Archive for December, 2009

Barack Obama.

December 15, 2009

I got convinced to go to the centre to see Barack Obama… something to tell the Grandkid’s I guess?!

This photo was taken by my American friend, Ben – he clearly had a better place in the crowd and better camera than I did, as all I took were photos of Barack Obama’s arm…

First Lady & President Obama, Oslo 2009 (Photo: Ben Colton)

First Lady & President Obama, Oslo 2009 (Photo: Ben Colton)

This boy has a habit of taking exceptional photographs… check out his blog documenting his travels around Europe, though I’m not sure how up to date it is: Ben Colton

Here is the video I took of Barack Obama – you can see his arm waving to the crowd:

This was the crowd outside the “Grand Hotel” – Obama took the entire building, and you could see the security at the top of buildings in the surrounding area. You can see the bullet proof glass in front of the doors too…

Security surrounding the 'Grand Hotel' in Oslo 10/12/2009

Security surrounding the 'Grand Hotel' in Oslo 10/12/2009

Crowd waiting to see Obama 10/12/2009

Crowd waiting to see Obama 10/12/2009

Crowd waiting to see Obama (2) 10/12/2009

Crowd waiting to see Obama (2) 10/12/2009

So, the Obama’s came to the door and waved for a few minutes. Afterwards, whilst trying to leave, we realised that there was only one way to exit the area, yet as we turned around we were met by the many demonstrations being staged due to the visit by the US President. Without meaning to, we became part of a number of them marching down the road. Here are photos:

Protests in Oslo 10/12/2009

Protests in Oslo 10/12/2009

Anti-war protesters in Oslo 12/10/2009

Anti-war protesters in Oslo 12/10/2009

Obama 'Change' banner, Oslo 10/12/2009

Obama 'Change' banner, Oslo 10/12/2009

Sorry that the photo is the wrong way around, when I have more time I will sort it out.

Oslo lockdown.

December 10, 2009

Obama is here. Oslo has gone crazy – I’ve never seen so many police, so many barricades with metal detectors etc, nor have I seen a helicopter fly so low, let alone three of them. I’m tempted to go in to Olso today, but I’m also really not. The chance of seeing Obama are slight – ok, let’s be honest – the chances of none existent. I can hear helicopters from Kringsja – and I’m 20 minutes away by TUBE. I’m nowhere NEAR the centre and I can hear helicopters? I think I’ll stay in Kringsja… (also, the fact that I’m ill and feel like crap means I want to stay here too). There’s a protest on the 12th about climate change, which I might attend. I’ve had so many opportunities to head to CPH again and protest there – it’s only 8 hours by coach, but this is my last weekend in Oslo (next weekend I will be in Tromso) so I want to spend it here with my friends. I will post photos of the posters that I have for the protest when I can upload them…

Working hard…

December 9, 2009

…on some Christmas presents!

The look of concentration... 09/12/2009

The look of concentration... 09/12/2009

It was touch and go as to whether I would be able to afford Christmas presents… only slightly joking! Why not put my creative ‘talent’ to some use? Hopefully those of you who will receive presents will also like them… I’m crossing my fingers…

Night out to celebrate Linea’s birthday!

December 9, 2009

We went out to have a party for Linea’s birthday – because we took so long looking around CPH there wasn’t enough time to get back and change (I desperately needed to wash my hair…), so we went straight to the bar to eat some food and get some drinks in! Lots of people came along and it was a really good night!

Waiting for food & more guests! 14/11/2009

Waiting for food & more guests! 14/11/2009

Mikkel and Linea's brother 14/11/2009

Mikkel and Linea's brother 14/11/2009

Linea & I waiting for tequila 14/11/2009

Linea & I waiting for tequila 14/11/2009

Tequila & apple juice chaser! 14/11/2009

Tequila & apple juice chaser! 14/11/2009

We took up one whole side of the bar... 14/11/2009

We took up one whole side of the bar... 14/11/2009

Something was obviously very funny? 14/11/2009

Something was obviously very funny? 14/11/2009

Linea looking gorgeous! 14/11/2009

Linea looking gorgeous! 14/11/2009

I think this was taken whilst I was down the other end having a sing-a-long with some of her Danish friends…

Linea and her friends 14/11/2009

Linea and her friends 14/11/2009

Morten with the cocktail umbrella 14/11/2009

Morten with the cocktail umbrella 14/11/2009

SMILE! 14/11/2009

SMILE! 14/11/2009

A Saturday in CPH

December 9, 2009

I figured I’d split up my weekend in CPH into  a number of posts, it’s far too long to just be ONE – plus I have so many photos to upload and I want  to have  life whilst I try to explain everything to you…

