Norway

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imaginarystates
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Norway

Post by imaginarystates » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:09 pm

I'm going to Norway for a visit in October!

Any particular highlights around the Oslo area worth seeing? Or any good gigs coming up there around that time?

Would be nice to know of a gig guide website of some sort for Oslo!
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Re: Norway

Post by Martijn » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:22 pm

There are three nice museums --one on Heyerdahl, one on a boat that was used for polar trips and one on vikings-- located next to each other on a peninsula in the Oslo fjord, just a short boat journey from the centre. I thought they were all quite interesting. And you can take the metro up hill all the way to the Holmenkollen ski jump, from which you have splendid views over the city and its surroundings. I really liked the city, although from a sightseeing point of view, it might not be as awesome as other Norwegian cities (Bergen!). Not sure about gigs and stuff, though Anders might read this; I believe he is from Oslo. Perfect Pop used to be a really good local pop label, but they haven't released anything since 2005.

anders

Re: Norway

Post by anders » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:55 pm

I'm in Oslo right now, actually. Came here today. So far I've only seen the subway, line #2, and my parents' house. I'd recommend the waffles.

Anyway. Soon, I'll try to be back with a longer post telling you why Oslo is the most awsomest city on the planet - a gazillion times more exciting than Bergen - and what you might want to do and all that. As for gigs and stuff: what are the dates? I can't think of any pages that are in English.

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Re: Norway

Post by imaginarystates » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:33 pm

anders wrote:I'm in Oslo right now, actually. Came here today. So far I've only seen the subway, line #2, and my parents' house. I'd recommend the waffles.

Anyway. Soon, I'll try to be back with a longer post telling you why Oslo is the most awsomest city on the planet - a gazillion times more exciting than Bergen - and what you might want to do and all that. As for gigs and stuff: what are the dates? I can't think of any pages that are in English.

Oooh thank you for that! I'm going to be there October 9-15. The only gig I've found is the Primal Scream one, could be worth checking out?

I also read about the train from Oslo to Bergen. Should I try and do that as well?

Oh, and one last thing! If you have any recommendations for cheap hostels that aren't too dodgy, do let me know!
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Re: Norway

Post by Martijn » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:48 pm

imaginarystates wrote:I also read about the train from Oslo to Bergen. Should I try and do that as well?
You should. It is an awesome journey.
Oh, and one last thing! If you have any recommendations for cheap hostels that aren't too dodgy, do let me know!
I stayed here when I first went to Oslo in 2003. It's the best and most comfortable hostel I've ever stayed in and, given Norwegian prices, I don't think they were too expensive. Curt, who runs Magic Marker stayed there too during the same days. (We didn't know of each other's plans of staying there.)

anders

Re: Norway

Post by anders » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:40 pm

Alright, gig-goer, a couple of suggestions:

9. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at Mono
10. Primal Scream at Rockefeller & Television Personalities and Hiawata! At Garage
11. Built To Spill at Rockefeller & Håkan Hellström at Sentrum Scene
12. Micah Hinson at John Dee
15. Hold Steady at Rockefeller & XIU XIU at John Dee

Looks like a good week to me, anyway. I'm seeing Hold Steady in Glasgow a week or two earlier and the're one of the best (live) bands around. TV Personalities should be good of course, and Hiawata! is one of the better indiepop bands from Oslo. And Micah Hinson was fantastic when I saw him last year. And the King (...of Scandinavian pop, or something like that), Håkan. Even SSLYBY is a lot nicer than their name suggests.

Also, there's a film festival on that first weekend called Film Fra Sør (Film From South) showing films from Africa, Asia and South America. But the films might be in various types of FOREIGN with subtitles in Norwegian? I'm not sure how that works. Check it out on the net if you're interested.

And whether you're the footballing type or not, I should say that Norway play against Scotland in the World Cup qualifiers on the 11th, at Hampden (hmm, I might even go to that), and against the Netherlands in Oslo on the 15th. So those are great occasions to sport your newly purchased Viking helmet and lusekofte.

