A guide of Oslo Norway Tourists Attractions

RennyBAs Terella Oslo GuideOslo’s History is peppered with Royal characters beginning in 1048 when King Harald Hardråde founded Oslo and settled in the area. Thus, you can expect a lot of tourist attractions that are in one way or another related to Oslo’s Royalty. The location of Norway’s capital city at Oslo Fjord is a tourist attraction in itself. The city however offers a diverse mix of cultural and modern tourist attractions like the Viking Ship Museum, the Holocaust Center and the Nobel Peace Center.

As a blogger for almost 7 years, writing about Norway; our culture, traditions and habits – including attractions in Oslo – I have posted from a lot of these sights. To give you some ideas from my own experience, I have collected some in the map below. Click the blue point to read more!

Oslo’s architecture is a sight to behold. The old manor houses provide a glimpse of Oslo’s colorful heritage. If this is your cup of tea then go visit Bogstad Manor (the furnishings of which goes back as far as 1750) and the Tøyen Manor House (given as a peerage estate to Chancellor Jens Bjelke in 1640).

Oslo’s Bygdøy island museums present; The Kon-Tiki Museum showing the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History; the Viking Ship Museum; the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the ship Fram, used by Roald Amundsen on his polar expeditions. Bygdøy is one of Norway’s oldest cultural landscapes with a rich history.

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump is also a famous Oslo attraction that tourists should not miss. It’s the home of our national ski museum and site of the 2011 Nordic Worlds Ski Championship.

Vis RennyBA’s Terella Oslo Guide i et større kart
Have a jolly good time exploring Oslo and I would love to get feedback and reports from your experience. If you’re planning a trip to Oslo, give me a hint in the comments and I will gladly guide you around.

We are now leaving for a trip to Tuscany with the entire family, 13 people – 3 generations – yes including my granddaughter – and we are so excited. So stay tuned for some Italian posts later on!

Akerselva the vein of Oslo and industrial history of Norway

Akerselva is a beautiful river with 23 waterfalls running through Oslo’s most populated areas, ending in the Oslo Fjord after 8 km with a rich history of Norway’s cultural heritage and industrialization which started around 1850. The river is the “vein of the city” offering fishing, swimming, biking or walking to explore a rich animal and plant life in the most recreational part of the capital of Norway. It’s running from the lake Maridalsvannet, which is Oslo’s main supply of drinking water, to the city center and without a break: a couple of hours walk.
Walking along Aker River in Oslo #4 Walking along Aker River in Oslo #11
Almost every meter of the 8km from the mountains to the fjords offers exciting adventures. Along the river you can take small detours into side streets you’ve never seen before and experience the history of the utmost importance to the capital and country: it was on the banks of Akerselva that Norway became a modern country and where the industrial revolution took place- It was here that Norway got its first factories and industrial workers!
I had a nice walk there last week, arranged by the Norwegian Parkinson Association and you’re welcome to join us and see a small collection of the highlights where I also shot some photos with my mobile phone:

Emigration and the Industrial Revolution:
From 1850 to 1900 the population of Christiania increased from 30,000 to 130,000 – the same period as when about half of the populations out of totality 1,500,000 emigrated to the US. For the most part farmhands came from the countryside and moved into settlements along the Akerselva banks to live near the factories they were working in. These houses were often some distance from the river and of very poor quality. Living conditions were crowded and up to 13-14 people could live in a single cramped room with an even smaller kitchen.
Walking along Aker River in Oslo #1 Walking along Aker River in Oslo #2
Today there is a new wave of migrants to the river, but it’s a totally different standard in the new houses. The picture to the left shows an example of a new residential complex on the left and an old factory on the right.

