Category Archives: Visit Norway?

Many people are visiting Norway during a year. In the official tourist guides you can only read about the huge attractions. My intention is to present you for all the other experiences you can have if you dear to leave the tourist track. The main focus will be on Oslo, because this is where I live, but other places will get their attention as well. Enjoy :-)

Kampengata

Kampen-an area close to the Munch museum

Are you going to visit the Munch museum? Do not return to the city centre immediately after your visit. Instead you should spend some time to explore the area around .

Follow this way , and suddenly you will be in a totally different part of Oslo, called Kampen. Since this area didn’t become a part of the city before in 1878 it is mainly dominated of small, charming, old wooden houses and narrow streets. This is a nice place just to walk around, and do nothing.  What you actually can do is to enjoy a coffee at Javelin  in Bøgata.

kampenparken

Kampeparken is situated at the highest point, and in periods without too much vegetation, you can have a great view over the city and the hills surrounding Oslo.

Are you really hungry and want a decent lunch, you can pop into Dileks. This is a relaxed cafeteria, not fancy at all, but has probably one of the best eggs and fried potatoes portions in the whole city. They have a vide range of lunches, included vegetarian offers, and for approximately 100,-NOK you will get enough food to survive for many hours:)

Kampen was earlier a workers area, and many years ago this area apparently had so many communists that it from time to time was called Petrograd. Back in 1878 it was a battle between workers and police/military soldiers up here, later on known as Onsumslaget, named after the fabric owner who was the main reason for the riot.

Kampen

Today Kampen is a very popular residential area, but has still remained some of its earlier atmosphere and it is very different from what you can see in the western parts of Oslo.

Akerselva- the heart of Oslo

Oslo is surrounded by nature with the fjord and forests, and in the middle: the river Akerselva. 

 

It is possible to walk along the river all the 8 km from the fjord and up to Maridalsvannet. Or you can just walk a short distance. Actually, you don’t have to walk at all. You can find your self a bench at the riverbank, relax and watch all the different types of people passing you.

 

 

If you do decide to walk, you will find plenty of nice places to stop for a coffee, beer or something to eat.

 

 

 

Today, after too many days with rain and cold, the sun was finally back. I asked my camera to join me for a walk along the river, and luckily it behaved the way I wanted:) Since I live close to the river, I know this area well, and I love it! Not only because it is a beautiful place, but also because of the history. This is where everything started around 1850, the place that made Oslo into a modern city as a result of the industrial revolution.

 

 

The river is an important part of Oslo’s cultural heritage, and still the old fabric buildings are left, but with totally different content. The fabric workers have been replaced of galleries, restaurants, music halls, TV-studios and a vide range of other businesses. The river is still the same, or actually it is much cleaner than 30 years ago.

 

 

If you happen to be in Oslo around the 22nd of September, you ought to attend the arrangement Elvelangs. This evening all the electrical lights are turned off along the river, and thousands of torches lit up the. All the way along the river there are music, dance, theatre and other cultural experiences. And you will definitely not feel lonely. Every year around 30 000 people are out walking this evening. You can see pictures from Elvelangshere.

Do you have some spare time, or just want to get away from the city centre? Take a stroll along Akerselva. I am quite sure you will never regret.

Cold and rainy? Visit a Kaffebar!

 

Coffee is serious business in Norway. It is culture, art and socializing.

Norway has for a long time been one of the countries with the highest amount of coffee drinkers. 9 out of 10 adults drink coffee, and every year we consume approximately 1200 cups each.

Even if all families have a decent coffee maker at home, and coffee is the natural choice to offer someone popping in, coffee shops are good business as well. In every city and town in Norway, you will find one or more Kaffebarer, and in Oslo they are at almost every corner.

 

A former student of mine compared Starbucks with our coffee shops in one of her blog posts, and her conclusion was this: “The similarities between Norway’s kaffe culture and Seattle’s coffee lore end, however, at the front door.”  I have no idea about how the coffee culture is in Seattle or other places in the US, but I know that here work is work, and coffee is conversation and relaxing.

The pictures in this post are from the local coffee shops here at Torshov in Oslo. As Oliver Strand writes in his coffee blog in New York Times: “The fact is, you don’t need to try that hard to get a good coffee in Oslo. You could go to any of the more than 20 locations of Kaffebrenneriet and get a drink made with more skill and better ingredients than almost anything you’ll find in Paris or Rome, or a number of places you think of as having a vibrant coffee culture.”

 

Just look out for a Kaffebar, go inside and order a freshly made cup of quality coffee, and relax :-)

Ekeberg

A Norwegian spring has much in common with an unfaithful Don Juan. One day is brilliant; warm and sunny, and then suddenly it is snow everywhere. A few days ago the summer came visiting, and I decided to seize the moment in quite different surroundings than my office.

 

Standing at the opera and looking east you will see a hillside covered with forest. This is Ekebergskråningen, Oslo’s oldest settlement area. People have been living here since the Stone Age, and today parts of this area are a nature reserve with a huge biological diversity. And it is only 10 minutes away from the city centre.

I went with tram number 18 from Jernbanetorget up to Jomfrubråten, and walked through the forest back to Sjømannskolen. It was beautiful!

 

The forest floor was covered with anemones, everything else was green and really nothing can beat the fresh smell in a springtime forest.

 

Besides, the view up there is worth the trip alone.A small digression: have you seen the film Max Manus? Then you will probably recognize this view. He stood up here, looked down at the harbour and planned his sabotage action.

 

Back at Sjømannskolen, I crossed the road and went up to Ekebergrestauranten . This is a lovely building from 1929, and counted as one of the finest examples of classical functionalism in Norway.

 

The restaurant it self is considered as one of the better ones in the city. Of course with a matching price level. The view, on the other hand, is totally free.

Today, with snow outside, I am happy for my few sunny hours outside the office.  A nice memory to keep me warm until the summer decides to return:)