Oslo is the capitol and largest city in Norway.. It's situated in the south east of the country and with the Oslo fjord stretching from Oslo and down along the coast. The city was founded around 1048 by the viking king, Harald Hardrada (transelated = Harald hard Ruler).
There's lots of smaller cities and towns along the coast. Mostly smaller places, which probably would be concidered as villages out in the big world.. Oslo being the capitol and all, isn't a very big city either, with a population of 1,422,442 living in the metropolitan area, as of 2010.
Which in my oppinion is one of the best things about my city. You hardly need a car in the down town area, it makes it's really convinient to get around. All you need is a bicycle or your own two feet! Many of the cities inhabitants swear to their bicycle, especially during the mild months of the year and you will see bicycles everywhere. There's still bicycles in the street during winter, but I'd say it's mostly for those hard core pedal pushers;)
There's a lot of parks and green recreation areas in town and around it, to enjoy all year around. I love using them for meeting friends up for picnic's, or just to enjoy with my love. We have small islands that we can take the boat to and go swimming during summer. We also have forests, Marka with a number of lakes surrounding town. Where people go bathing and hiking in the summer. During winter you can follow the ski tracks to the small cabin cafeés in the forest. There you can get a rest, with a cup of coffee and waffels.
There's a large number of cafeés, pubs and restaurants to visit. Norwegians is truely a cafeé people, especially the younger generations. We spend a lot of our time on cafeés around town with friends. An other thing we norwegians love, it's our outdoors beer. As soon as the sun pop out after the long and harsh winter, you find people relaxing outside various cafe'es and bars. In the first beams of sun rays, covered in blankets, with a beer in their hand..
Oslo is a multicultural city with inhabitants from all over the world, 25% of the people living here is from a different country. Which in my eyes makes the city diverse and exciting! In down town Oslo, you find traces and influations from all over the world.
Vis større kart
If you visit Grønland, which is one of our city areas down town. You will find it highly influenced by the pakistani, somalians and the arabians that is living in the area. You find jewelery and fabric shops, small restaurants and fast food places with tasty foods from all the different countries. Walking down the sidewalks of Grønland, is allmost like taking a walk in an exotic part of the world, far away from Norway, due to the smells and the environment surrounding you..
Grünerløkka is the hip, young and vibrant part of town. It used to be the quarters of the poor and the workers, and in later years for the immigrants, but not so much anymore.. Nowadays it's mostly populated by young families, artists and creative people.The recent years also people that traditionally has lived in the posh part of town, has opened their eyes for the area and everything it has to offer. "Everyone" wants to live on Grünerløkka.. Something which has made the appartment prizes jump in the air!
It's maybe the part of town where I feel most at home, even if it's not the area where I grew up. On the other hand, my mom grew up there and so did her mom and her side of the family. My grandma's brother (quite a character and many stories to tell) had a small wood and charcoal shop in the lower parts of Grünerløkka, which he ran with his brother till the day he died. Then the shop was mowed down by the gouvernment and made into a parking lot..
Before this, his father, my mom's grandfather, my grand grandfather, worked as a blacksmith, on the upper parts of Grünerløkka. Mainly making horse shoes and mending carriages, for the farmers that came into town with their horse carriages to trade at the time...
I'm a Oslo girl with family roots that run several generations back on both sides, which all were born and lived their life here in Oslo. There's a part of my own or my family history and memories in allmost every street I walk.. I can honestly say that I'm proud of and love the (to me) beautiful and charming town which I grew up in:)