Picnic benches & rest benches around Vollen

Picnic benches & rest benches around Vollen

In and around Vollen village you will find lots of places for having a picnic or just a rest to enjoy the view.  The people of the village have contributed to setting out the picnic tables and benches – and they are all for locals and visitors’ use, on the principle of first come, first sit down.  Many have wonderful views of the Oslo fjord right into Oslo or down to the islands in the south, but others might be sited at the top of a hill or beside one of the many little lakes where it is fun to watch the bird life.   Finding your favourite bench and maybe enjoying a take-away sandwich or other picnic food from REMA, is the Norwegian way to eat out at a table with a wonderful view at a moderate cost.
Walking in the forests, along the coastal path or in the hills, is a necessity for Norwegians – there are even some benches placed in beautiful but secluded places and called “Tenkebenk”   The idea is that it is healthy to slow down now and then and simply allow thoughts to gather and mature.

Free Beach Library

You will find a bookshelf at the beach just beyond the Oslo fjord boat museum.  Here you can open the glass doors and browse for a book to read on the beach or take home with you.  It is hoped that you will return the book or leave another favourite in its place.

The bookshelf is administered by our Asker municipal library who have placed several of these outdoor cupboards at local beaches and even at some bus-stops.

Enjoy!!

View to the Marina

Watch lake bird-life beside Arnestad school

Just below REMA with views to Oslo

Several picnic tables below Café Oscar

At the top of Plommedalsveien

On Rabben at Selvikbukta

Looking at the ferry landing place

On the outer breakwater at Selvikbukta

On Selvikbukta breakwater, view to Oslo

At the alpaca farm

Bench for contemplation at Rabben

Rest before/after diving in

Shady bench on Rabben

One of the picnic benches at Arnestad school

An all-year place for grilling at Selvikbukta

The beach at the Oslo Fjord Boat Museum

Art Gallery in Vollen

Art Gallery in Vollen

Right beside the pharmacy, you will find Vollen’s Art Gallery where artists from the Asker district show and sell their paintings and sculptures.  There are new exhibitions about every month throughout the year.  Visitors are very welcome to come in and just look around, even if not intending to purchase any work.

The gallery is usually open from Thursday to Sunday 12:00 – 16:00 hrs, but may be open also outside these hours.

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 used by all children.  There are of course several in and around Vollen.  By walking down to the village and across towards Arnestad school, you will find several fun outdoor playgrounds and also outdoor training apparatus for older children and adults.

The pictures below are from May 2018 and as well as showing some of the playgrounds at Arnestad school, they also show one of the tee-offs  and a hole at the new Frisbeegolf.  The whole course is found throughout the forest and down to the seaside at Vollen.  This frisbeegolf course attracts keen adult experts who are amazing to watch in action, and also complete beginners and all those whose skill lies in-between!  I have some frisbees for SheepsInn guests who would like to try so just ask me if you’d like to borrow them.

Below are a couple of photos from April, as the snow was finally melting in Vollen.  Maybe not as pretty as in spring and summer, but still a great place for children to enjoy.

Ice-cream in Vollen

Ice-cream in Vollen

Especially in the summer season, there are lots of places where you can enjoy some delicious Norwegian ice-cream in Vollen village. Here are some we recommend:

In the picture below, Sofie is enjoying a BIG soft ice from Vollen Marina sports shop.  This is the store where you can buy sailing equipment, clothes, hats and lots more good quality articles for summer sports.

Of course there is an assortment of delicious ice cream desserts at Vito’s Restaurant just behind her in the picture.  Vito’s is open from April to late autumn and is the place to buy take-away pizza and other Italian meals, or have a meal or drink inside or out while watching boating life.

The closest place to buy ice-cream when you are down at the beach in Vollen, is in the Fjord Museum. On your way up or down from the beach, you might like to enjoy a delicious ice-cream in the Greek restaurant, Elea, just across the street from the supermarket.  However it is cheapest to buy ice-cream in REMA 1000 supermarked – look for special offers of boxes of six.

Café Oscar in the village centre, sells ice-creams as well as lots of wonderful cakes and bakes. The soft-ice machine has an exciting strawberry soft-ice as well as the usual vanilla!  Below Liam is enjoying some soft-ice in March… looks as if he’s enjoying it!

Typical Norwegian dishes – ingredients available at Rema 1000 grocery store

Typical Norwegian dishes – ingredients available at Rema 1000 grocery store

It is customary to have substantial breakfasts in Norway – according to taste you can choose from cheeses, especially Brown Goat (brunost), Jarlsberg and Norvegia or Gulost, eggs, ham and herring perserves (sursild in various flavours).  You will find a Norwegian cheese slicer in the kitchen.  A knife is only used for soft cheeses such as brie or blue cheese.

