What’s special about April?

Easter holidays can fall either in March or April and for school children this means 10 days holiday until Tuesday after Easter Sunday.

In Norway, Påskeferie (Easter school holiday) begins on Friday afternoon before Palme Søndag (Palm Sunday). In 2019 Palm Sunday is on April 14th. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday (in 2019 on 18th, 19th and 22nd April) are public holidays in Norway.  On Saturday, 20th April, which in Norway is called Påskeaften (Easter Eve), shops close early and many families gather for a special dinner.  Many people, and especially families with school age children, leave for their mountain chalets to enjoy hytteliv (chalet holiday life) and hopefully get the first tan of the season when outdoors for winter sports.

Children in Norway look forward to receiving decorated cardboard Easter eggs on Påskeaften (the afternoon before Easter Sunday). The eggs are usually filled with small toys and candies or chocolate.

Life in Norway slows down during these 10 days and it is important to check opening times for shops, museums etc.  In general shops are only closed on Thursday and Friday, with a short day on Saturday and again closed on Monday.
All alcoholic drinks, except low strength beer, is sold in the State owned Vinmonopol shops.The closest wine monopoly shop (vinmonopol) is in Slemmestad, 3 km south of Vollen. This is closed on national holidays & Sundays and early on Saturdays.

Some of the small specialty shops and cafés in Vollen village remain open throughout Easter.

As winter is long and dark, Norwegians look forward to being able to enjoy the first wild flowers in April.  We are lucky to be able to find the earliest around Vollen.  The most highly prized are blåveis  (hepatica) which can be found growing under the trees beside the coastal path.  Most people only pick one or two to take home.

Russ Celebrations:
from April 20th, until the National Day on 17th May, you will notice young people wearing red or blue overalls decorated with white words and symbols.  These are 18 and 19 year old students  in their last term of upper secondary school who are celebrating the end of secondary education. They are called “russ“.  All over Norway, they traditionally don their russ overalls in April and wear these unwashed till the end of the celebratory period.  Some groups of russ buy an old bus and spend a lot of money and time decorating and furnishing this.  They then drive around their neighbourhood after school and at weekends, usually playing very loud music.  Many people, especially teachers, deplore this tradition as the non-stop partying and drinking can destroy students’ chances of achieving good results in the final state examinations which begin immediately after the 17th May. (The picture shows exhausted students on top of their bus at the local school’s National Day celebrations.)

Places especially worth going to in April

Drammen Spiral tunnel (Spiralen Drammen)

Drammen Spiral tunnel (Spiralen Drammen)

The spiral tunnel in the city of Drammen is a unique experience and in fact has been ranged by CNN Travel as one of the world's most special tunnels.  You enter from the town and drive up 1650 meters in six and a half spirals , to emerge at Skansen. Here,...

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Kongen’s Utsikt – The King’s Viewing Platform

Kongen’s Utsikt – The King’s Viewing Platform

The King's Viewing Platform is 484 meters above the Tyrifjorden and Steinsfjorden lakes.  You can either start at Sundvolden and hike the 1300 meters up to Kleivstua or you can drive up to Kleivstua parking area beside the hotel (this is a toll road and...

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Children’s playgrounds

Children’s playgrounds

Every school and kindergarten in Norway has an outdoor playground.  During school hours these are for the use of the children attending that place.  However after 17:00 on weekdays, at weekends and during national or school holidays, most of these may be...

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Munchmuseet – The Munch Museum

Munchmuseet – The Munch Museum

Edvard Munch was one of Modernism's most significant artists. He was active throughout more than sixty years; from the time he made his debut in the 1880s, right up to his death in 1944. Munch was part of the Symbolist movement in the 1890s, and...

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Drive to the End of the World (Verdens Ende)

Drive to the End of the World (Verdens Ende)

The name is perhaps a little dramatic, but that what the southernmost point of the island of Tjøme is called.  Two of our guests from the Netherlands drove down one windy afternoon in March and thoroughly recommended making the trip.  Verdens Ende is reached by...

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Hiking in Asker (with maps and well marked routes)

Hiking in Asker (with maps and well marked routes)

Asker Turlag (Asker Municipality's hiking group) has made a website where a number of hiking trips of varying types are described in detail, with duration, length, elevation profile and map.  You can use the automatic translation service on the site and giggle at some...

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Astrup Fearnley Museum at Tjuvholmen

Astrup Fearnley Museum at Tjuvholmen

    Astrup Fearnley Museet is a private museum of contemporary art, and has since its opening in 1993 been one of the most important art institutions in Oslo. The museum moved to Tjuvholmen in 2012, beautifully located in Oslo centre by the Oslo Fjord in a...

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Henie Onstad Kunstsenter / Art Exhibition Centre

Henie Onstad Kunstsenter / Art Exhibition Centre

The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK) is located in the beautiful park and recreation area of Høvikodden on the Oslo fjord peninsula, surrounded by public trails, wharfs and shorelines.  The statues outdoors in the park are well worth looking at.  The exhibitions change...

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Hop-on Hop-off Tours of Oslo

Hop-on Hop-off Tours of Oslo

Spend a day seeing the sights of Oslo, the oldest of the Scandinavian Capitals, from an open-top, double-decker tour bus. Your pass is valid for a full 24-hour period, and you can hop on and off at your leisure. You will enjoy 360-degree views from the...

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