Myren’s machine maintenance and renovation factory:
Myhre’s factory became one of the leading and largest industrial companies in Norway with more than 1,000 employees in 1909 and also important for the rest of the industry along the river. Production started in this area in 1854 and their main production focused on industrial machinery – turbines and steam engines – and tools for rolling mills and sawmills, utilizing the river as source for power in the production.
The company was acquired by Kværner Brug (now a part of Aker Solution) in 1928 and the production naturally developed into supplying the pulp and paper industry. At one point, 85% of their production was exported.
Walking along Aker River in Oslo #10 Walking along Aker River in Oslo #12
The premise of the old factory is preserved after the industrial production was terminated in 1988 and the area and its building were sold to what is now Myren’s Resorts and renovated into a small cluster for knowledge-based businesses in broadcasting, television production and advertising. The area also contains several apartment buildings

The Factory Girls at Beyer bridge:
Beyer bridge build in the 1700s and named after the owner, Anders Beyer, was a favorite gathering place after 10 to 12 work hours. In 1837, the old narrow wooden bridge was converted to ramps and restored as a pedestrian bridge in 1985, This bridge and the statue called “Factory Girls”, made by Ellen Jacobsen, show a merrier side of the flux at this industrial revolution period in Norway. It’s located in the old factory area and was described by the Norwegian writer Oskar Braaten as “factory girls’ bridge”. A group of sculpture in memory of the factory girls, conducted by Ellen Jacobsen, “shoulder to shoulder”, was set up on the bridge 1986:
Walking along Aker River in Oslo #02 Walking along Aker River in Oslo #17

100 types of birds and 4 bats:
This continuous green corridor with water, grass, plants and trees that connect Oslomarka and the Oslo Fjord is also a paradise for animals. It is observed 100 different bird species at the river. Among them is our national bird: the Dipper, which people actually see quite often sitting on the pebbles in the middle of the falls. Even the Goldcrest, which is Norway’s smallest bird, is observed here.
Walking along Aker River in Oslo #6
Akerselva can even offer four types of bats to be seen flying between trees when dark. As you can see in the photo however, the most common wildlife is seagulls and ducks.

“The Hen-Lovisa’s house”:
The rivers highest waterfall is next to an idyllic little house which is a great place to stop on your walk along the river Akerselva. The name “Hønse-Lovisas hus” comes from a literary character. It was built in 1800 as a saw miller’s house.
Walking along Aker River in Oslo #16
Today it is a café and cultural meeting place, where the arts and crafts of today meet tradition and history of the past. They have handmade arts and crafts for sale and you can also get a cup of coffee and a delicious piece of cake or a little something for lunch.

A walk along the Akerselva, especially with such an excellent guide, is a good example of how you can combine an outdoor nature experience with learning about the local history. The area is easy to reach by public transportation, either Underground or Bus, and lies right in the heart of the compact city of Oslo. So don’t miss this trip the next time you visit the capital of Norway.

Norway Military Tattoo 2012 in Oslo

Norway Military Tattoo 2012 #1Norwegian Military Tattoo, the biggest indoor event in Norway, draws multinational crowds of military music fans each year. This year marked its 10th anniversary with nearly 1,000 participants and 20 000 spectators turned out for the rousing band and precision drill performances.
The set in Oslo Spektrum Arena was a recreation of Akershus Fortress and the show was filled with spectacular entertainment. It is a colourful family-show featuring the leading military bands of the world as well as acrobatics, singing, dancing, drill and a competition between the military academies. Features on stage this year include e.g. the US Air Force Honor Guard’s Drill Team’s weapon manoeuvres show, an Irish dance show from The Emerald Isle Irish Dance Team, the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland and not to forget Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense Traditional Band:
Norway Military Tattoo 2012 #7
Every year when we watch it on TV, I always say: we have to go next time and this year we made it thanks to my wife’s good planning as she bought tickets just before it was sold out. As much as I would like to, it’s almost impossible to describe, recreate or set the scene in words. However, since you know I love to share magic moments like this with you, I used my mobile phone, trying to capture the atmosphere. So out of 55 min film and 50 photos, I’ve made a movie to give you a taste. Before you click to enjoy, let me just share what I think was a special highlight this year:

