Oslo Blog Gathering’s grand opening was the Mayor’s reception at the City Hall. Blog friends from all over the world brought a small gift from their homeland, since it also happens to be the Mayors birthday. He said he had not received that many gifts since he’s 5th years celebration. Her you see some of the participants in front of the city hall:
After the Mayor’s welcome speech, it was my turn to return the favour with some words:
“Our Dear Mayor, Oslo Blog Gathering participants, and associates;
They say that Oslo is the city with a big heart, and you dear Mayor, participating in this reception is certainly proof of that. Even on your own 55th birthday you are here to welcome my guests from around the world with open arms. In the five years I have been blogging about Norway, our culture, traditions and habits, I have lots of regular readers who have become curious about our country, find us a bit exotic, and wanted to come and visit. I have also tried to explain about our open and transparent society. I have told the world about our accessible politicians who hear our individual voices, and you are now an excellent example of this.
I also wish to express my thanks to VisitOslo for their contribution as well as the gathering’s hub, First Hotel Millennium.
I’m proud of Oslo city and I know you are too. To me it is a dream comes true that I am able to give my blog friends, from all around the world, a taste of what we have to offer. Again, thank you dear Mayor for receiving us and letting us have a look at the heart of Oslo, our lovely city hall. I’m sure our participants will share some of their adventures from today and their expectations in the rest of the program with you.“
We also were lucky enough to get a guided tour in the city hall: Located by the waterfront, with Fritdjof Nansensplass on the inland side. It’s open to the public, with a spectacular main hall featuring huge murals with typical Nordic social democratic themes. Its characteristic architecture, artworks and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony makes it one of Oslo’s most famous buildings. There are also some displays of historical artefacts in the side rooms upstairs and we where in the Munch-room with a beautiful view of the harbour and Oslo Fjord:
The day however started in the morning at reception in OsloBG’s HUB; The First Millennium Hotel, where we all meet for a guided tour: Highlights of Oslo:
Let me just give you a short memo from the bus tour which started with a round trip in the city when the guide gave a short overview and description of the towns history:
Our capital and largest city in Norway was founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway and largely destroyed by a fire in 1624. The Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV rebuilt the city as Christiania. In 1925 the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo. The diocese of Oslo is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, which originated around the year 1070.
Oslo is the cultural, scientific, economic and governmental centre of Norway. It’s also a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping as well as an important centre for maritime industries and maritime trade in Europe. The city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of them are amongst the world’s largest shipping companies, ship-brokers and maritime insurance brokers.
We also had some short stops to some sightseeing:
The Vigeland Sculpture park:
Some of us gathered by the Angry Boy; the most tourist photographed object in Norway. We had an excellent guide who gave a wonderful introduction to Vigeland’s beautiful work of his life (you may read more about it in my post: Olga the travelling bra clothing statues Vigeland Park:
The Holmenkollen ski jump:
20 minutes by tram, on the hill behind the central city, you’ll find Norway’s number one sports icon: The Ski Jump: is host to the world’s oldest notable ski jump competition still in existence.
Since then the capacity of the stands has been increased to over 50,000 people and the jump has been extended 18 times, last time in 1982. Today’s tower extends 60 meters above ground, and 417 metres above sea level. The current record of 139.5 meters was achieved by Andreas Kofler of Austria on 14 March 2010. I was there at that time and can recall you’re memory from my post: “Holmenkollen Ski Jump preparing for OSL2011
This time we went to the very top and here is the view (unfortunately in rainy weather):
Bygdøy Island & the Museums:
We ended up passing the Museums at Bygdøy (click the links to read my earlier posts:- Like the Kon-Tiki Museum, which shows all year long the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl. The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. Viking Ship Museum as well as Norwegian Maritime Museum and the ship Fram, used by Roald Amundsen.
OsloBG – The show will go on:
This was just a short report from the first day. The show will go on for two more days, so stay tuned!
Update: My wife DianeCA’s post from this first day: Blogger friends exploring Oslo at OsloBG!