I don't know what to say about Bergen. It's maybe a 6 hour (-ish? I have no idea) train journey over the mountains, I think you go over Finse which is something like 1200 metres above sea level. Surely that's pretty high for a train line? I'm sure you get lovely views. And when you get to Bergen, there's fjords, mountains and whatever they have in Bergen. I don't know that much about Bergen. Trolls. Bergensbølgen. Edward Grieg. Funny accents.

And I don't know much about hostels in Oslo, cause, ..you know, I've never needed one myself, but I know about that one Martijn mentioned, it's supposed to be really nice. It is kind of uncentral, though, like, not a massive problem cause the tram runs just outside, and runs till half past midnight-ish, but I'd say it's almost an hour to walk from the city centre. I also used to take the tram past this one (http://www.ankerhostel.no/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) every day, and someone from the internet (..on Bowlie I think?) said they'd been there and it was fine. And that's really central. But I don't know.

Ah, long post. I won't bore you with Oslo sights and facts right now. But if you want me to, I'm quite happy to bore you sometime soon.

Fin.

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Re: Norway

Post by imaginarystates » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:21 am

Wow wow! Thank you so much for all that wonderful info! I'm going to start penciling in my calendar...

Definitely will go to the TVP gig. I'm seeing Micah Hinson and the Boris Yeltsin band at the End of The Road festival this weekend, so we'll see how that goes.

The viking and boat museums seem quite nice as well. And I'll definitely be wandering about the Edvard Munch gallery. Ski jump sounds good too! And a possible trip to Bergen if I can afford it! So many things, I don't think I'll get bored!

I'm trying to brush up on my Norwegian! I started learning ages ago, but never fully kept up with it. So now I think is the time to get those old books out and get on the learning schoolbus! If it continues going well, I might attend the film festival...

Martijn, is it very difficult to get to the city from that hostel? It does look really nice. The Anker hostel is cheaper though, and if it's central I might just go for it.

Anders, I'd really like to know any info that you'd like to share about the sights! It's always good to know what the locals recommend.

Thanks loads! I can't wait for my Norway exploration.
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Re: Norway

Post by Martijn » Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:20 pm

imaginarystates wrote:Martijn, is it very difficult to get to the city from that hostel? It does look really nice. The Anker hostel is cheaper though, and if it's central I might just go for it.
No, not very difficult. As Anders said, there are trams running to/from the centre. Oh, you've got some pretty good views from the hostel too. That's another bonus.

anders

Re: Norway

Post by anders » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:53 pm

You started learning Norwegian a couple of years ago! (..why?) I'm sure that could come in handy - if not for communication then at least to make everyone go "aww" and think that you're dead cute. Survival Norwegian:

Hello, my name is ____ - Hei, jeg heter ____
Where are you from? - Hvor er du fra?
I'm from ____ - Jeg er fra ____
Do you speak English? - Snakker du engelsk?
Yes - Ja

Ahem. It's fairly easy to get to the city centre from Haraldsheim, yes. There's a tram, 17, just outside (Grefsen Stasjon) and, less than five minutes away (Storo) you can get on numer 11, 12 and 13 as well. And you can get the tube from Storo or Sinsen, I think Sinsen would be closest. And a couple of buses. This is where you can search the public transport system in Oslo: http://trafikanten.no/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Now, OSLO.

I actually had a couple of friends over from the UK in July, so I actually did the whole Oslo-as-a-tourist thing this summer. Which was fun! I liked being a tourist here. To see:

- Vigelandsparken. It's a massive sculpture park in western Oslo, all the sculptures made by the same guy, Gustav Vigeland, and it is quite special. I hadn't been there for years and I'd almost forgotten how great it is. Definitely go there.

