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Feel More at Home on Our Amazing Norway

posted on 19th April 2012 under Travel Norway

Feel More at Home on Our Amazing Norway #1A magazine providing expats with everything they need to know about living in Norway and making it a true home. This publication includes extensive information about the country’s most interesting cities, Norwegian news, local cuisine, health and happiness, socializing and making Norwegian friends, a beautiful photographic tour, adjusting to a new way of life, a cultural overview, and a multitude of local business, restaurant and service listings.
Blogging about Norway, our culture, history, and traditions, I’ve met a lot of Expats in the Blogsphere and in recent years in real life. A lot of questions have been asked through comments in my posts, in mail or in person and I have tried the best to give a relevant answer. As a local, it’s often difficult to explain what is obvious or what is difficult to understand, when you are born into your homeland. So when I got this magazine from a blog friend, Kristie at Culture Shock, I just had to share it with you! The premier issue is really an interesting read, whether you are a local, an expat or just simply want to know more about Norway and how it is to live here. Let me give you some examples:

Facts and figures:
In total, the immigrants and their Norwegian-born children constitute more than 550 000 persons, or more than 11 % of the whole population at the beginning of 2010 plus an estimated 69,000 working immigrants that are staying for less than six months. Statistics Norway’s projection of immigrants shows that the number of immigrants is expected to increase sharply in the coming years, from 550 000 today to between 1 and 1.8 million in 2060.
Feel More at Home on Our Amazing Norway #3
Some may wonder what actually an Expat is. You’ll find an answer on even that in this magazine: “One who have taken up residency in a foreign country” or “Residing in a foreign country – expatriated”

Interesting read in the premier issue:
Feel More at Home on Our Amazing Norway #2Here are some example of subjects:
* The Kingdom of Norway: About the Royal House of Norway, facts and figures and nice to know in a nutshell.
* Norway at a glance: A small peek at some of the most interesting cities.
* 5 Norwegian foods You Must Try!
* You’re hired! Everything you need to know about getting a job in Norway
* Where to meet locals?
* Education – the gateway to your dreams
* and plenty of more interesting stuff as well as wonderful photos!

Get it for free:
People who are new in Norway, are looking to immigrate to Norway, and especially those who already live in Norway can request a free copy of the premier issue of Our Amazing Norway by visiting www.OurAmazingNorway.com. IOS apps for the iPad and iPhone are also available in App Store!


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Terella 6th Anniversary gives best posts about Norway

posted on 11th November 2011 under Habits, OsloBG, Travel Norway, Travels

OsloBG2010 at RennyBARennyBA’s Terella is about Norway and the Nordic countries; the significant four seasons, our culture, traditions and habits. Six years ago today I started out on a project, not having any idea how large and great this project would be. This Anniversary post will be a look back at some of the highlights + a bit facts & figures:
This post is N° 548 and there are totally 15 150 comments approved. Yearly page view rate is now about 55 000 and almost 70% comes from Google with search words like Oslo fish market or Rakfisk (a traditional Yule dish), Gaustatoppen (mountain with the longest and widest view), Liv Ullman and Aleksander Rybak. The 10 most visitor countries are US, Norway, UK, Canada, Sweden, Germany, India, Australia, Netherlands and Philippines.Enough hard facts, let’s take a look at the most popular post each year; RennyBA’s Terella Hall of Fame (click photos to read the post):

2006: Norwegian Christmas Day Smorgasbord
Christmas smorgasbord in NorwayLots of my posts, especially at Christmas time are about food, but then again it is an important part of Norwegian Yuletide. This post is about some of our old home made food traditions, with recipes passed down for many generations and I consider myself lucky having a mom who still holds on to them. My mom and grandmother did most of it in the kitchen with fresh meat coming directly from the butcher. Then of course we have the cookies – 7 varieties – and the marzipan and other types of confect. It all shows up at our First Christmas Day smorgasbord at the traditional family gathering.

2007: 17th of May – Norway’s National Day
17th of May National Day in NorwayOur constitution was signed at this day in 1814 and declared Norway an independent nation. All over Norway, children march through the local neighbourhoods with an abundance of flags and traditional costumes. Each elementary school arranges its own parade, led by the school’s own marching band. The parade takes the children through the community, often making stops at homes for senior citizens, war memorials, etc.

