EUROPEAN VACATION

 

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Norway

 

Oslo

received July 28

 

( The following was written only about Oslo, Not all of Norway)

 

There was a young couple from Oslo who packed up everything they owned and moved to a small Island named Quadra Island, off the coast of British Columbia back in the early 1900ís. They moved to Canada and this little Island to find a better life, and raise there children in a similar environment as their homeland. That young couple were my Grandparents.

My mother passed away ten years ago and she had told me many stories of growing up on Quadra Island and always compared it to Norway, so it was a place I really wanted to see.

We spent almost 8 hours in the car driving from Stockholm to get to Oslo and it was one of the toughest drives we have done in the last few months. The kids were impossible, and they just kept pushing the big buttons on our back until we exploded. We had one of those family blow outs when you stop the car and rant and rave and then feel guilty for everything you just said. We are allowed to have a break down every once and while, even though I donít think it is real healthy.

 

 

So having said that, we were pulling into Oslo and were so excited to see some of our heritage and just get the heck out of the car.

Oslo is a beautiful port city with the nicest harbours I think I have ever seen. The city itself has also some of the nicest buildings, and at night they are all lit up, it looks spectacular. The transit system is wonderful, buses and ferries look very modern and the architecture is spectacular. So those are the good points.

Like I said, we were so looking forward to getting out of the car and walking around after such a long drive we could not wait to get there. Once we did get there, I think we would have just kept going if we did not have to stay.

The garbage, prostitution and the homeless folks were the first things we noticed.

I donít feel threatened by the homeless or the peddlers, it is part of the landscape of any big city. The streets were filthy dirty and after a couple of wrong turns we came upon an area where there were prostitutes on every corner. I donít know this for sure, but you get the impression that the government here just doesnít care.Hopefully they have some outreach programs but from what we saw itís highly unlikely. The number of drunk or wasted people laying passed out on the main street were more that I have ever seen in any other major city.

Nikolas just kept saying ďSo, this is where my Great Grandparents are from?Ē

I was waiting at the reception in our hotel to see if we could get a room when the gal in front of me asks the person at the front desk, ďCan you recommend a good restaurant in this areaĒ? The person at the front desk replies, ď I would not recommend any restaurants in this area.Ē She told her to go to the harbour area. Now I am thinking maybe this Hotel is in the wrong part of town, but the town is really not that big. We ended up staying at that hotel (Radisson SAS) and it was fine, but I was a little worried.

We did not go to any museums while in Oslo, nor did we take any guided tours so I donít think we gave Oslo much of a chance. Maybe I was too excited to see it and we expected much more. Maybe sitting around the farm eating lingonberries and watching the horses has gone to our heads. I donít know if anything could compare to Sweden, they were some of the nicest people we have ever met and it may have been just bad timing for us to go to Oslo. The people here in Oslo were not so friendly and did not go out of there way for tourists.The people seemed angry and in a big hurry to get wherever they were going.They had a much colder look to them and the city just felt edgy and kind of unsafe.

 

 

 

Oslo, capital city of Norway and seat of Oslo County (with which it is coextensive) and of Akershus County. It is on the Aker River, at the head of Oslofjorden, in the southeastern part of the country. Oslo is the largest city, leading seaport, and principal commercial, manufacturing, and cultural center of Norway. Major products include ships, electrical and electronic equipment, chemicals, textiles, processed food, wood and metal items, machinery, and printed materials. The funny thing I read was, that is Government activities and tourism are very important to the cityís economy.

 

 

 

 

The settlement, established as Oslo by Harald III of Norway around 1050, became the site of the royal residence about 1300. During the following century the community flourished as a trading center and port. After Oslo was destroyed by fire in 1624, it was rebuilt by Christian IV of Denmark and Norway and renamed Christiania (or Kristiania) in his honor. It did not reassume the historical name of Oslo until 1925. The city enjoyed an artistic and economic renaissance during the 19th century. From 1940 to 1945, during World War II, Oslo was occupied by German forces and suffered some damage. In 1952 the Winter Olympic Games were held here. In 1993 Oslo was the site of historic peace negotiations between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and representatives of the Israeli government. Population 773,498

I am sure this city does not represent the whole country of Norway, but it is a shame that your capital has these kinds of issues.

I know my Mom would not be happy with what I just said. I am glad we came, but I would give this city a failing grade on cleanliness and friendliness and will mostly likely not return to Oslo. Like I said, my family is from Norway and we would love to see the rest of the country because I am sure it is beautiful, but the attitude in Oslo was something we only experienced in Spain. And that was not very good, so we were really turned off.