Oslo City – an amazing city, a great city, a place you should probably visit
This post is about Oslo City, some recommendations on what do while you’re here, a brief history and the general weather patterns throughout the year.
History – straight from a goat’s mouth
Oslo is Norway’s capital and most populous city. It was founded in the year 1040 and established as a trading place in 1048 by Harald Hardarda. From 1397 Norway came under Danish control twice and then under Swedish control from 1814 to 1905. Some say this reduced the influence of Norway. This depends on if you see Scandinavia as many competing countries or more as one whole. Ironically, when Norway was finally granted its “freedom”, it was given a Danish king, as Norway had no royal family. Since then Oslo has thrived, due to Norway’s substantial oil profits and influential shipping industry. Oslo is an important centre for companies within the maritime sector and is home to some of the worlds largest shipping businesses. Oslo is also a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commissions Intercultural Cities Programme. Oslo is considered a Beta World City and is ranked number one in terms of quality of life among large European cities.
Don´t forget to pack your jacket and thermals even in the summer. Yes, temperatures can reach 30 degrees, but Norway is by no means a tropical paradise.
This season is always a random time of year, due to the seasons getting a little bit confused and having to brainstorm, before figuring things out. This season rears its head anytime between early April to the beginning of May, although snow in late May is not unusual. Anyway, as soon as it gets above 10 degrees, most Norwegians take this as the onset of summer and can be seen walking around in very unseasonal clothing. Beautiful crisp and clear days will “hopefully” characterise this time of year.
During the summer months, the sun doesn’t really like to leave the sky. It might take a quick nap behind a hill, but just like an energetic baby goat, the sun will be bouncing around the sky in no time. So what I’m saying is, bring your eye-patch! The first summer I spent in Norway wasn’t exactly easy on my sleeping patterns. Thunderstorms, sun showers and even hot clear days are commonplace in the summer.
Fall can be a fantastic time of year in Oslo; beautiful leafy colours and days so clear and sharp that you feel as if you could reach out a touch the sky. On these days it can be cold in the morning, as all the heat has escaped into the atmosphere during the cloudless nights. Around midday, it has reached a comfortable temperature, which is well suited to all kinds of activities. Remember that when you live in Norway, anything over 10 degrees is warm, so just keep that in mind. It can take awhile to acclimatise, but once you do, you will be subject to the infamous “heat-grumpiness syndrome” anytime temperatures rise above 25 degrees. Remain calm and jump in a kayak.
Cold as heck and not recommended; unless you are a shaggy mountain goat with a body of ice and iron, a will as strong as the roots of an ancient oak and the strength of a Norwegian mountain troll. Oh, and even if you meet these criteria, bring vitamin D and omega three supplements.
– Now that you are aware of this, you should think twice before moving to this desolate corner of the globe.
Places to see
Frogner Parken (Frogner Park)
Frogner Park is nothing short of amazing. Hundreds of life-like statues are doing weird stuff – It just doesn’t get better than this. Frogner Park is a perfect place to hang out on a summer’s day. You have Frognerbådet, an outdoor swimming area, lots of trees and a lake in the middle. Take your time, breath in the beauty and replenish your travel beaten soul.
Slott’s Parken (The Royal Palace Park)
If you’re into excessive displays of wealth and the lingering but still substantial effects of monarchy, then this is the place for you. No, but seriously, it’s a lovely park with bright flowers and magnificent old trees. Again, drink in the serenity and lay back while looking at the golden rays of sunlight filtering through the leaves. You’re on holiday – Namaste.
Edvard Munch Museum
Edvard Munch was a famous Norwegian painter. He is well known for his intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes, which went on to influence significantly late 19th-century Symbolism and German Expressionism in the early 20th century. One of his most famous works is called The Scream. If you’re an arty type, then this is probably already high on your agenda, but also if you just like seeing meaningful colours splashed on canvas, then this will probably get your pulse above 60bpm.
Just west of downtown Oslo, Aker Brygge is a funky place to visit. There is an old navel fortress that you cannot miss, and I would definitely recommend checking it out. Other than that, you have the ferries that can take you on a tour of Oslo fjord and the Islands. I cannot over-rate this service. Since the ferries are part of the cities public transport system, they are cheap and operate almost around the clock. Aker Brygge is also known for its upscale bars and restaurants. Note: if you´re not from Norway, you will be outraged at the price of beer, so please refrain from throwing a massive tantrum and running out of the facility – even though it is well justified.
The Vulkan area used to be an industry intensive area located on the banks of the Akerselva River. In recent years, you could say it has had given up its old dirty habits and embraced a more sustainable way of life.
Innovative and environmentally friendly buildings now characterise this area. An energy company have dug 300-metre geothermal wells and built offices that have extensive solar energy systems. To top that off, a group of architects have designed two large beehives in the area.
Vulkan is definitely a place to check out. It is also known for its food hall (Mathallen), and various bars, restaurants and cafes.
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