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Showing our Pride (by Alex)

by on July 1, 2017

Today was our first full day in Oslo, Norway. Oslo is a moderately small city. The Oslo Urban Area’s population is similar to San José, California (approx. 900K), and the Metro Area is similar to the Metro area of Málaga, Spain (1.6-1.7 mil.). For comparison, Mexico City (as defined by the District of México) has a population of 15,175,862. Greater London has a population of 8,787,892. Oslo is small, to say the least. [As Norway is NOT E.U. Wikipedia does not compare their population with European Union countries]

Today had awesome weather. The Weather Channel FB Messenger bot listed a 0% chance of rain all day. It was correct. It was warm enough that we wore shorts. Tourists and locals dressed like they were in the Bahamas.

As we do in all cities, we started with a walking tour. We saw lots of cool sites, such as a tiger statue. We also saw an opera house (which was not badly designed).IMG_5237.JPGEvery European Capital needs a city hall. This one has lots of brick (do I need to emphasize that this is how buildings should be built and NOT baroque).IMG_5240.JPG

Norwegian culture has respect for government. As a result, city hall looks like a temple (they consider government to be more important than religion).IMG_5243.JPG

This is the building where Nobel Peace Prizes are presented (Other ones are presented in Sweden). The Nobel Peace Prizes are very important in Oslo.

We also stopped by Parlaiment. The big windows are supposed to symbolize transparency.IMG_5255.JPG

We noticed lots of LGBTQ+ flags around town. It turned out that there was a pride parade that day. Apparently the pride parades are as important as the constitution-signing parade to the citizens of Oslo (according to a citizen of Oslo). Another interesting thing was that there was no evidence of homophobia in Oslo.IMG_5275.JPG

We, of course, had lunch at Hard Rock. Our waiter was from Castro Valley, so we bonded over Bay Area.

Quick aside, there are a couple things in Scandanavia that remind me of home. Self driving cars every (Volvo HQ), the fact that there is a VR software development company in our apartment building, and the incredible amounts of Teslas. It turns out that cars are heavilied taxed in Scandanavian countries. However, EVs (but not plug in hybrids) have no car tax, and deduct from your (obnoxiously high) income tax. As a result, there are Teslas everywhere, and even Tesla Taxis. I also assume that this is why Volvo is making an electric SUV (the sales are tax-deductible). These benefits (apparently) make it cheaper to sell Teslas in Norway than the U.S.

Back on track. We went to the Nobel Peace Prize museum which was a huge let down. There was an interesting (but semi-random) section on the Syrian war. It should’ve texted things to us, but since we have a United States phone number, it could not text us. I liked the photo-based section on the Columbian civil war. Part of the reason why I liked this is because I have been following a donation campaign to start a robotics team for people affected by the war.

After that, we took a boat to the Fram museum. The Fram was a ship influential in the explorations. It was one of the best built ships, and the first ship to sail from Norway to Alaska.

IMG_5289.JPG

The Fram

We were able to walk on it to see the conditions. The floors were uncomfortably short, but livable. I was suprised to learn that people could spend 6-8 years on the ship. There was also a movie about the ship. The gift shop was selling a movie about the Northern Lights. I found it amusing that this supposedly ‘Professional’ movie had its trailer made in iMovie using the ‘Blockbuster’ template. A true sign of quality.

We have just had dinner (at home) and are now going to bed. This is what we did today.

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One Comment
  1. Virginia M Turezyn permalink

    A very nice description of your day today. Fun Tesla facts. Another beautiful day.

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