This is another photo of Holmenkollen - the ski jump. You can only see the top of it. This is an area where people with quite a bit of money like to live. The closer you get to Holmenkollen the better. The prices are high and the houses are quite big. In this area you'll actually find houses with grass growing on the roof. (Not in this photo, though.) In the countryside in older times, this was quite normal - but not at all considered "fancy". Now, rich people sometimes choose this, perhaps to show that they appreciate the culture and history?
It seems like there's always some building activity going on somewhere in the city. This is from a part of Oslo called Røa, and as you can see they're almost done with a new building to the left in the picture. There used to be a food store there and also some private homes. As far as I know, the food store will be back on ground floor and there will be apartments above. I bet the apartments are already sold out - to an insane price (this is western Oslo, which is considered "good"). I wouldn't really want to live there myself, as there's a lot of traffic. Actually, I used to rent an apartment right behind where I stand taking this photo. It was expencive and always a lot of noise. And you can guess what my windows looked like...
Here's a fun christmas song for you. This is The Travelling Strawberries' Støveldance. It's from a TV-series that was shown before christmas some years ago. Crazy humour and the songs were a mix of English and Norwegian. My guess is that you'll figure out the lyrics pretty well, even without knowing Norwegian. Enjoy!
Poor Kristie. Moving from California to Norway, she's delighted about winter and wakes up everyday hoping it has snowed. So far, nothing. Every other day she's posting about the lack of snow and it's painful to see her disappointment. Therefore, I had to tell her the truth.
I feel bad now, but I hope a few photos from snowy Oslo will help. This was taken in January this year and shows the view from my balcony (again). But this time it's almost blocked by all the snow. I remember I had to showel the balcony to be able to open and shut my door. Oh joy...
Well, Kristie... just be patient, you'll soon get more of the white, cold stuff than you've ever dreamed of, I'm sure. :-)
These are photos from Stormel's visit at the Christmas market (the Christmas village) which is in front of the Oslo City Hall. Lots of lights, a small fun fair, booths where you can buy candy, Norwegian arts & crafts etc. According to Stormel: A mix of American* and Norwegian Christmas - a little something for everyone.
(*Norway is very influenced by American movies and TV shows.)
These past days it's been really cold in Oslo. The temperatures have been as low as - 10 C/14F. No snow yet, but because of the cold; the frost is covering the trees and the ground. The morning I took this photo, it was foggy at first - but then the sun shone through and I could see the ski jump "Holmenkollen" at the top of the hillside nearby.
Yesterday this strange, but beautiful and spectacular view suddenly appeared in the sky. I guess it was the fog, the sun, the cold, and the easy snow all together that made this special light. It was really cool! :o)
This is a statue in The Vigeland Park (or Frognerparken as we often call it). This park is one of Oslo's main sights; always lots of tourists. But the citizens of Oslo use the park too, it's one of my favourites places during all seasons.
This is a statue of King Haakon VII of Norway. He was really a prince of Denmark; Prince Carl, but elected by the Norwegian people as their king, after the dissolution of the union with Sweden in 1905. He and his wife, Maud - princess of Great Britain and Ireland, came to Norway with their son Olav (at that time Alexander) on November 25th 1905.
King Haakon was very loved by the people, especially after World War II, as he refused to surrender to Germany.
Prince Olav became king after his father's death in 1957 and became just as popular as his father, if not even more.
Okay, I'll admit it. I don't have much inspiration these days, at least not regarding photo. I'm sure it'll come back (especially after I'm done redecorating the bedroom), but meanwhile I'll submit pictures from a time where I did have more inspiration. :-)
This is taken in Oslo a couple of years ago, in December, probably around Christmas Eve. And it's taken right outside the house I grew up in.
This is another photo from behind the Nobel Peace Center. This yellow building is a extension on the brick building I showed you in yesterday's post. Earlier these buildings were part of the railway station that used to be here. At the time I took this photo, the two open doors you can see, leads you into exhibition rooms used by artists.
This is the old university in the center of Oslo, not far from the royal palace. This is where the juridical faculty is situated. The other faculties are in the new university, situated at Blinderen. I think the old building is very beautiful.
The university was built in 1852. Behind the pillars you'll find the ceremonial hall, decorated with huge paintings by Edvard Munch. It's often used for concerts and other solemn ceremonies.
The parliament used the university as their meeting place before the parliament building was finished in 1866.
Some more about transportation in Oslo. As I've mentioned we have a great subway system (although it definitely needs some modernization). In addition to the subway, there are several busses to take you "everywhere". The blue tram is mostly used for transportation in the central parts of the city.
Another photo from Karl Johan, this time closer to the royal castle. This is right next to the national theater (which you cannot see in the photo, but is further to the right). The darker building straight ahead (with the little "tower") is where you can find Hard Rock Café Oslo.
This is from the underground station "Stortinget" in Oslo. Stortinget is the name of the Parliament building and this station is right next to it.
This is where you can buy the tickets. The many booths were supposed to function, but they still aren't. They must have been there at least a year now, or more? But they have some trouble and meanwhile they can't be used for anything. Silly... :-)
As I told you a couple of days ago, we had our first snow this winter. I took a few photos and this is one of them. It was quite windy and the snowflakes were whirling in the air. Luckily none of it stayed on the ground. Well, it did... but just as water. :-)
These are more photos from the demonstration I told you about yesterday. The building is the parliament in the center of Oslo. Some politicians were there, listening to the demands of the deaf demonstrators. No promises were made, though.
By the way... it snowed today for the first time this winter. Not much and luckily it didn't stay on the ground. I hope it will wait a bit longer, because I don't have winter tires on my car yet. :-)
A few days ago there was a procession of demonstrators on Oslo's main street, Karl Johan. They were there to tell the politicians they want their language to get a higher status in Norway. And the language is the sign language. There are 5000 deaf people in Norway and 20.000 who use the sign language. Deaf people want to have the similar possibilities in life as hearing people; they want to be able to choose the education they want, to take part in society like everybody else, to watch television programs etc.
The sign language is accepted officially as a language in countries like Germany, Belgium and New Zealand - but not in Norway. These people want the right to communication, but the politicians say it's too expencive.
Hopefully these demonstrators will be heard. The next couple of days I'll submit a few more photos from the demonstration, to show my support.
In this photo you see the royal castle in the distance. The building on the left is the parliament building.
This is a manhole with the symbol of Oslo on it. It's Saint Halvard, the patron of Oslo. In his hand he's holding the three arrows that killed him and the millstone his killers used to sink him in the sea. He sits on a throne with lion heads and before his feet lies the woman who symbolises the victim he tried to save.
The story is that on May 15th in the year 1043, a woman was accused of stealing, but claimed she hadn't. She tried to escape and begged a young man, Halvard, to take her on his boat across the sea. He believed her and helped her, but the followers soon reached them on another boat and accused Halvard of helping a thief. He wouldn't listen to them, so they shot him with arrows and then beat the woman to death. To cover up the murders, the woman was buried near the beach and Halvard was dumped in the sea with a millstone around his neck. But his body floated and was found.
Later, at his grave, there were reported several omens. Halvard was martyrized as he had died trying to save an innoncent woman, and was eventually named a saint. His remains were later placed in a silver shrine and placed in the Maria church in Oslo.
In the year 1130, the new Saint Halvard church was built and the holy shrine was moved there.
We have run this blog for quite a while, and feel like we need a break to do other things. We will still post photos, but not as often as before. Hopefully you will continue to visit us from time to time. :-)