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Oslo: Cool summer in the North
Situated on the northern edge of the homonymous fjord, the Norwegian capital attracts the traveler with its natural beauty, the colorful urban scenery, parks and quirky museums. All this combined with its size makes it one of the most pleasant European cities for summer visit
Norway in the local language means "the way of the north" and Oslo, in free translation, "meadow of the gods." And only these names are able to stimulate the imagination, let alone if the above add a little of the magic of the landscape of fjords, stories with the Vikings to cross the foggy shores of the ntrakar, the troll mentioning our own goblins, his explorations Amundsen and unique figure of Ibsen, whose works dominated the theatrical venues in the late 19th century. Sounds and performances mystery inherent in the north, quite distant from our own world and yet so familiar thanks to the stories and narratives of some older ones. And the country's capital, Oslo, a microcosm of this whole mystical world that emerges unexpectedly in the eyes of the traveler and challenges him to meet her and love her.
Established in 1048 by King Harald the Hard as a trading post, the city soon became Archbishop's cathedral. Three centuries later, having grown up and trying to avoid a possible Spanish invasion from the east, acquired fortification. Several fires destroyed the city in the coming centuries and in 1624 the Danish King Christian the 4th decided to rebuild better than before and transfer it a little further west, in the place where now stands the castle Akershus. Indeed he also renamed it Christiania, blessing his beard like any good monarch. Over the years slowly began to mature the idea of an independent Norway beyond the control of the Danes, but the effort to establish state and constitution fell through just before the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the country came under the control of the Swedes. Thus, in 1814 Norway passed into the hands of the French Marshal Nicolas Bernantot, who, on assuming the throne of Sweden, now named King Karl Johan. During this time the town of Christiana acquired university, palace and beautiful mansions and public began to spread rapidly, until he came in 1905 and Norway broke away from the control of Stockholm have now become separate statehood. The old capital will change name once again, choosing the first name Oslo that came to our days.
And if all that is history, it is possible to have an idea about the place and the time it does not lose its orientation. A good starting point would be the historic castle Akershus, which for more than six centuries is the symbol of the city and transports the visitor to another era, while the ramparts offer a unique view of the harbor with the boats.
On the opposite side, the Aker Brygge wharf with hotels, cafés-restaurant and shopping malls are the new attraction that brings together locals and foreigners in recent years and without a doubt the best spot to admire the castle and the new landmark city, city hall where is bestowed annually by the Nobel Peace Prize.
Moving to the interior, street Karl Johan is the main street that starts from the square of the railway station and ends at the royal palace. The length of this exceptional pedestrian are the most important buildings in the capital, the cathedral and the Parliament by the National Theatre and the University. But beyond these there beats the heart of Oslo, since except the monumental character, the road is full of shops of all kinds: restaurants, supermarkets, bookstores, hotels, and everything else imaginable. It is the point where workers take a break from work at midday to eat, where to mix the school generation with students and where the elderly chatter on the benches between the House and the Theatre overlooking the elegant and understated royal palace.
The side of the road leading to the train station is more popular; bustling, colorful and multinational, often filled with traditional stalls and tourist products and small traders immigrants from Asia touting their wares always calmly, "northern" way. Near atmospheric square Christiana retains some old houses from the 1660s, some very tasteful beer halls that hold up until late at night. Behind the university, on the street Gkrensen, parallel to Karl Johan, the National Gallery and Historical Museum occupy a special position, the first of which is significantly greater interest hosting works of national artist Entvar Munch and works of famous impressionists such as Monet the Renoir and Cézanne.
But if all that are in the center are integral parts of the Norwegian tradition and lifestyle, the people of Oslo have some other special weaknesses that are a little further out and would be a great omission not to be be visited by a traveler. Getting boat acting as transportation from the port, the peninsula Bygdoy is not more than 15 minutes and hides a treasure of museums that have to do with the water element.