2008: Christmas tree and food traditions in Norway
Christmas tree at RennyBANorwegians have either a spruce or a pine tree in their living room – decorated with white lights, tinsel, Norwegian flags and other ornaments for Christmas. As a child and with my children of course, we made paper baskets of shiny, collared paper. The baskets can be filled with candy or nuts. Chains made of collared paper are also very popular.
Our celebration starts Christmas Eve at 6PM with a feast and before presents are opened, we “circle the Christmas tree”; all the family holds hands to form a ring around the tree, and walk around the tree singing carols.

2009: From frozen Paradise to hot summer beaches
Bikini beach in NorwayAfter all, my blog is about our significant four seasons and this post literary illustrating my point. It’s a story about our favourite beach and how it change from the hot summer days where you need to cool down in a dip and then to wintertime where we go skiing and skating at the very same spot. So within 6 month, you switch from snowsuits to tiny bikinis – and everything between (sometimes less *LoL*).
Around summer solstice, the sun is up from around 3:45AM to 10:45PM -19 hours in southern Norway. If you then have in mind that the sun is up only for 5 hours in mid winter and the temperature is around -10C, I guess you understand why Norwegians are crazy about taking advantage of this sunny, warm weather.

2010: The Oslo Blog Gathering
OsloBG2010 at RennyBAA dream came true – No doubt OsloBG2010 is my ultimate Social Media experience. It fulfilled my saying “Blogging Connecting People” when about 30 friends from all over the world met – in real flesh – in August in Oslo! It was a once in a life time experience and also proved another of my saying about networking like blogging: “It’s a Givers Gain”:
After sharing about Norway in general and Oslo in particular, it was a blast of a gathering when I finally could meet at least some of my regular readers and show them around at places they had read about and wanted to see by themselves! The top of the cream was when The Major of Oslo invited as all to the Town Hall and even a guided tour around in the building.
I’ve done my best to collect some of the blog posts by the participants about their stay and what they liked about Norway and Oslo. Take a look at OsloBG’s official program site and there you find the link to the participants and their reports from the gathering!

As I always say “Blogging Connecting People”: When I started this blog and first came up with that motto I had no idea how true it would be. Now I have so many good friends from all around the world, and blogging here on my Terella has brought me in touch with all of them. Thank you all for following along on my adventures and here’s to another year of blogging and connecting people!


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A look back at OsloBG exploring Oslo and Norway

posted on 21st August 2011 under Habits, History, OsloBG, Summer, Travel Norway, Travels

A look back at OsloBG 2010 #1Oslo Blog Gathering; A guided adventure in Oslo, the capital of Norway, to explore the city with our history, culture and traditions – 19th to 21st of August 2010 – was a thrill of a lifetime! A dream came true for me and good blog and social media friends from all over the world. The idea – after many requests in comments and mails – was to give everyone in Blogosphere a chance to come and see some of the attractions presented on this blog over the years. It was a perfect match to one of my sayings: “Blogging Connecting People” and a proof of what networking is all about: “A Givers Gain”.
To me this gathering was an ultimate outcome of sharing from Oslo and Norway. Today I want you to join me and take a look back and reminisce over the amazing time we had.

Oslo Blog Gathering Planning Kickoff #1Thanks to First Hotel Millennium we had a centrally located hub to meet up each day before our adventures. We thought we might be relaxing there in the evening but every single day things took off and we dragged ourselves in to the hotel totally exhausted and often quite late ; -) Never a dull moment and no time to waste at OsloBG!
The hotel manager and staff met with us several times throughout the planning process and helped us with setting up, tourist information, and an area to meet up and plan our daily adventures. Every time I pass by First Hotel Millennium now I think of our OsloBG and what a wonderful time we had.

