We're somewhere on the Hardangervidda plateau, on one of the world's highest stretches of railway tracks, and we appear to have stopped. I say that with no great certainty because we're in the middle of a white-out.
When it comes to coffee, Norway is a nation that knows its joe. According to a recent poll by Euromonitor, every Norwegian person consumes an average of 7.2kg of coffee per year, placing it second in terms of per capita coffee consumption (only the caffeine-crazy Finns drink more). In a country where the sun doesn’t remember to get out of bed for a good proportion of the year, it’s perhaps not all that surprising that most Norwegians depend on a good, strong caffeine fix to make it through the long midsummer days and even longer midwinter nights.
Norway’s capital has long been dismissed as Scandinavia’s sober sister, but there’s been a concerted effort to reinvent the city’s staid reputation in recent years – from financing ambitious architectural projects such as Oslo’s Opera House and the Barcode, to reinventing formerly run-down neighbourhoods along the waterfront and the Akerselva River. It’s kicked off a new wave of innovation and creativity in the city, and many young Osloites have embraced the change with gusto – founding craft breweries and bike shops, establishing coffee roasteries and New Nordic bistros, or setting up retro clothing stores and vintage record shops.