Some heroes do not die even if they sleep in
Shooting Max Manus motion picture in Norway #3This was the comment of the Chief of the National Guard, Kristin Lund, on the passing away of Norway’s Second World War hero Gunnar “Kjakan” Sønsteby. The Military Tattoo this year had a very special performance in remembrance of this great Norwegian citizen who passed away only days before. Kjakan is known for his central participation in the Norwegian resistance fighters during the Second World War, but his service did not end there. He dedicated the rest of his lift to using the experiences from the war to be an important mediator in the aftermath, and as a living story teller to keep the history alive for future generations in order to stop anything like this from happening again. Sønsteby was important for the new generations after the war. The numerous lectures he gave in retrospect, has been important for shaping the values of the younger generation. Those of us who were born after the war have been told, based on his experience, how important it is to preserve democracy and respect it. He meant a lot to us as a nation.
The photo above is one I shot when the movie “Max Manus” was made some years ago in Oslo. It’s all about the resistance movements from the Second World War. Click to read my post from it: Max Manus with War and Peace in Oslo Norway

And then, as promised; here is the movie from this year’s tattoo – enjoy!

Norway faces down terror with love care and roses

Norway Face Down Terror with love roses and songs #5Norwegians flocked to public squares across the country Thursday and lifted their voices in song. Inspired by a Facebook-organized protest tens of thousands gathered with the goal of facing down terror with the power of music.
Our target: the far-right fanatic terrorist from July 22 last year, now on trial for the bombing and shooting rampage that killed 77 people. Our weapon: A children’s tune that the terrorist claims has been used to brainwash the country’s youth into supporting immigration.

In downtown Oslo alone, some 40 000 people chimed in as the Norwegian artist Lillebjørn Nilsen played the song “Children of the Rainbow” – a Norwegian version of American folk music singer Pete Seeger’s “My Rainbow Race”. Seeger and his music have been central in a myriad of social justice causes from civil rights to the environment. He sang out against the Vietnam War and more recently joined the Occupy Wall Street protest in Manhattan.

I was at this public square in Oslo called Youngstorget and it was a heart touching moment where people did everything from crying to laughing in the strong shared feeling of how great it was to fight terror with love, care, roses and a song:
Norway Faces Down Terror with love roses and songs #2
We sang the Norwegian lyrics by Nilsen:
A sky full of stars, blue sea as far as you can see – an earth where flowers grow, can you wish for more?
Together shall we live, every sister, brother, you and me – Young children of the rainbow, a fertile land and seashore

The direct reason for singing that song was that in testimony last week, the terrorist mentioned the tune as an example of how he believes “cultural Marxists” have infiltrated Norwegian schools and weakened its society. We, the people of Norway wanted to prove him wrong and “take back the song where it belongs!” I do hope you get an idea of the magical, non violent way it was done in this mixed vid I’ve made:

Defiant sing-alongs of “Children of the Rainbow” were staged in Oslo and other major Norwegian cities, while in court survivors of the terrorist’s attacks gave tearful testimony in the ninth day of the trial.

I care about the people who died and whose family members died. This march is about them and about our Norway, not his (terrorist’s) Norway,” said Peter Solberg, a 46-year-old office worker who survived the bombing in Oslo.
Eskil Pedersen, the head of the Labor Party’s youth wing, told this umbrella-decked crowd in Oslo (to be seen in the photos above) that this song held special significance for his group. “We aren’t here because of him, but because of each other,” he said.

Norway Faces Down Terror with love roses and songs #18And later, the crowd marched to the Oslo courthouse, where we laid a carpet of roses on the steps and the fence. Shocked by the terrorist’s lack of remorse for his massacre, Norwegians by and large have decided the best way to confront him is by demonstrating our commitment to everything he loathes. Instead of raging against the gunman, we want to manifest our support for tolerance and democracy.

Since he has admitted to the attacks, the terrorist’s mental state is the key issue for the trial to resolve. If found guilty and sane, he would face 21 years in prison, although he can be held longer if deemed a danger to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to compulsory psychiatric care.

I was at the courthouse the other day, trying to capture the flower power statement with my camera. So if a photo says more than a thousand word, I just say:
Norway Face Down Terror with love roses and songs #11

I will like to end this post with a quote that sums up the Norwegian attitude and how we like to deal with this tragedy. It was said by one of the survivors of the massacre: “If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we can show together”.
The tragedy of the 22 of July, 2011 affected all the people of Norway. However at times like this when I see all people joining together to show that we will not answer hate with hate and violence with violence, I feel happy to be Norwegian.

Feel More at Home on Our Amazing 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!