Oslo, Norway

A Overcapitalized Capital

blue trolley
Trolleybus passes in front of the City Hall in Oslo.
Elegant facades of the center of the Norwegian capital.
3 guests
Guests of a religious ceremony in traditional costume at the door of the City Hall.
One of the many statues in Vigeland Park, a natural and artistic retreat of the Norwegian capital.
feather problem
Oslo royal palace guard in front of his lair.
Medieval Oslo
Akeshus Castle, one of the historic bastions of the Norwegian capital, built in 1299 and later used as a royal residence
space time
Detail of the astronomical clock at the City Hall in Oslo.
Free afternoon
At the end of Sunday, customers talk on a sheltered terrace in the Oslense neighborhood of Pipervika.
child in statue
Girl conquers the top of one of the many sculptures in the park of Vigeland.
Opera House
Oslo Opera House is a luxurious and creative building located on the city's waterfront and designed by the architect Tarald Lundevall.
in typical costumes
Amalie Frank, a Norwegian from a village on the west coast of the country, dressed to watch a Confirmation taking place at the City Hall in Oslo.
solitary march
Oslo royal palace guard carries out their protocol round trip.
A Norwegian Nobel Prize
Statue of the writer Bjornstjerne Martinius Bjornson who received, in 1903, the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Table on the Terrace
Inhabitants live on an esplanade in the capital, despite the unwelcoming weather.
Unforeseen drama
A girl afraid of falling, she hugs one of the many expressive statues in the park of Vigeland.
Guests of a religious ceremony in traditional costume at the door of the City Hall.
Jogging in Vigeland
Athlete runs in front of the Vigeland statue complex.
In the name of peace
Facade of the Nobel Peace Center building, located in the historic heart of Oslo.
One of Norway's problems has been deciding how to invest the billions of euros from its record-breaking sovereign wealth fund. But even immoderate resources don't save Oslo from its social inconsistencies.

Traveling from the airport on the ultra-tech FlyToGet train is nothing but praise for us.

Santiago Garrido, a Venezuelan friend who is exploring Europe, summed up well the financial frustration that can be felt immediately in Norway, as in the rest of Scandinavia: “so I fly from southern Europe there for twenty euros and then land and pay double just to get to the city center??

Something is wrong on this continent of yours!”

trolley, city hall, capital, oslo, norway

Trolleybus passes in front of the City Hall in Oslo.

Another aspect that intrigues us more. As we walk through the station on our way to the exit, we have a different feeling than we expected when we arrived in Norway.

The tall, fair-skinned, blond or red-haired passersby seem to us a small minority in the multi-ethnic mosaic we are crossing.

The Unexpected Multi-Ethnicity Upon Arrival in Oslo

Groups of Somalis stand out completely from the Scandinavian imagination for their dark complexion and, above all, for the women's long and exuberant garments. These Africans are not the only inhabitants to differ.

We passed busy clans of Kurdish men, hailing from Bosnia and Kosovo as well as other parts of Eastern Europe. Also by Pakistanis and Vietnamese. Few or none look like tourists.

Its presence is more visible than ever in front of the central station and in the Gronland district. It is due, in part, to the Norwegian tradition of receiving refugees – despite only those already considered so by the United Nations – and also to a recent openness to emigration that the recurrent lack of labor demanded.

Few nations contribute like Norway to foreign aid and refugee programs.

paternity statue in vigeland park capital oslo norway

One of the many statues in Vigeland Park, a natural and artistic retreat of the Norwegian capital.

Oslo immigrants now number over 25% and their rate of reproduction, together with that of the Norwegians themselves, makes the city's population one of the fastest growing in Europe.

The prosperity of this Nordic nation also contributes to the number of newborn children we also meet.

The Savings and Weighing Some Say to Come from Viking Times

The notion persists that Norwegians are obsessed with saving and investing well.

In bygone times in its history, the Viking ascendants norse they have gone through atrocious needs. They often had to resort to systematic raids and looting that terrorized Europe and earned them an unenviable reputation as incorrigible barbarians.

Akeshus castle, former royal residence, capital, oslo, norway

Akeshus Castle, one of the historic bastions of the Norwegian capital, built in 1299 and later used as a royal residence

In addition to medieval plunder, the nation later went through other difficult phases that led to a strong movement of emigration to the Americas and – joke with the subject – generated in Edvard Munch the despair that led him to paint “The Scream".

guard, royal palace, capital, oslo, norway

Oslo royal palace guard in front of his lair.

These days, the European economy is languishing but it was recently reported that the Oslo government was having trouble deciding how to invest the 570 billion euros accumulated in its gigantic sovereign wealth fund, an amount originated mainly with the sale of extracted oil and natural gas in the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas.

As might be expected, the city's inhabitants show no apprehension. Neither with the solution to the investment problem nor with any national or private financial issue.

opera house, architect Tarald Lundevall, capital, oslo, norway

Oslo Opera House is a luxurious and creative building located on the city's waterfront and designed by the architect Tarald Lundevall.

