Oslo - The Tiger City

Oslo - The Tiger City

Submitted by alvin on Tue, 2017-02-28 11:14 Sculpture of tiger in front of  Central StationThe main purpose of my visit to Oslo was to see the building where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded. The other reason was to see a Fjord.When I arrived at Rygge Airport, I was surprised to know that the airport is 60kms away from Oslo (another airport is closer to the city). We travelled more than an hour by bus to reach the City Centre. During the journey I noticed that Norway is a country of tunnels.  In fact, even to reach Oslo city, we travelled through a very long tunnel.After checking into a hotel, we set out to explore the town since the weather was bright and sunny. When we asked for a taxi, the concierge told us that most of the sightseeing places were very close to each other and could be covered by walking. He asked us to begin our tour from the Central Railway Station.As we reached the station, we were surprised to see a huge statue of a tiger in front. The statue, a major attraction of Oslo, is also one of the most photographed statues in Oslo nicknamed as the ‘Tiger City’ since a tiger represents excitement. This bronze statue which is 4.5 metres long was installed in 2000.Nobel Peace CentreOpera HouseOslo CathedralOslo City Hall After seeing the statue, we started walking on the main avenue of the city, Karl Johans Gate. This avenue has the important landmarks of Oslo such as the Oslo Cathedral, Parliament House, National Theatre, Royal Palace etc. We went to the Oslo Cathedral first.  Built in 1697 and remodelled in 2006, this church has witnessed important events in Noway’s royal history.Another landmark of the city is the Stortinget, the Parliament House of Norway.  Built in 1866 out of yellow coloured bricks, the Parliament House is shaped like a half-moon. Free guided tours are undertaken in this building.At the end of the road is the Royal Palace. Built in the beginning of the 19th Century, the Royal Palace is the residence of the King of Norway.But it is the Opera House of Oslo which attracts a lot of tourists. Like the Opera House at Sydney, the Opera House of Oslo is a marvel.  Shaped like an iceberg, it was awarded the Best Cultural Building Prize at the World Architecture Festival. The roof of this building, which can be reached through a marble slope, affords stunning views of the city. Costing a staggering 700mn US Dollars to build, the Opera House has a concert hall which can accommodate 1500 people. Truly, this building is a masterpiece.Close to the Opera House is the National Gallery of Norway which has priceless art collections. The National Theatre of Norway is also close by. Since I was very keen to see the place where Nobel Peace Prize is given, I was asked to see the City Hall located near the seashore.The City Hall, which is open to public, is not too big but it has attractive murals on the walls. Oslo also has a Nobel Peace Centre which has exhibitions about Nobel Peace Prize winners.Oslo also has a number of museums. The most famous is the Viking Ship Museum. This museum has two Viking ships, which are 1000 years old, and contains many artefacts related to Vikings.The most attractive place to visit in Oslo is the Frogner Park, which contains Vigeland Sculpture Park. Gustav Vigeland was a famous sculptor of Norway and he created over 600 sculptures between 1924 and 1943. Most of these sculptures made out of brass, iron and stone are exhibited in this park. Two sculptures namely, ‘Wheel of Life’ and ‘Monolith’ have been admired by successive generations.Karl Johann Gate and Royal  PalaceMonolith -Vigeland parkParliament  House Oslo has a number of cafes. What enhances their appeal is the availability of Indian food. I was told that street food is very popular in Oslo.Oslo Fjord is part of the city. Natural harbours, Fjords are a narrow part of ocean with steep land on three sides of it. The opening towards the sea is called the Mouth of the Fjord. Norway is very famous for its Fjords and many cruise ships and boats operate on these Fjords. The Oslo Fjord Cruise, which runs for two hours, provides excellent views of the city from the sea.Though expensive, Oslo offers a lot for those bitten by the travel bug.Author:Dr. D V Guruprasad (Former DGP) is presently the Chief Executive of the Gokula Education Foundation (Medical) which works in the field of education and health care.