A terror attack on the 22.07.11.
The Government quarter got attacked in the terror attack in 22.07.11, by a Norwegian whose name I am not going to mention. While I was visiting in April-June 2012 The Government quarter was being reconstructed after the attack and it said on a poster by the construction fench surrounding the area: "In the terror attack on the 22nd of July 2011, 8 people lost their lives and many were injured. Several buildings in the quarter were severely damaged, such as Höjblokken ("The high rise"), R4 (Government building 4), The S block and parts of Y block."
This area houses 14 of the 17 ministries plus the Prime Minister´s Office and the Government Administration Services.
These buildings are located by Grubbergata north by the Deichmanske library.
They intend to finish the work in 2012.
While I was visiting the trial over ... started and was non-stop on the news during my 2,5 months stay.
Skate-borders by City Hall.
This is something one has to be aware of. Skate-borders use the pavement in front of City Hall as a play area. And they come at you with great speed, this is their area and here they practise, but how can tourists be aware of this?
I find this disturbing that in an area with such a lot of people passing by one has to avoid being run over by a skate-border... Of course skate-borders have to practise somewhere and they add colour to city life. Just something to be aware of.
Beware of falling lumps of ice
Beware of falling lumps of ice from buildings in the wintertime. Signboards shows where it could be dangerous, and you should not walk close. It is the landlords responsibility to make sure the dangerous lumps of ice are removed, but people are hurt every year. "Danger of landslide", translated "Rasfare".
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Look up and not walk alone
Over the past year has been able to read about new rapes in Oslo, almost every week there have been one or more rapes. So be careful when you go home at night, late nights, pulling together several, do not go alone!
It also has in the recent past been many pickpockets who steal from you when you stand on the bus, take the subway, walk around the street, there may be those who ask for directions. Anyway pay attention and keep valuables in inside pockets!
organized thieves in Oslo
We have some problems with organized thieves in the center of Oslo, and especially Majorstua .In Norwegian the robbers are called "lommetyver". They are from Eastern Europe and they make their living in Norway this way. They are very smart, have different methods for stealing , they will for instance distract you and then rob you ,and then you'll notice that your wallet or camera is gone. Those types of robbery often occurs in crowds, therefore you should close your bags, and don't bring to much cash.
If your bank card is stuck in the cash dispenser and some people are offering some help, DONT LET THEM HELP YOU!! Do not give them personal information like your pin code,call your bank instead. As an extra precaution you should hide you code with your other hand, in case there is a camera there
I hope you'll never meet any of them during your stay in Norway. This has never happened to me, or anyone I know but take your precautions.
This should be obvious, but don't keep all your credit cards, driving license, other cards in at the same place.
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Walking around in Oslo
Oslo is pretty safe,as long as you avoid provoking people and act like a polite and nice human being . You’ll probably meet some drug users, beggars and drunken people at the metro stations but they're pretty harmless. Even though this is a pretty safe city, women should not walk alone in the streets at night times we recently had a rape wave.
Loliza was assaulted and raped.
"It feels like someone is killing your soul" --is Oslo supposed to be like that?
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watch up for your car
it may be expensive to park your car at a place when it's not allowed .
Parking is prohibited closer than 5 meters to a crossroad, a pedestrian crossing or a railway crossing. It is also prohibited to park at a taxi stand or a bus stop, or within 20 meters of either side of one
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Rape epedemic in oslo
DO NOT walk alone in Oslo after nightfall if youre a woman. Anywhere. Only this weekend, we´ve had EIGHT sexual assaults in Oslo. And those are the repoted ones...so- Its the worst in Scandinavia, and the Oslo police is not doing anything about it. Serial rapists on the loose, immigrants, off course. Please, girls, take this seriously. It´s that bad.
Is not a chain company, but a warning sign, be aware of the snow on the roof of the buildings, in worst case scenario you might come home in a coffin.
must not be mistaken with prisras, meaning the prizes are falling (sale)
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Social Problems in Oslo
I'm posting a you tube link of a gentleman who has been filming a more ugly side of Oslo. The images are very accurate and could be any given day in Oslo. I think anyone coming to this city should be aware of this problem because if you are simply thinking that Oslo is exactly like what they've read - where the people are beautiful and the welfare system has fixed all societal ills, you'd be very suprised. Begging isn't illegal here so the police don't do anything, most people ignore it, and the beggars themselves have a full legal right to be there. But it's been proliferating. A lot of it is organised, and a good deal isn't. Most people that are out there on the streets are prostitutes, drug addicts, and gypsies. Many people in this country like to attribute this trend (and all other elements of criminality) to the growing foreign population. And while it is true that there are many foreigners who have come to this country, and others, under false pretenses, we must bear in mind that ALL foreigners are NOT BAD. This is a touchy subject for the locals and if you look at the post after the you tube video, you can see how provoked (and frankly stupid) a lot of locals are. There have even been ridiculous calls in the past to 'kick out foreign beggars so norwegian beggars can have their turf back'. The bottom line is: there is a problem in Oslo. And as a visitor, you should be aware of it. It's safe, just not pretty. Any area around the train station up to domkirke should be avoided at night and the likelihood of danger will depend largely on the potency and availability of the drugs on the street.
