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Oslo - Out and About
Oslo is situated at the tip of Oslofjord, an inlet of the Skagerrak, free of ice for the duration of the year. Destroyed in a fire in 1624, Oslo was completely rebuilt on the orders of King Christian IV, who gave the city its regular layout. From that moment, Oslo saw the creation of new districts radiating out from the city centre, complete with neat and orderly road systems. It was during the period 1818-44, that the face of the city radically changed, with the construction of public offices, Parliament,universities, the stock exchange, banks and museums. Oslo is an easy city to visit, given that the major sights are either located in the city centre or are easy to reach using public transport or by bicycle.
18th century Oslo is situated around Karl Johann Gate, a pedestrianized street and the city's main thoroughfare. The street runs from east to west,connecting central station with the Royal Palace and passing Parliament, the university, the student's gardens, the cathedral, central square, the National Theatre and the Town Hall, an important symbol of the tourist port of Pipervika. The port and its quays are the departure point for the ferries to Bygdoy and the boats and yachts, which leave to explore the fjords and islands. The port is also the site of Aker Brigge, where old quays and warehouses have been converted into the residential commercial centre; Festplassen. this centre contains theatres, cinemas, shops and crowded bars.
The most elegant part of the city is to be found west of the Royal Palace. An area of 18th century nobility and upper class. The rich quadrangle, which runs from Parkveien to Bygdoy Allé and from Kirkeveien to Uranienborveinen is the site of boutiques, embassies, the Frogner Park and the Oslo Bymuseum, which holds exhibitions on the theme of the history of the city.
Holmenkellen, the city's most exclusive district, lies at an altitude of 420m, on the high ground, behind the centre of Oslo. Holmkollen, is Norway's answer to skiing and is the sight of an impressive ski-jump. The ramp is 60m high and finishes with a circular stadium, capable of accommodating 10, 000 spectators. Every year, during the month of March, the city hosts the Ski Festival. Lake Beserud and the Observation tower stand in front of the ski ramp. The base of the tower is home to the Ski Museum. Purchasing an Oslo Card from Central station in Jerbanetorget 2, allows the visitor to travel free of charge on Oslo's public transport system and in addition allows free parking in council car parks, free admission to the city's museums, swimming pools, Tusenfryd amusement park and mini sight-seeing cruise. Central station is also the location of Trafikanten, the information office which provides details on all the city's public transport. Oslo has 5 tram lines, which cross the city, 20 bus routes, with arrival and departure from Busterminalen and eight metro lines, which depart from Parliament Square (Stortinget), four from Majorstuen station towards the east of the city and four from Toeyen station which head to the east.
Oslo - Not to be missed
Vigelandpark, a wonderful natural area of lakes and trees is dominated by the sculptures of the famous artist Gustav Vigeland, detailing the life and death of this talented person. Akershus, a 13th century fortress, dominates the port. The fortress has a marvellous interior containing stately rooms, an underground prison, and a chapel, still used for royal ceremonies, an home to the cypts of Hakon VII and Olav V. the building also houses the Resistence Museum, which details the German occupation of the country and Norway's fight to defeat this enemy. The Fortess is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which provide a fine view over the city. The city has many museums including The Nasjonal Galeriet, founded in 1837 and housing documentation about the Norwegian painters of the 18th and 19th century.
The Kommenes Kunstsamlinger Munch-museet, houses a collection of 1100 paintings, 4,500 designs, 1,800 prints, sculptures, letters and books left to the city by Munch upon his death.
The Museum of adventure at Bygoy, houses artefacts that detail Norwegian adventure including Viking longboats and the remains of the Oseberg boat (IX century) rich in ornamental and marine sculptures; Fram, the boat much loved by Nansen and Amundsen; and the Kon -Tiki, the fragile raft used by the anthropologist Heyerdahlt, during his ocean expeditions.
Oslo - Walks and tours
Marka, whose main access point is Frognerstern, is an immense forest that surrounds Oslo. The zone covers a surface area of 1,700 square kilometres and contains spruce, birch and pine trees set amongst hills and valleys, streams and lakes. The forest has strategically placed chalets throughout the area, which allow rest and repose for the weary traveller. Visitors can take a cruise on one of the boats, that departs from both Vippetangen and Aker Brygge, in order to visit the fjords and enter the maze of small islands that make up the archipelago.
Oslo - The traveller's notebook
Currency : Euro
Electric supply: 220 Volts A.C Norwegian plugs are round two pinned( not earthed )
Climate : the west coast, exposed to the influences of the Gulf currents, has a rather mild climate during winter. Rainfall is abundant in particular from September to December. Oslo is less cold than other regions but the sky is usually covered and rainfall is frequent
Opening hours : post offices are open from 8:30 to 4pm during week days and from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. Shops are open from 9am to 4pm , except Thursdays, when they are open until 6pm. Many supermarkets are open until 8 or 9pm and until 6pm on Saturdays. Some kiosks and newsagents remain open until 10/11pm. There are kiosks located near petrol stations, which stay open until 11pm or are open throughout the day.
Oslo - A pocket guide
Aker Brygge is one of the liveliest areas in the centre. This zone of the old port was completely restructured a few years ago. Karl Johans Gate, the city's main street, is also rich in bars and pubs. This pedestrianized area is also home to boutiques and meeting points for the city's artists and street bands. The Grunerlokka district, located outside the city centre is home to many fashionable restaurants, popular with students and the young. The Oslo Snow Festival, held every February, takes place in Frogner Park and sees magnificent sculptures in snow and ice. Sommer pa Akerhus Festning, at the Akerhus Fortress, is an all summer long festival of theatre and music. The Oslo Jazz Festival takes place in August, with concerts in the park, squares and cafés.
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