($12) for children; the 48-hour pass is NOK 260 ($42) for adults and NOK 100 ($16) for children. Consider this: The entrance fee for the Bergen Aquarium is NOK 250 alone, so if you wanted to visit even one of these attractions, the pass would be worth it.

By Lane Nieset – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Norway Gay Travel Resources

Looking for Fjord Norway

Author: , April 19th, 2014

Norway - Google Maps

from Google Maps

My bare feet are trying to solidly cling to a cold wooden dock. The snowcapped-mountain wind whips through the fjord as if the mountains are collectively sighing, and the gale hits my pale skin turning it cheek-pinched pink. I clutch the hand of my friend, Laura, creating such pressure it’s as if we’re gripping a knuckleball. Moody dark skies serve as the backdrop to floating ghost-like clouds that shield the mountaintops as their shadows dance against the uneven terrain. “We can do this,” Laura utters. A circus-crowd gasp is heard from a group of onlookers. “Ready?” I ask looking out at the foreboding scene as we take a step toward the ice-cold water. Another collective gasp gives us that extra push off the dock.

Like taking a terrible tumble, time slows down: I see the sun burst through layers of cloud coverage and light up the choppy waters that begin to glisten like a tear. And then, I hit the water and a sharp, needle-like cold shoots through my body faster than panic. Underwater quiet is quickly interrupted by above-water fighting for breath. It’s as if I’ve stepped into a million too cold showers. “Ahhh,” we yell as tourists snap photos from their balconies at the Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus.

After moments of prickly numbness, a beautiful calm overcomes us both. It’s no longer panic, it’s no longer fear, it’s no longer just a silly I-bet-you-can’t-jump-in-the-water dare; it’s a connection and a sense of belonging. The wind gusts bob the waves that gently rock my warming body, and I admire the soft clouds that hug the mountains blanket their rough edges. We dove in and became part of the Hardangerfjord, part of Lofthus, and part of Norway. Like the creation myth, we’re every bit as much a part of the world as the world is a part of us.

Authored By Joseph pedro – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Norway.

Oslo, Norway on a Budget

Author: , January 23rd, 2014

Oslo, Norway - Apple Maps

Apple Maps

Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world for Americans to visit. But it has almost nothing to do with the currency conversation rate. Currenly $1 USD translates into approximately 6 Norwegian krones, which sounds positive, but consider that a single beer will run you about 60 or 70 krones. Yikes. There’s no getting around the price of a meal in most cases, but we found a few ways to save cash in this spendy destination.

Get Your Tax Back: Even though it is not widely advertised, Americans can shop tax-free at many stores in Oslo. A participating shop will have a tax-free logo displayed in its window, so keep an eye out. And even if there’s no sticker, it’s worth asking at checkout.

When you make your purchase, ask for a “tax free cheque” and hang on to it. To get your money back, find a refund checkpoint when exiting the country at the airport or cruise terminal and present the cheque. Tax is factored into the sticker price in Norway and not added in at the end like in the States, so it will feel like you shopped at a discount. And it’s a pretty steep discount: for retail shopping, taxes make up 25 percent of the sticker price!

Authored By Will McGough – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources.

Norway: In the Path of the Vikings

Author: , November 18th, 2013

Norway - Google Maps

from Google Maps

There are summer people and then there are winter people. Most of you, when you dream of travel to lands distant and near, conjure up visions of sunny beaches, skimpy outfits on hot bodies and lots of sunscreen. Not me. I’m a cold-water fish. I cherish the clarity of the winter sun, the bright stars of the northern sky, and the crunch of snow beneath my feet. So when I had the opportunity to take a cruise on a Hurtigruten ship to chase the Nothern Lights in late winter, I was thrilled.

Experiencing the Northern Lights up close and personal was always high on my bucket list, and, believe me, they did not disappoint. Whatever photos you have seen pale in comparison to the real thing. Seeing the Northern Lights is like watching God finger painting: It’s the divine made sensible.

Even better, the trip took me to some of the most picturesque towns and cities in the world. This article explores those towns as I experienced them, in the clear light of the Far North, but below the Arctic Circle.

Authored By Steve Weinstein – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources.