Ok, we did not go to Lillehammer from Oslo just for the pancakes, but we did happen to find a good pancake place there.
Lillehammer is an easy two hour train ride from the Central Oslo Train Station.The station is very modern and easy to purchase tickets at and navigate. We made sure to stock up on snacks for the ride.
When selecting your car on the train, be aware that there is a stillhet or quiet car. We inadvertently choose it on our way to Lillehammer. You are expected to be quiet in the car and the train attendant reminded me of that when he saw Sam, ha!
The train ride on the train provided some spectacular scenery along Mjosa Lake.
Lillehammer is a quaint town of 27,000 people. You may remember that is hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics. You can go out to visit the Olympic venues and during the winter there are a lot of opportunities for winter sports. There was no snow when we were there so we kept to exploring the charming town.
From the train station it is a 5 minute walk uphill past ski shops and small restaurants to the main shopping street of Storgata (main street). Along the way you pass the beautiful Hvelvet Restaurant. The building used to be the Norwegian Bank and was where all of Norway’s gold reserves were shipped from in 1940 just before German troops entered the city.
In the parking lot directly in front of the Hvelvet we saw people standing in line in front of a truck and we decided to investigate.
People were lined up to buy fish, including lutefisk (lye fish), a whitefish (usually cod) treated with lye. It has to be soaked in water that is changed out many times before it can be cooked. I found an article that talks about how lutefisk is not nearly as popular in Norway and other Scandinavian countries as it used to be and that it is more popular in immigrant communities in the US who brought it over when they left their homelands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
We passed some great ski shops as we walked further uphill toward the shopping and eating area on Storgata.
Storgata is a pedestrian tree lined street with boutiques, ski shops, small restaurants, and cozy places to sit on soft sheep skins that are found everywhere. I wanted to order a hot chocolate or hot whisky (you can tell I have been living in Scotland for a while when I think of hot whisky in cold weather) and curl up on one of the sheepskins.
We found a Fretex on Storgata. Fretex is the Norwegian Salvation Army thrift store so of course, I had to check it out. I had been to several other Fretex stores in Oslo. All of the Fretex stores I went to were great, very chic, excellent merchandising and they have high end, great condition items. I particularly liked this trunk and antique velvet chair in the Lillehammer store.
I got a lovely white linen Jean Paul shirt for 89 krone ($13).
For lunch, we found this pancake house, Det Lillie Pannekakehuset.
The little pancakes were made to order in a large cast iron pancake pan. You could watch them being made. Notice the dark syrup in the jar on the table. They do not use maple syrup but a darker syrup more like molasses, but less bitter.
There is a Norwegian Olympic Museum in Lillehammer, but we completed our time in there with a walk further down Storgata and the streets that intersect it. There was a lovely section with a bridge that had pretty views.
I read that in December there is a great Christmas market at Maihaugen, an open air museum in Lillehammer that is a collection of Norwegian buildings and historical items from many eras. The winter also brings other activities like sleds pulled by reindeer.
This was a great quiet getaway from Oslo with lots of great water and hillside views.