On one Fram museum houses the ship in which the Nansen and Amundsen explored the poles at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. Little more the next Kon-Tiki museum is dedicated to the raft with which Thor Chegierntal embarked on a journey from Peru to Polynesia trying to prove that the first settlers were from Oceania South America. Also on site there is a raft Ra 2 by which the Chegierntal crossed the Atlantic to show that Africans and Arabs may have arrived in the Americas before the Europeans.
But what is the pride of Norway and the crown of their unique seamanship is the museum of the Vikings hosting the Oseberg and Gokstad ships dating from the 9th century. In the halls of the museum are also sleds, grave goods, weapons, objects carved with wild forms and everything else contained the ntrakar. The fact is that while the Viking Ship Museum is not in the city center is full of foreigners and Norwegians often come with their children to show them the living signs of the naval history of their country.
In a short distance the museum folklore is also a very interesting place where one can see how people lived in the Norwegian countryside during the 17th and 18th century. The most interesting exhibit is without doubt the wooden church built in Gol in 1200, which has neither a nail and moved to its final location in the late 19th century.
And if the Norwegians keep their tradition and their museums religiously, another place has a special place in their hearts and minds - and that is none other than Vigkelant park, an open space monumental art, a tribute to the great Norwegian sculptor for the legacy to his country. In the park there are exhibits from the everyday activities of people with a range of presenting couples in love to babies and people who are struggling. At the top of the monolith towering height of 17 meters that represents the struggle of life. This area is one of the most beloved of the people of Oslo, not lose chance to visit for rest.
Paradise for walkers
As strange as it may seem, the distances between all these attractions can be covered comfortably on foot in just a few days and without fatigue. From one environment with broad streets, lawns and gardens, on the other the habit of Norwegians to move to the center on foot or bicycles, predispose the traveler to do the same, or the need to use any of the 5 lines metro center going through the same point.
However, a good tram network in combination with bus cover absolutely anyone attempting to release in Oslo and surroundings, in a city that never knows what it's like stress, pollution, traffic jam and as the time passes and it gets dusk presents another person, equally beautiful and relaxing.
The Norwegians are a people that does not like the major tensions, which means that it is measured in what they do, and as Scandinavians, never reach the ends, like their neighbors. But during the summer, when the day grows, the weather becomes sweet and the sea calm, present another mood. At nights, the restaurants and cafes filled with people, the pubs are doing big business, in the bars of the street Karl Johan beautiful blondes swaying to the rhythm of recent successes and harmless hordes slightly drunk nipper and couples roam the streets with a beer in hand. Some weekends prefer to leave excursions with their families, while others, more romantic, with their boats left the magic of Oslofiord, which somewhat mimic the foreigners with boats running one-hour and two-hour tours to several salt amount.
A people who has the highest per capita incomes in the world and has solved a living-and not just for the next two generations-is natural words pressure and anxiety are unknown, which makes them pretty safe and confident the future. If one and increased appetite for life during the summer, Norwegians are among the most polite and pleasant people, willing to offer the traveler the best possible service and to convey a little of the peace that prevails in their beautiful city and generally in the country of fjords.
HOW TO GET THERE
In Oslo you can reach with companies Swiss Air, KLM and Lufthansa, but all flights have stopovers.
When to go
This is relevant. For snow lovers and sports activities around it, there is no better time than the winter and spring. Interested but be aware that many times the winter in Norway is snappy and snow with the cold is not the best allies for browsing. Unlike the months of July and August prices can be a bit expensive, but the weather is cool and pleasant for endless walks and cruises to the fjords.
Oslo has a total population of 700,000 inhabitants including suburbs, which means that although stretched, the city in general is not great. It is nevertheless very well organized and has an excellent public transport network consisting of metro (5 lines) in the suburbs comes to the surface, trams, buses and boats on the southwestern coastal districts where they are and the Museums Vikings, Fram, etc. Tickets are quite expensive, but not recommended buy daily or weekly pass dodomenou that most things are in the center or close to it, and the walk is the best option.
The monetary unit of Norway is the krona, krone (Nkr) and this subdivision is the ore. Given that it is the most common currency, those who want to get crowns from Greek bureaux or banks let's not leave it last minute before departure.
WHERE TO STAY
All hotels listed are located in and around it and the price includes breakfast.