- I'd also stop by Rådhuset (City Chambers). Whether or not you enjoy the exterior of it with it's great brickwork, great little details etc, you should go inside and have a look at the main hall, it's one of the loveliest rooms I know of. (It's where the Nobel Peace Price ceremony is.)

- Munchmuseet is a good idea, of course! But unless you're a massive Munch fan, you could just go to the National Gallery who have a room with all his most famous works (15 or so) and lots of other great Norwegian painters, like Arne Ekland who I really like. Plus they have, like, Van Gogh and Picasso as well, I think. Or you could go to both!

- National Gallery of Contemporary Art is alright. Museum of Architecture and Design could be alright - I wasn't too impressed with the exhibition they have on now, but I think it'll be another one by the time you get here. But a museum I really did like was Astrup Fearnley, which is a private contemporary art museum, so much great and fun stuff!

- The Opera, of course. New Opera by Snøhetta Architects. Fantastic building! The area around it is all containers and motorway (and sea), but do know that all that will be gone in 8 years or so and replaced with new funky architecture (not the sea).

- Like, walk around the city centre and have a look at Parliament, the Castle, the University and all that, but I'd also have a walk up to Grünerløkka, which is probably my favourite part of town and where I went to high school, walk along the river for a bit. Wear a scarf. Have a coffee.

- Go to Akershus Festning (the fortress) and sit up there and look out over Oslo and the fjord.

- Freia Melkesjokolade! Best chcocolate in the world.

- It's worth mentioning that you can use your public transport travel card on the boats in the Oslo fjord well. So if the weather's nice, it's definitely worth going out to Hovedøya, where there's a photography museum and some other stuff. (In summer I'd defintely go to Gressholmen as well, where someone put out some rabbits in the 70s, but they have no natural enemies out there, so the island is FULL of them. Tweest island in the world.)

As for cafe/pub places to go, I'd stop by M.I.R (Grünerløkka Airport), a great café in Grünkerløkka, and play some foosball. Lots of other great places around there as well. And Mono, of course! And Blå is great, by the river in an old factory building. And Garage that you're going to.


Heh, this is possibly the longest post I've ever posted on the internet.

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Re: Norway

Post by imaginarystates » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:24 pm

Gosh, thank you so much for all of the great advice! I don't think I'll be bored at any time in the city! The bunny island sounds sooo lovely! Thursday is sooo soon.

For some reason, a few years ago, I had an urge to move to Norway and was convince it is the greatest country/language every, although I've never actually been. So now is my chance to find out! I've got my 'learn Norwegian' flashcards and book ready! Yay!

So the other two hostels were all pretty much booked up (my fault for waiting too long - I didn't know people wanted to travel so much in October!). So I'm staying at this one: http://www.sentrumpensjonat.no/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - which actually looks quite nice and central. It's quite exciting because a friend of mine is coming for a few days as well, so I get to hang out with her as well as explore the city by myself.

How is the weather at the moment? Will my duffle coat keep me from turning into an icepop?

Oh, and are you going to any of the before mentioned gigs?

Thanks!
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Re: Norway

Post by anders » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:00 pm

I'm sure a duffel would keep you warm, yes. It's not that cold, you know, - Oslo. It isn't polar bear land. It's like Stockholm. Apparantly, it's about 10-15 degrees at the moment. (Warmer than here.)

About your hostel (maybe I shouldn't say this? ): it's central, yes, but still not the ideal location I'd say. Key word(s) for that particular street: prostitution (and drugs). I once saw someone having sex on a lawn in broad daylight less than a 100 metres from your hostel, but you might not notice anything! It's not that bad, really.

I would definitely be up for going to some of those gigs and show you around and all if I was in Oslo - but I'm not. I am from Oslo, but I don't live there anymore. I live in Glasgow.

