Monday, June 30, 2008
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.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
However, there are certain parts of the city that are quite nice (mainly around the city's main shopping stretch and the waterfront).
But the thing I wanted to see was the new opera house. It is quite an impressive piece of architecture. Therefore, I am quite satisfied with the day so far.
I'll be sticking around for one more day. Further exploration needs to be done before I conclude my impression of Oslo. Till later, the next post will be a summary of Scandinavia before I head off to Berlin.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
The pictures are from a small village called Eggum in the Lofoten Islands.
Friday, June 20, 2008
As I've mentioned in the last post, I had to take a taxi from Leknes to Stamsund. Fortunately, there was a lady and a man who was going the same way, and at the end, the lady offered to pay for my fare. It was nice of her and I needed that extra boost of support after the day I had. (The fare was also quite expensive too) At the end of the day, things did turn out for the best as I saw a familiar face from my adventures from the north at the hostel.
The next day, I was stuck with him in Tromso for half the day, tried to give hints and suggestions that I need to be alone, but still he decided to tagged along with me. I couldn't come up with an excuse as I didn't have anything planned myself, and it was his first day at Tromso. Fortunately, he found something else to do and I was happy that I finally get to roam around freely.
However, I found out that we were going to the same direction the next morning. I tried to sneak out earlier, but got caught at the end. Our bus ride together was fine as he was busy photographing the scenery while I tried to catch some sleep. It was 6.30 in the morning.
It wasn't till we parted way that things starts to fell apart. We stopped at a town to drop off passengers to the Lofoten. He suggested I take the same bus with him to the Lofoten (I was going there too but to a different town and I had obtained a different itinerary from the tourist info center) and should ask the bus driver if there's a connection to the town I was going. That wasn't a bad plan as I was doubting the journey made for me at the tourist center. There was only one minute to spare between connections and he was ahead of me trying to pay for his ride, and it took him forever to get out off the way. I started to panicked as my bag was in the other bus, and he was about to leave and yet I didn't get a chance to ask the other driver if he was going to my destination as well. Finally I decided to stick to my original route to Narvik.
Now I'm stuck at Narvik, waiting in a mall till my next bus arrives as the bus driver suggested I take the express bus at a later hour, and it's cheaper. Now I won't get to the Lofoten till late night. And buses stops running within the island after 7.00. I'll have to take a taxi to my final destination.
You can call it bad luck, bad karma or just plain unlucky that we were going to the same direction, I still blame him for everything and for doubting myself.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
However, it has been an interesting three days for me in this little village. I've hiked to the Nordkapp (Europe Northernmost point), challenged myself on a 30km hike, experienced 24 hours daylight, but most importantly I've met some wonderful people.
To each of them Julia, Henri, and Ariane who I met at the North Cape guesthouse, I wish them all the best of luck in whatever path they choose that lies ahead for them.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Well, except for the Santa Claus village, 8km from the town center, and the fact that it is just a few degrees below the Arctic Circle, it has the world's northern-most McDonalds!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
From the picture, those two drunk guys (green shirt and blue/white stripe shirt) were trying to hit on two girls who were sitting next two me earlier. The whole scene was rather funny, as I could see that one of them wasn't really interested and was trying to find her way out of the situation. Whereas the other friend was and maybe I guess thought the situation was rather funny and decided to entertain the guy. The picture is when they were both trying to play with this thing they were kicking around and was disturbing some of the people around. The security asked them to keep it down low. From what I heard, they are from Estonia. I also heard his whole life story when the guy in stripe was talking to those two girls, which some content are not safe to mention in this blog.
Ah, the drama and entertainment you get from waiting at a train terminal.
Helsinki made me realized that the utopia ideal of a city does not arrive from great planning alone, it needs its people and the role of an individual to inspire from.
1. One postcard.
2. A candy bar (with change back)
3. One cup of coffee or tea (Only in a kiosk in Helsinki).
4. Half hour of internet time in one of those sidewalk express station. (Found mostly in train station - its actually 2€ for 60 minutes)
5. One bathroom ticket! (Hold till you're back at your hotel or hostel, or buy something at a cafe to use its restroom, or you can go to Stockmann in Helsinki to use their restroom for free!)
Surprisingly, the result was really good! And no, it is not a decision based on hunger or that my taste bud have taken the like of bland, salty food, but it was purely because the ingredient was right and the spices added was the perfect touch. They even make their own sambal belacan! Syok!
(I was even sweating at the end)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Of course if the opportunity arise, you should go now before it gets too expensive.