Oslo's Well-Being That Norwegian Prosperity Only Reinforces

It's Saturday morning. The capital gave itself heart and soul to the outdoors and sport.

On the streets, an athletics event is being prepared in which several thousand Scandinavians participate and which blocks traffic in several key streets. A little everywhere skaters pass us at great speed.

And, on trails in vast green areas, even cross-country skiers who, even without snow, continue to keep in shape for the competitions that will return with the winter.

jogging, vigeland park, capital, oslo, norway.

Athlete runs in front of the Vigeland statue complex.

But it's not just physical activity that makes the day. We walked through Slotts Park when we came across two little women and a boy, all in traditional costume. In the distance, we glimpse several other people in similar robes.

The discovery intrigues us. We can't resist starting a conversation and asking questions.

The Added Value of Norwegian Cultural Roots

Amalie, the eldest of the brothers aged 19, offered to explain: “We have all come for Lutheran profession of faith ceremonies. The costumes are typical of the region and village in which we live, called Frank, just like our nickname.

typical costumes, religious ceremony, capital, oslo, norway

Amalie Frank, a Norwegian from a village on the west coast of the country, dressed to watch a Confirmation taking place at the City Hall in Oslo.

It is on the west coast of Norway. The ceremonies will take place in the City Hall. Several of the guests are atheists or agnostics and, therefore, chose not to do them in any church.”

Respect for the beliefs of others and a strong tradition of intervention in the pacification of the World and its celebration is predominant in the country.

center nobel paz, capital, oslo, norway

Facade of the Nobel Peace Center building, located in the historic heart of Oslo.

It has headquarters at the famous Nobel Institute and the Nobel Peace Center which we passed after a strategic stop at the entrance to City Hall.

There, we can contemplate and photograph the dozens of picturesque natives from the Frank area who arrive and greet each other with feeling.

guests confirming the city hall, capital, oslo, norway

Guests of a religious ceremony in traditional costume at the door of the City Hall.

It has never been more notorious than now that Norway, and Oslo in particular, have their problems.

The Stains of the Far Right and Apolitical Crime

With the crazy attacks that perpetrated against government buildings in the center and in Utoya island, against the young participants of the AUF summer camp (Working Ungdomsfylking or League of Young Workers), Anders Breivik gave expression to a tiny faction of xenophobic Norwegians and, at the same time, extremists.

Even if the Oslo police declared some time ago that the city was the safest in Europe, surprising figures show that crime has increased, surpassing that of other cities in the north of the old continent, to the point that a German travel guide book having dared to dub Oslo the city of “The Scandinavian Crime Capital”.

In the superficial day-to-day of a visitor, this reality shows little or nothing.

esplanade, inhabitants, convivio, capital, oslo, norway

Inhabitants live on an esplanade in the capital, despite the unwelcoming weather.

At Vigeland Sculpture Park, a laid-back crowd of residents and tourists alike enjoy the eccentric statues. They photograph themselves interacting with them.

The summer day weather does not match that of southern countries. But it only takes a few more minutes of walking, this time along the Stranden docks, to see how the Oslo Norwegians have become used to compensating for the lack of sun.

Reassured by the unquestionable national prosperity, they now enjoy increased well-being, travel frequently to distant and exotic places, consume much more and almost always more expensive.

Austerity no longer makes sense in these parts.

Stavanger, Norway

The Motor City of Norway

The abundance of offshore oil and natural gas and the headquarters of the companies in charge of exploiting them have promoted Stavanger from the Norwegian energy capital preserve. Even so, this city didn't conform. With a prolific historical legacy, at the gates of a majestic fjord, cosmopolitan Stavanger has long propelled the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Flam a Balestrand, Norway

Where the Mountains Give In to the Fjords

The final station of the Flam Railway marks the end of the dizzying railway descent from the highlands of Hallingskarvet to the plains of Flam. In this town too small for its fame, we leave the train and sail down the Aurland fjord towards the prodigious Balestrand.
Las Vegas, USA

World Capital of Weddings vs Sin City

The greed of the game, the lust of prostitution and the widespread ostentation are all part of Las Vegas. Like the chapels that have neither eyes nor ears and promote eccentric, quick and cheap marriages.
Cape of Good Hope - Cape of Good Hope NP, South Africa

On the edge of the Old End of the World

We arrived where great Africa yielded to the domains of the “Mostrengo” Adamastor and the Portuguese navigators trembled like sticks. There, where Earth was, after all, far from ending, the sailors' hope of rounding the tenebrous Cape was challenged by the same storms that continue to ravage there.
Valletta, Malta

An ex-Humble Amazing Capital

At the time of its foundation, the Order of Knights Hospitaller called it "the most humble". Over the centuries, the title ceased to serve him. In 2018, Valletta was the tiniest European Capital of Culture ever and one of the most steeped in history and dazzling in memory.
Melbourne, Australia

An "Asienated" Australia

Cultural capital aussie, Melbourne is also frequently voted the best quality of life city in the world. Nearly a million eastern emigrants took advantage of this immaculate welcome.
Perth, Australia

the lonely city

More 2000km away from a worthy counterpart, Perth is considered the most remote city on the face of the Earth. Despite being isolated between the Indian Ocean and the vast Outback, few people complain.

