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A look back at OsloBG exploring Oslo and Norway

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?

Tourist in Oslo City Norway and OsloBG

VisitOSLO and Oslo Municipality invited all to a free “Tourist for a Day” to explore the city. The Purpose; getting acquainted with the many exciting museums and attractions of the Oslo area, but also experiencing how it is to get around using public transportation. My wife DianeCA and I took the opportunity as part of planning for the Oslo Blog Gathering (OsloBG) in August and we gladly take you along:

The Oslo Pass:
Everyone who showed up at Oslo City Hall got a free Oslo Pass for free entrance to museums, attractions and public transportation and in addition a discount on a number of restaurants and shops.

A drawing contest for children:
As part of the event, all primary school children in Oslo were invited and the winners were announced today in the Oslo City Hall (click to bigify and enjoy!):
Tourist in Oslo City Norway #16 Tourist in Oslo City Norway #14
VisitOSLO’s CEO and the Vice Mayor awarding the prize in the City Hall

Like I said, my wife and I participated as part of preparing for the Oslo Blog Gathering (OsloBG – read more at the end of this post) and took the chance for a chat with this CEO and the Vice Mayor to tell how much we appreciated their support- and we got the time for a picture too:
Tourist in Oslo City Norway #15
From Left: Tore Sannerud, RennyBA, Aud Kvalbein and DianeCA

Information stands:
Many local tourist services presented opportunities to try their products. Here you see DianeCA at Oslo Guideservice who offered a free walking tour which we participated in with great interest (see my report below):
Tourist in Oslo City Norway #13

A rebus puzzle:
As a complementation, the Oslo Guidebureau invited to a six question puzzle within walking distance from City Hall. Here are some examples of the posts:
Tourist in Oslo City Norway #6 Tourist in Oslo City Norway #5
Left: The Nobel Peace Center – Right: Inside, the peace garden.

Tourist in Oslo City Norway #11 Tourist in Oslo City Norway #3
Left: Ice Bar Oslo – Right: Meeting Henrik Ibsen at the Parliament.

A walking tour of centre Oslo:
Like I’ve said, Oslo Guideservice invited to a two hour walk with one of their guides and here is a look at some of the spots on the tour (click to bigify):
Tourist in Oslo City Norway #4 Tourist in Oslo City Norway #7
Left: Statue of Peter W. Tordenskjold (1691 – 1720, a naval officer) at Akershus Fortress –
Right: Aker Warf (shopping, finance and amusement centre).

Tourist in Oslo City Norway #10 Tourist in Oslo City Norway #2
Left: Ruins of the old town – Right: Oslo’s oldest building (1626)

The National Theatre:
Tourist in Oslo City Norway #1
Opened in 1899, it’s a home to the dramatic Norway arts and use of the language on stage. The desire to establish a theatre for Norwegian dramatists and stage artists constituted a natural part of the country’s national development and its separation from Sweden around the beginning of the last century. The statues of Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson still take a place of honour in front along with Ludvig Holberg and as you can see, they are engraved on the front of the building.

Oslo Blog Gathering 2010 (OsloBG):
OsloBG2010 at RennyBAThis “Tourist in your own city” program gave a lot more options to Oslo’s major cultural institutions of course: A way to familiarizing with one of Europe’s leading networks of public transportation above and below ground – and on the stunningly beautiful Oslo Fjord, free entrance to all other museums, attractions as well as discount on a number of restaurants and coffee bars.

However, it’s impossible to cover it all in one post. The VisitOSLO CEO told me that about 7,000 participated last year. At the Oslo Blog Gathering, the principle is the same and then you even have three days to explore the city and surroundings. Go check out the Official Program site and book the program fee (Oslo Pass is included) to join bloggers from all over the world!

Click for my wife DianeCA’s post from today’s adventures: Always in new and other prospectives!