Today I’ll start posting my pictures from Oslo, broken into a few different posts. I really liked the city of Oslo. Being the largest city in Norway and the capital gives it an urban an cosmopolitan feel but since it is quite small (the greater Oslo area being only about 800,000 I was told) it has a sort of quaint small city feel, I’ve read in travel guides that people say one of the best things about the city is how easily you can leave it and be out in the forests and hills. Th small size also makes almost everything within a reasonable walking distance. One thing I’ve always disliked about Toronto is how it’s surrounded by suburbs, meaning to get out of the urban/sub-urban areas you have travel quite far, most likely by car. Also, I didn’t feel like anywhere I went was really touristy there, which was a nice change from some of the places I had been. The city is attractive and everything seems very clean, well-maintained and efficiently run. And out of everywhere in Europe Norwegians are probably the most polite drivers as well as being the most proficient in English (everyone seems to speak it fluently, similar to the rest of Scandinavia). On the downside everything is really expensive, if you live there it would be a worthy trade-off for their high wages, generous social security system and overall high standard of living, but as a tourist it hurts.
This group of pictures is from the Vigeland Sculpture Park, contained within Frogner Park, both being free public parks. The sculptures are the work of Gustav Vigeland who also designed the layout of the sculpture park. Frogner Park is older and was layout by someone else. As well, on one of the hills visible from the park one can see a quintessential Norwegian sports culture… Oslo’s ski jump.
On a side note, it is also sad to hear about an untimely and horrific loss of life, but I think the recent shooting and bombing in Oslo is doubly sad because it happened in a place that I think is generally seen as an example for the rest of the world to follow. It also hits closer to home because I have friends that live there, and I myself was there not that long ago.