A look back at OsloBG 2010 #3VisitOSLO was an important associate and a key contributor in making OsloBG a success. When I first talked with their Convention Manager – with my head full of ideas of a detailed program – she served me The Columbic Egg; “We give every participant The Oslo Pass, so they all can reach and enter the sights they want” – for free!
VisitOSLO is the leading organization in profiling and positioning the Oslo region as a tourist destination. They are dedicated to contributing towards the development of commerce and culture in the region. So when you are in or plan to go to Oslo; always check their website for all you want to know about the city: www.visitoslo.com

A look back at OsloBG 2010 #5The Grand Opening was at Oslo City Hall with a reception from the Mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang. Even his own birthday didn’t keep him from greeting these excited bloggers and providing us with an exceptional guided tour of the City Hall. Even in places I had never seen before!! All of OsloBG’s guests had a little gift from their homeland for the Mayor’s birthday and to thank him for receiving us on this special occasion. After the reception many of us went for dinner at Aker Brygge and had a chance to be better acquainted over good food and wine.

OsloBG Vigeland Sculpture Park #2The first day as you may recall we had a guided tour around the highlights of Oslo. Oslo Guideservice provided excellent transportation and information on some of the most interesting sites in the area like Vigeland Sculpture Park and Holmenkollen ski jump.
The guides took us through Vigeland Sculpture Park and gave us an insight into Vigelands work and vision in designing every detail of this beautiful green area of Oslo. Although the weather didn’t cooperate as well at Holmenkollen ski jump, the best part was thankfully inside and many made it to the top for the ultimate view.

A look back at OsloBG 2010 #9On the 20th the group was divided into activities of choice. My group had a guided tour of Oslo Opera House, a trip round the main street of Karl Johan, and watched the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace. Meanwhile Tor’s group had a day on Bygdøy island exploring the museums and beaches there. In the evening we had dinner at a small but charming restaurant on Bygdøy Island with a fantastic view of Oslo fjord.

The final day of our program again included the groups dividing up and exploring as far away as Drøbak! Ending the day with a champagne reception in the medieval park, and a roaring night on the town at The Dubliner!! That and plenty more photos – even a movie from the Mayor’s reception – is included in this cavalcade of a movie I made from these three days, enjoy:

OsloBG at Medieval Park #3I want to give a special thanks to all the participants. One thing we really felt after you all went home, when we looked back we felt so certain that Oslo Blog Gathering would have been different if even one of you didn’t come. One of the best things about OsloBG was the people and how everyone added a little something special to the group. In short it wouldn’t have been the same without you!
Click to see The participants and their adventures posts!

We hope one day to meet everyone again, and who knows maybe there will be another OsloBG in the future?


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Christiania town square in the old part of Oslo in Norway

posted on 12th June 2011 under Culture, History, Travel Norway

Oslo’s oldest marketplace, from the early 1600’s when the capital of Norway was called Christiania, holds the Old Town Hall (1641) – today, a restaurant and museum – and the city’s oldest building (1626). This town square, originally a water station, is where today you find the fountain monument with the Glove of King Christian IV. This Glove symbolizes the King’s words, when he declared: “The new town will lie here!”
Christiania Town Square in Old Oslo City #4 Christiania Town Square in Old Oslo City #9

The square is part of the city that Christian IV (the King of Denmark-Norway) founded after a major fire in the older part of Oslo in 1624. This is therefore the oldest existing district of Oslo – called Kvadraturen (The Quadrature) – and was until the city limits were expanded in 1794 the only non –military buildings in Christiania; placed right behind Akershus Fortress and therefore easier to defend.
Christiania Town Square in Old Oslo City #1
A panoramic photo of the square circling around the fountain monument.

The Old Town Hall:
There’s nothing modern about this dining establishment and patrons, including myself, come here for a nostalgic experience. Housed in Oslo’s former Town Hall (“Det Gamle Rådhus”) stands as one of Oslo’s oldest restaurants. With the interior adding to the authenticity you can get plenty of traditional Norwegian dishes. Their specialities include fish entrées as well as deer, moose, beaver, game birds or other from the Norwegian fauna. Last time I was there, I had a blog friend visiting from Singapore (click to read the post!). Hope you get the idea both of the building and interior from these pics (click to bigify & enjoy):
Christiania Town Square  in Old Oslo City #5 Adventures of a globetrotter in Oslo #3
Left: Yellow building = Old Town Hall – Right: Authentic interior.