• Grand Hotel (Karl Johans 31, T/0047 23212000): Definitely the epitome of luxury and elegance in the central city street in an environment reminiscent of the Belle Epoque.
• Hotel Bristol (Kristian IV's gate 7, T/0047 22826000): Another excellent hotel in the heart of Oslo.
• Quality Mastemyr Hotel (Mastemyr / Lienga 11): Although four star, is one of the most affordable city.
• City Hotel Oslo (Prinsensgate 19, T/0047 22413610): One of the few good and economical solutions.
• Cochs Pensjonat (Parkveien 25, T/0047 23332400): A guesthouse near the center with simple rooms where some have a kitchenette.
WHERE TO EAT
Although Norway is not the country with the longest tradition in gastronomy, but there are a variety of (quite expensive) restaurant serving dishes of meat, especially beef, deer, elk, etc. Certainly, there are many other proposals.
• Albertine (Stranden 3, area Akker Brygge): Reminiscent bistro thirties. Suitable for light meals. Reasonable prices.
• Egon (Karl Johansgate 37): Special for pizzas, burgers, kebabs, salads etc.
• Gamle Radhus (Nedre Slossgate 1): Restaurants for inflated purses with very good cuisine for meat, and seafood. Housed in a building of 1641 square Christian who was once the town hall.
• A touch of France (Ovre Slottsgate 16): Friendly atmosphere, French cuisine, fine wines and specialty shellfish. Not cheap but worth a visit.
• Beach Club (Bryggetorget 14): For American tastes at good prices, by the sea.
Clubs, bars and cafes
The city of Oslo has a variety of bars and clubs, of which most charge entry according to the quality of the restaurant, its location and whether features live music.
• Smuget (Rosenkrantzgate 22): For those who prefer live rock, jazz and blues
• Jazid (Pilestredet 17): For contemporary music.
• Miami club (square Storgata): For lovers of Latin and African-American music, an aura Antilles in the north.
• Blitz (Pilestredet 30): A pleasant room with old atmosphere has a bookstore and cafe.
In the main street Karl Johan are some nice bars with music during the day is a coffee like the dock of Aker Brygge.
What To Buy
Although the department Glasmagasinet Stortorvet on the square opposite the cathedral is the church of the market of Oslo, Husflinden on Mollergata 4 and Oslo Sweater Shop on Biskop Gunnerusgate 3 are the best options to buy Norwegian sweaters, traditional fabrics, needlework and also for souvenir shopping trolley ntrakar and general Norwegian souvenirs. However on the street Karl Johan towards the railway station there are many street vendors and stalls full of good quality summer fabrics at affordable prices. Regarding books, maps and guides bookstores Tanum Libris (Karl Johansgate 43), Ark Qvist (Drammensveien 16) and Bokkilden (Akersgata 34) cover every need.
• Historisk museet (Frederiksgate 2): An interesting collection of coins, jewelry and artifacts from the Viking Age.
• Munchmuseet (Toyengata 53): Small museum full of paintings and drawings by Edvard Munch, the largest Norwegian painter.
• Vigelandmuseet (Nobelsgate 32): For those who have not had enough of the artifacts found in Vigelandpark, there is a museum-house of the artist.
• Polarskip Fram (dock Bygdoy): Dedicated to the schooner with which the Nansen and Amundsen later explored the poles and especially Antarctica.
• Kon-tikimuseet (dock Bygdoy): A small museum houses the rafts with which the Chegierntal crossed oceans.
• Vikingskiphuset (Huk aveny 35, Bygdoy): Perhaps the most Norwegian of all the museums, with two ntrakar in excellent condition and full of miscellaneous tools, and period artwork.
• Norsk Folkemuseum (Museumsveien 10, Bygdoy): Another very beautiful museum open space for an idea of what life was like in the Norwegian countryside in past centuries. The medieval wooden church are gorgeous.
• Nasjonal Galleriet (Universitetsgata 13): It has the largest collection of Norwegian art from past centuries until the present day, and French Impressionist paintings.
Categoty: Travel destinations
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