Monday, June 30, 2008

Who is Oslo?

When one think of a city, an image of a landmark (be it a building, a certain feel or evens its people) comes to mind. For example, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London has Big Ben, Copenhagen has the Little Mermaid but is also known for being a bicycle friendly town. But for an old historical city, Oslo doesn't really have a strong identity compared to Bergen.

I don't dislike Oslo. It is a good city to visit for a day or two and not more. Being a cosmopolitan city, there a good and bad areas within the city and its difficult to give an opinion on this mainly because most tourist will only visit the better parts of this city and ignore the suburbs. I'm staying at a part of town further out of the city center and from what I can observe in a short amount of time, immigration is a big issue here in Norway, and most of the immigrants are concentrated within the Oslo area. I've talked to people who lives in Oslo on this matter and they don't believe in the country's immigration law and think the country is too naïve on this matter.

However, I feel that Oslo is going through a new change right now. The new Opera House is already Oslo's new city landmark and there is also a new mixed use development along the harbor, adding a new dynamic and demographics to the city.

Visit Oslo for its museums and cultural lessons but nothing more. However if Oslo is your first place to visit in Norway, don't be fooled by it. Norway itself have much more to offer than its capital.

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