The classic pickled herring is sursild – pieces of herring in a vinegar based sauce with onion and peppercorns. However there are many other flavours such as kremet sild (herring in cream sauce); karri-sild (curry herring); krydder sild (spice herring); tomat-sild (tomato herring) but my personal favourite is glassmestersild which is herring and mixed vegetables in the vinegar sauce.   Usually pickled herring is eaten with toast or wheaten bread.
The picture above advertises Delikat silt from one of Norway’s large food producers: Mills

This is the real goat brown cheese.  There are many other varieties of brown cheese which are cheaper but are usually made with cow milk.  The most common is Gudbrandsdalsost or Fløtemysost.  The picture shows Ekte Geitost from Tine

Goat and brown cheese is always cut with a Norwegian cheese slicer.  Many people enjoy jam or honey either over or under the slice of cheese. It is also popular to eat waffles with brown cheese.

Another use for brown cheese is to add two or three slices to a rich brown sauce to be eaten with moose or reindeer steak.

Thin slices of reindeer meat

For a quick, very traditional Norwegian hotpot, buy a bag of thin slices of reindeer meat and make a hotpot with for example cream, small onions, Norwegian seasoning, a slice of goat cheese.  Cranberry jam is a traditional accompaniment with potatoes and broccoli, beans or brussel-sprouts.

Both fish-cakes and meat cakes are staples of the Norwegian family dinners.  There are many types. Fish cakes can be made from finely ground fish to quite coarse cakes made from several varieties of fish (laks is salmon and torsk is cod).  Meat cakes are much the same – finely ground pork meat (medisterkaker) medium ground meat cakes which can be beef or a mixture of beef and pork (kjøttbuller or kjøttkaker) and richer karbonader made of beef with less fat.  You will also find meatcakes made of poultry (kylling or kalkun)  It is typical to eat these with a sauce (lots of packets of sauces in Rema 1000) and boiled potatoes, although many people also use left-overs on bread for lunch next day.

In Norway there are few children’s birthday parties where pølser are not on the menu!!  Most children (and many adults) just love them.  Pølser come in many varieties but can be divided in two categories – wiener which are heated in hot, but not boiling, water; and grillpølser which are either cooked in a frying pan or on the barbeque.   The population is divided into those who prefer their sausages wrapped in lefse (a thin potato cake rather like a pancake) or brød (bread).  The classic accompaniments are dried onion, ketchup and mild mustard (sennep) but there are people who enjoy some prawn salad on their sausage ….

Walking/jogging/skiing in the forests and on the coastal paths

Walking/jogging/skiing in the forests and on the coastal paths

There are many trails and paths in the forests and along the fjords all over Norway.  In Vollen we have some very beautiful ones. Many of the most popular trails are marked at intervals with a blue stripe on a tree or stone (see the photo below) 
From July until the frost arrives in October, you can enjoy picking edible wild berries such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and also edible mushrooms.  Some mushrooms are unmistakable, but you MUST be absolutely certain they are not poisonous.  I have included a picture of one of the best loved below – the golden chanterelle.
You can enjoy rambling at all seasons of the year – perhaps using the Scandinavian spiked soles which can be fastened to boots if the ground is icy – and of course on cross-country skis in snowy conditions.

edible chanterelle mushroom
At Spire Bay on the Løkenes Peninsula
On top of Skaugum hill looking down on Asker county

The blue line on the map below shows our local coastal paths.  Apart from the lovely walks around Vollen, where you will notice especially many “good bathing places” flags, there are other walks of especial interest.  The trip around Løkeneshalvøya (Løkenes peninsula) is beautiful and you will pass one of the famous “ice-lakes” where, in the 19th century, ice was cut and exported to England – even to Queen Victoria!!  The sail ships which raced across the North Sea with the frozen cargo, came into Spire bay just south of Spire Lake.
Konglungen island used to be the home of local fishermen.  It is now an extremely fashionable area with many multi million villas.

Another notable walk is round Brønnøya island.  This is a protected area with no vehicle access.  On fine evenings all summer, and especially on the Eve of St Hans in June, the sound between Brønnøya and the next island to the east, Langåra, is a very popular place to enjoy dinner on board at an anchorage out of the wind.  In fact the sound is popularly known as Middagsbukta (Dinner Bay)