The Island of Success and Monotony

Accustomed to planning and winning, Singapore seduces and recruits ambitious people from all over the world. At the same time, it seems to bore to death some of its most creative inhabitants.
Magma Geopark, Norway

A Somehow Lunar Norway

If we went back to the geological ends of time, we would find southwestern Norway filled with huge mountains and a burning magma that successive glaciers would shape. Scientists have found that the mineral that predominates there is more common on the Moon than on Earth. Several of the scenarios we explore in the region's vast Magma Geopark seem to be taken from our great natural satellite.
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.
Balestrand, Norway

Balestrand: A Life Among the Fjords

Villages on the slopes of the gorges of Norway are common. Balestrand is at the entrance to three. Its settings stand out in such a way that they have attracted famous painters and continue to seduce intrigued travelers.
Preikestolen - Pulpit Rock, Norway

Pilgrimage to the Pulpit of Rock of Norway

The Norway of the endless fjords abounds in grand scenery. In the heart of Lyse Fjord, the prominent, smooth and almost square top of a cliff over 600 meters forms an unexpected rocky pulpit. Climbing to its heights, peering over the precipices and enjoying the surrounding panoramas is a lot of revelation.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Sheets of Bahia, Eternal Diamonds, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Ceremonies and Festivities
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
good buddhist advice
Chiang Mai, Thailand

300 Wats of Spiritual and Cultural Energy

Thais call every Buddhist temple wat and their northern capital has them in obvious abundance. Delivered to successive events held between shrines, Chiang Mai is never quite disconnected.
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
khinalik, Azerbaijan Caucasus village, Khinalig
Chinalig, Azerbaijan

The Village at the Top of Azerbaijan

Set in the rugged, icy 2300 meters of the Great Caucasus, the Khinalig people are just one of several minorities in the region. It has remained isolated for millennia. Until, in 2006, a road made it accessible to the old Soviet Ladas.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang, Laos, Through the Mekong Below
Chiang Khong - Luang Prabang, In Stock

Slow Boat, Down the Mekong River

Laos' beauty and lower cost are good reasons to sail between Chiang Khong and Luang Prabang. But this long descent of the Mekong River can be as exhausting as it is picturesque.
Fort São Filipe, Cidade Velha, Santiago Island, Cape Verde
Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Cidade Velha: the Ancient of the Tropico-Colonial Cities

It was the first settlement founded by Europeans below the Tropic of Cancer. In crucial times for Portuguese expansion to Africa and South America and for the slave trade that accompanied it, Cidade Velha became a poignant but unavoidable legacy of Cape Verdean origins.

Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Bagu, Kingdom of Pegu, Syriao
berry, Myanmar

A Journey to Bago. And to the Portuguese Kingdom of Pegu

Determined and opportunistic, two Portuguese adventurers became kings of Pegu's kingdom. His dynasty only lasted from 1600 to 1613. It has gone down in history.
Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, dhow
Zanzibar, Tanzania

The African Spice Islands

Vasco da Gama opened the Indian Ocean to the Portuguese empire. In the XNUMXth century, the Zanzibar archipelago became the largest producer of cloves and the available spices diversified, as did the people who disputed them.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Jingkieng Wahsurah, Nongblai Village Roots Bridge, Meghalaya, India
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Joshua Tree National Park, California, United States,
Natural Parks
PN Joshua Tree, California, United States

The Arms stretched out to Heaven of the PN Joshua Tree

Arriving in the extreme south of California, we are amazed by the countless Joshua trees that sprout from the Mojave and Colorado deserts. Like the Mormon settlers who named them, we cross and praise these inhospitable settings of the North American Far West.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
UNESCO World Heritage
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Sesimbra, Vila, Portugal, View from the top
Sesimbra, Portugal

A Village Touched by Midas

It's not just Praia da California and Praia do Ouro that close it to the south. Sheltered from the furies of the West Atlantic, gifted with other immaculate coves and endowed with centuries-old fortifications, Sesimbra is today a precious fishing and bathing haven.
Madu River: owner of a Fish SPA, with feet inside the doctor fish pond
Madu River and Lagoon, Sri Lanka

Along the Course of the Sinhala Buddhism

For having hidden and protected a tooth of Buddha, a tiny island in the Madu lagoon received an evocative temple and is considered sacred. O Maduganga immense all around, in turn, it has become one of the most praised wetlands in Sri Lanka.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
emperor akihito waves, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Emperor Without Empire

After the capitulation in World War II, Japan underwent a constitution that ended one of the longest empires in history. The Japanese emperor is, today, the only monarch to reign without empire.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.