Falling icicles - winter
Falling bits, pieces and whole icicles is a big problem during very cold days in Oslo, and espcially when it start to thaw again. House owners mark the danger by ropiing off part of the pavement and putting up warning signs and wooden barriers preventing you half-heartedly from passing below the worst danger.
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My ATM withdrawal stupidity
This is more because of my idiocrity but it might happen to others so I'll just write it. I decided to test if I can withdraw Norwegian money at the train station ATM because the Forex exchange was closed...At home in USA, ATM's usually just max to $300-$400 on withdrawal. Our bank does anyway. But when I withdrew from the ATM, I forgot the NOK to dollar exchange rate and just picked the highest number I saw so that I don't have to go back for more money -- number which was 7000. Well, I later realized 2 hours later that I withdrew too much because people were wondering why I was paying with 500 NOK (500 NOK is $100 each)...so I actually withdrew about $1400! I did not realize ATMs withdrew that much - not in America anyway. Great, now I have too much money to carry around on top of my dollars and euros. Well I guess more is better than nil - I should count my blessings instead! Hopefully I don't get mugged, but I just leave most of my cash at my safety deposit box even in a safe city like Oslo.
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Oslo have 3 airports, don't get confused :)
A lot of VTers are confused about the 3 airports around Oslo, and how you can get to and from them, or between them.
And for the record, so nobody gets angry with me, Torp and Rygge is not in Oslo, Torp is actually in Sandefjord and Rygge is in Moss, but they are not that far from Oslo.
The 3 airports are:
Oslo International Airport Gardermoen (OSL) located about 20 minuttes north of Oslo. This one is the major one, so if you are looking connecting to domestic flight this is the airport you want to go to, unless you have several hours before your connecting flight.
Airport website: http://www.osl.no/index.asp?languagecode=9
You can get to and from Oslo using bus or train, there are 2 bus companies that operates this route, Flybussekpressen and Flybussen. Busses are generally a bit cheaper than train, but from Gardermoen I would reccomend the Airport express train, it is a lot faster, and a lot more comfortable, specially if you are going into Oslo City Centre. Airport express train website
Gardermoen also have huge selections of trains and busses to other places in Norway, post a question on the Norway forum if you have any problems figuring it out :)
Sandefjord Airport Torp (TRF) located in Sandefjord about 2 hours southwest of Oslo. This airport also have international flights, specially RyanAir and Wizz Air have a lot of flights here.
Airport website: http://www.torp.no/Default.aspx?Language=EN&pkMenu=131
You can get to and from Oslo using bus or train, there are 1 bus company that operates this route, the Torp Ekspressen. There are also a number of companies that stops close to Torp (Fokserod), but that means you have to find a connecting buss to Fokserod (which is doable, but unneccesary if you are going to Oslo. If you are going down the south coast of Norway, i.e Kristiansand, however this is a good option)
Website of Torp Ekspressen
There is not a trainstation within walkingdistance from Torp, but there is a free shuttle bus between Torp Airport and Torp Trainstation. If you are going from Trop to Oslo Airport Gardermoen (OSL) the train is a good idea, because it goes past Oslo to Lillehammer, Gardermoen is one of its stops after Oslo. Website: http://www.nsb.no/?lang=en_US
Moss Airport Rygge (RYG) located in Moss about 1 hour southeast of Oslo. This new airport is mainly operated by Norwegian at the moment.
Airport website: http://www.en.ryg.no/
You can get to and from Oslo using bus or train, there are 2 bus companies that operates this route, Rygge Ekspressen and TIMEkspressen, the last one also takes you to Sarpsborg, Halden and even Stromstad in Sweden, so be carefull about which direction you embark on the airport.
Website of Rygge Ekspressen
TIMEksressen timetable (PDF)
There is not a trainstation within walkingdistance from Rygge, but there is a free shuttle bus between Rygge Airport and Rygge Trainstation. Website: http://www.nsb.no/?lang=en_US
For more information about Oslo, please visit my Oslo page
Hotel room shortage, BOOK EARLY!
There is a general shortage of hotel rooms on Oslo, so if you call a travelers agent and they tell you that everything is full, then they are probably right. So the only thing you can do about it is: BOOK EARLY! Even other cities around Oslo tends to get booked out due to this problem, I have heard of people who had to go all the way to Lillehammer (just so you know Lillehammer is 2 and a half hour away by car or train) to get a room, and that was when they tried to book one week ahead.
We first noticed that most doors open outwards i.e into corridors, rather than into rooms, in our hotel.
Later, we found this was quite common practice in restaurants, shops etc.
WHY??? The only explanation that we could think of was that during heavy snow, if the doors opened inwards, the snow would fall in too. So why do interior doors like our hotel follow this practice.
I only had 1 near miss walking down the corridor to my room, as someone exited their room quite briskly! Luckily, I managed to swerve into the middle of the corridor and avoided getting hit by the plank of wood!
** I've since been informed that the doors open outwards in case of fire**
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