I hope you have fun in Oslo! And if you have more questions, just ask, I like to write about Oslo. I do miss it sometimes...
Last edited by anders on Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Norway

Post by imaginarystates » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:06 pm

Oh dear, I have heard about the hostel being in the Red Light district, but from everything I've read (on the ever-so-honest internet) it seems fairly safe. I'm going for the city and not the accommodation though, so I don't think I'll mind that much! I always tend to end up in strange places when I travel anyway. Everyone thinks London isn't safe, which I must be quite blatant to! Either way, I'm not worried too much.

I just found out that Holmenkollen Ski Tower is closed from this month, which is gutting! But all of the other things I'm sure will make up for it.

Thanks so much for your advice! Sooo helpful. If you know any other nice non-touristy spots that I should have a look at, do let me know!
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Re: Norway

Post by anders » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:14 pm

At least Holmenkollen will still be there... They're building a new one for the 2012 World Championship or something like that.

I can't really think of anything..., but what I miss the most about Oslo is walking around on Grünerløkka, Grønland, Tøyen or Gamlebyen, where the tenement houses come in red, blue, yellow, green, pink, white, purple... And then take the tram somewhere. Walk along the river up to Sagene. To roll down Groruddalen, down to Årvoll, Sinsen, Grünerløkka, on a bike. The sea. The trams. Sitting in Sofienbergparken on a summer's night. Marka - the forests surrounding Oslo: actually, I should've mentioned that, take the subway to Holmenkollen or Sognsvann and walk/cycle into the forest and stop at one of the many cottages and have a hot chocolate and waffles. NOM.

Aw. I wish it was me that was going to Oslo now.
Last edited by anders on Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Norway

Post by fourclovers » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:53 pm

Is there any action in Stavanger? I' probably moving there in the middle of April I was hoping there would be popkids there... are there still norwegian popkids except for in Bergen...?

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Re: Norway

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:18 pm

i'm gonna be in Tromso for 3 nights. anyone have anything to say about tromso* at all?

also, we have nowhere to stay for one of the nights so we're thinking about having a crazy madness no sleeping adventure if anyone's intersted?




*other than i don;t have the right bits to spell tromso correctly
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Re: Norway

Post by Martijn » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:54 pm

I spent two nights in Tromsø in 2004. I had a good time there, went to some museums, strolled around town a bit, enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and, because it was July, experienced the midnight sun. But I suppose the best part for me was just reaching Tromsø, because it's so far away. (I had made the journey, with a huge detour, by bus and train.)

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Re: Norway

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:58 pm

yea, we wanted to go overland. but the fact that the ferries have been cancelled coupled with time restraints meant that we're flying. i've been trying not to fly for the past few years, but realisically there was no way round it. and we figured if we're flying we might as well head sraight to tromso.

what're the museum tips then? my friend ("the stag") is an archivist and is particularly down with architecture and anything idiosyncratic.
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Re: Norway

Post by tram#7 » Fri May 22, 2009 4:14 pm

Hey, I'm after some local knowledge...I just discovered last night the Trænafestivalen in July and it looks amazing, I'm incredibly tempted to splurge a few hundred quid and go. However it looks like it would be an absolute mission getting up to Bodø. Where would be easiest to fly to? I'd be coming from the UK so Oslo is obviously easiest for a direct flight, and while the prospect of a 20 hour train journey through Norway from there strangely does appeal to me, I guess somewhere closer would be easier - Trondheim? Tromsø? Would appreciate any relevant advice, cheers

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Re: Norway

Post by Martijn » Fri May 22, 2009 4:19 pm

It's seven or eight hours by train from Trondheim and even longer than that by bus from Tromsø. I'm not saying these routes aren't worth taking -- they really are -- but it might be cheaper and will definitely be easier to catch a connecting flight from Oslo (or any other major Norwegian airport) to Bodø.

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Re: Norway

Post by tram#7 » Fri May 22, 2009 4:23 pm

Thanks for the quick reply, that was what I suspected, particularly with regard to Tromsø.

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