Norwegian tourism promoters have long been trying to get more Norwegians to spend their summer holidays at home in Norway. A group of tourists from Northern Norway may well do so next year, after being so disturbed after a holiday in Provence that one of them felt compelled to write about it in the local newspaper, Brønnøysunds Avis.
“The food in Provence is terrible,” complained Bård Pedersen in the commentary he wrote that was published after their return. “We went to several restaurants with sky-high social media scores that proudly boasted of ‘authentic’ local food.” Everyone in his travel party, he claimed, agreed that the food served “was expensive, had little taste and the portions were best-suited for a 10-year-old.'”
He went on to write that his group “gave up looking for a good restaurant and ate rather at McDonalds, Burger King and other chain restaurants where you know what you get and you can live with the prices.”
Pedersen described people in the south of France as “basically nice, and they’ve learned that tourism is ‘to be or not to be’ for the region.” Those dealing with tourists “spoke a little English,” but others he met were “revolutionary madmen who want to tear down everything that’s established.” He went on to complain that traffic rules were set aside, “patience with tourists could be measured in micro-seconds,” and they communicated with blaring horns and swear words.
“Despite great motorways everywhere, which we Norwegians can envy, the locals managed to create unnecessary and dangerous situations by being hopelessly aggressive behind the wheel,” concluded Pedersen in Brønnøysunds Avis.
France is a top destination among many other Norwegians, but it seems unlikely Pedersen will return any time soon. While he conceded that many expectations for the trip were met, he and his party may be happier at a Norwegian campground next year.