Rådmannsgåren = House of the City Manager:
Oslo’s oldest reminding building was constructed for the City Manager Lauritz Hansen, who some years later also led efforts to build the Old Town Hall. It has two floors, with exterior walls of Dutch bricks. The estate in the Renaissance style, is mostly red cup yellow pages and running pages, and shifts are added so that the walls are red and yellow stripes (left building):
Christiania Town Square in Old Oslo City #6
Left: Rådmannsgården – Right: Old City Hall

The Anatomy House:
One of the few remaining houses in Oslo, built with the timber framing method. In fact about 50 % of the buildings in this area were half-timbered in the middle of 18th century. The façades (brick walls) of the building are sanded and covered with layers of protective rock materials, so the timbers are only visible on the gables (left building):
Christiania Town Square in Old Oslo City #8
The age is unknown, but the house is likely to be from the 18th century. It is conserved, like the adjacent Rådmannsgården. In the 19th century, the Faculty of Medicine of University of Oslo had its division of anatomy here – hence the name Anatomigården (= “The Anatomy house“).

I hope you enjoyed this historical look at one of the charming old experiences you can have in Oslo. I am proud that we are careful with our history so future generations can appreciate the craftsmanship and culture of days gone by.


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Top Oslo Sightseeing tips: Norway Opera House

posted on 15th April 2011 under Culture, Travel Norway

The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national Opera Theatre in the city at the head of the Oslo Fjord, is the largest single culture-political initiative in contemporary Norway. It’s the largest cultural building to be raised in Norway since Nidarosdomen (= Cathedral) and an important symbol of what modern Norway represents as a nation. The building’s expression of openness and accessibility both indoors and outdoors, appeals to a wide range of users. The roof landscape is clad in artistically formed white Italian marble – actually, this opera house is the world’s only were you can walk on the roof:
Oslo Opera House #1
My photo on Flickr with most hits (more than 20 000 hits)

Two of our blog friends, Ginnie from Georgia, US and Astrid from the Netherlands, could not make it to the Oslo Blog Gathering in August 2010. So they came in April this year instead, to explore and have a taste of Oslo and Norway; our culture, history, traditions and habits. This post is from their third day of four,exploring the Oslo New Opera House (click all pics to bigify & enjoy):
Norway Opera House in Oslo #1 Norway Opera House in Oslo #5
Left: All Blog Friends at the entrance of The Opera – Right: Ginnie & Astrid in front of The Opera

Two days before we saw the Opera house from the seaside on our Oslo Fjord boat sightseeing trip:
Sightseeing Oslo Fjord in Spring #5 Sightseeing Oslo Fjord in Spring #6
Left: Ginnie photo hunting – Right: The new Opera House.

Guided tour in Norway Opera House:
Up to 50,000 persons visit the new monumental building at the Oslo waterfront each week most of them for a recreational adventure outdoors. This really shatters the myth about a cultural building like the opera being dull and difficult and only an indoor adventure and shows that the opera is more than entertainment for the bourgeoisie. However, a guided tour inside is worthy too and we always try to find time when blog friends are visiting:
Norway Opera House in Oslo #2

The House is workplace for 600 people divided between more than 50 different trades and professions – among them about 100 seamstresses:
Norway Opera House in Oslo #3 Norway Opera House in Oslo #9
Left: Ginnie & Astrid in the sewing room – Right: Costume for the Nutcracker.

This production section holds all facilities that are necessary for the production of an opera or ballet: workshops, storerooms, dressing rooms, cloakrooms, offices as well as audition and rehearsal rooms – with an inspirational view to the Oslo Fjord:
Norway Opera House in Oslo #10

The acoustics are the most important criteria for success for the new Opera House. It has therefore been a primary objective that the acoustics in the Main auditorium are of best quality. Experience shows that a horseshoe form is the best design for achieving optimum acoustics in an opera theatre, which is why the design was adopted:
Norway Opera House in Oslo #4
Materials are also important for tone and timbre. Modern preference is for timbre, where music is prioritised over song and speech. In the Main auditorium, the objective is to achieve a resonant solution that meets requirements of reverberance, early decay time and loudness.

This is day three of four from our Blog Friends Astrid and Ginnie’s adventures – so stay tuned for more in the next posts!

Update:
Go read Ginnie’s first post from their adventures in Norway!
…. and of course my wife DianeCA’s post about their visit too!


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