This was us over breakfast:

The morning after... breakfast time! 13/11/2009

The morning after... breakfast time! 13/11/2009

I think it’s quite obvious that we were all a little worse for wear. This was ‘breakfast’ at around 12/1pm on the Saturday. Getting Spanish people out of a flat will take you A LONG TIME – if there is one thing I have learnt whilst being in Oslo, it is that the Spanish have NO CONCEPT OF TIME. NONE. I know, you’re wondering how I manage to know this, considering I am in Norway… well, I live with Emi & the Spanish have a habit of finding each other and forming a group, so Linea and I are kind of ‘honorary’ Spanish. I have also found out that the Spanish women are very possessive of ‘their’ Spanish men… interesting & rather sad.

CPH - Climate Change campaign globe 14/11/2009

CPH - Climate Change campaign globe 14/11/2009

In case you have been on another planet for a while… there is a climate change conference going on in CPH as I write (9/12/2009) and all over CPH were interesting installments and information to advertise the conference and raise awareness on climate change. This was one of MANY globes around the city that show the effect of climate change on the world. There were a large number all together in the square, but we happened to be on the other side so I couldn’t take a photograph.

Alejandro, Linea and myself trying the different beers at the market 14/11/2009

Alejandro, Linea and myself trying the different beers at the market 14/11/2009

There was a market by the river, with live music and small tasters of different types of beer – I think it was different types of Christmas beer? I’m not sure… The atmosphere was great and walking along the market was so much fun. The boys had to try on hats… you can see Alejandro below! Hahaha!

Alejandro at the market in CPH 14/11/2009

Alejandro at the market in CPH 14/11/2009

We then had a boat tour around CPH, which was so interesting – we saw the Opera House & the Little Mermaid; Hans Christian Anderson was Danish and lived on the same street as the market in the above photo.

All of us on the boat at CPH 14/11/2009

All of us on the boat at CPH 14/11/2009

CPH Opera House 14/11/2009

CPH Opera House 14/11/2009

Skuespilhuset CPH 14/11/2009

Skuespilhuset CPH 14/11/2009

Chinese tourists surround the Little Mermaid status CPH 14/11/2009

Chinese tourists surround the Little Mermaid status CPH 14/11/2009

Chinese tourists in abundance… anyone surprised?

Iceberg scaffolding CPH waterfront 14/11/2009

Iceberg scaffolding CPH waterfront 14/11/2009

The iceberg image on this scaffolding is a copy-cat of ‘The Iceberg’ building at CPH’s Mini Manhattan – I will post something later to show the architecture around there.

Church of our Saviour CPH 14/11/2009

Church of our Saviour CPH 14/11/2009

Church of our Saviour – no, I haven’t suddenly gone all religious… The church spire is a spiral staircase – but it goes anti-clockwise. It was complete in 1752 by a different architect than the rest of the building. His name was Lauritz de Thurah and there is an urban myth that he commited suicide when he realised that the spiral staircase went the wrong way. You might wonder why it is the wrong way – basically, if you are dueling someone on the stairs, walking backwards up stairs anti-clockwise does not give you the upper hand, I think, unless you are left handed… Well, I could be completely wrong, but if you want to know more, GOOGLE it.

Floor advertisement CPH 14/11/2009

Floor advertisement CPH 14/11/2009

I love this. Basically – later that night I was sat with one of Linea’s friends (I will post about the night out in a little while) and we were looking through my photographs. He read this and what you do is send an text saying ‘KBH 51’ to ‘1231’ and wait for a response. You are telling them where you are in CPH and then they reply with places nearby that would be interesting to see – including general tourist spots along with current events that are happening over the next few days. It’s such a clever idea and these are all over CPH. This idea should be adopted by any large town/city…

Right, so after the boat tour we went to Christiania – something of a ‘Little Amsterdam’. You aren’t allowed to take photographs once you are inside because Police started to go in undercover as tourists so that they could get photographic evidence of the sale of drugs. There is street art everywhere and the buildings have this hippy/run down feel to them. There’s market stalls everywhere. It’s so, so cool. Here are a few photos before we entered:

Approaching Christiania CPH 14/11/2009

Approaching Christiania CPH 14/11/2009

Linea & Mikkel at the Christiania sign CPH 14/11/2009

Linea & Mikkel at the Christiania sign CPH 14/11/2009

The sign as you exit Christiania CPH 14/11/2009

The sign as you exit Christiania CPH 14/11/2009

Mikkel, Emi, Alejandro & Linea @ Christiania CPH 14/11/2009

Mikkel, Emi, Alejandro & Linea @ Christiania CPH 14/11/2009

CPH

December 8, 2009

So, after visiting the UK I flew straight to Copenhagen, Denmark. Here are a few photos:

Alejandro, Linea, Emiliano, Myself & Mikkel, CPH November 09

Alejandro, Linea, Emiliano, Myself & Mikkel, CPH November 09

The weekend we were in CPH was to celebrate Linea’s birthday! This photo was taken outside her parents house on the outskirts of the city. We met her family and had lunch there, and then had a trip to what is called Copenhagen’s ‘mini Manhatten’ – I will post photos later. It’s an amazing place architecturally.

Mikkel & Linea with my welcome sign, CPH airport 13/11/2009

Mikkel & Linea with my welcome sign, CPH airport 13/11/2009

After collecting my from the airport, we went to meet Linea’s brother at his university, the IT university (I think). It was incredible! The building was huge and had flags showing all the countries hanging in the central hall – it also had boxes on the walls that had the time and dates scrolling across – I can’t explain this too well… hopefully you’ll see what I mean from the photos below.

The central foyer of the IT University building, CPH 13/11/2009

The central foyer of the IT University building, CPH 13/11/2009

The digital clocks, IT university building, CPH 13/11/2009

The digital clocks, IT university building, CPH 13/11/2009

Just to explain how geeky this IT University was – there was a specific room called ‘GAMES ROOM’ – a room filled with macs for the sole purpose of online gaming… I’m sorry, what?!

Myself & Emiliano, CPH 11/13/2009

Myself & Emiliano, CPH 11/13/2009

Myself & Emi messing around 13/11/2009

Myself & Emi messing around 13/11/2009

Danish Christmas beer, CPH 13/11/2009

Danish Christmas beer, CPH 13/11/2009

There is ‘Christmas’ beer served in Denmark… probably in Norway too. I don’t know that we have anything like that in England? Can’t say it tasted much different to normal beer…

Drinking games in CPH 13/11/2009

Drinking games in CPH 13/11/2009

Did I ever mention I suck at drinking games? Here is proof, though I’m not sure if you are able to view this video.

Gefarlich Bar, CPH 13/11/2009

Gefarlich Bar, CPH 13/11/2009

This is the entrance to the bar we went to on the Friday night. I just liked how people had put stickers all over it & that the logo was lit. “Gefarlich” means “Dangerous”. Below I have shown the back of the employee t-shirts – it really had me laughing!

Gefarlich employee t-shirt design November 2009

Gefarlich employee t-shirt design November 2009

Alejandro and Linea 31/11/2009

Alejandro and Linea 31/11/2009

Morten and Linea 11/13/2009

Morten and Linea 11/13/2009

Emi & Me 11/13/2009

Emi & Me 11/13/2009

We went to a few bars and met some of Linea’s friends (you can see Morten in one of the photos). It was really fun and when we got back to their place, we were so drunk and so tired! Linea and Emi had taken the night bus to CPH earlier that day, and had arrived at 6am (met by Mikkel) after having zero sleep on the coach. Alejandro arrived later that day, after the 8 hour coach ride. And I had been in the UK and partying with those of you in B’town, so I had also had little sleep! This was us the next morning:

The morning after...

The morning after...

SIXTEEN/16/SEKSTEN.

December 7, 2009

So, I have 16 days left in Norway. It’s true what they say, time flies when you are having fun! I’m not ready to leave. I don’t want to leave. Although, due to things going on at home, I am ready to go home and want to be home – I’ve also found somewhere I consider another home? I will definitely be leaving a large part of my heart in Oslo.

I was wondering what to do with my blog once I have returned to the UK – obviously, there will be a lot that I will post on here once I have left, as there is still so much to say… but do I then leave it at that? Well, I’ve decided no. This is not the last that I will see of Norway – if I have my way, I will be here in the future, visits first and then to live (hopefully). Also, Scandinavian design is interesting, so this will be somewhere to post my findings re: Scandinavian design whilst I am back home.

My relationship with Walter…

December 6, 2009

My relationship with Walter is getting out of hand.

Before you wonder about my Norwegian relationships, you should perhaps have a look at the photograph below:

Walters Mandler

Walters Mandler

I have THE biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know – it’s ridiculous. I am going to have to start watching how much sugar I consume… but I love ‘Walters Mandler’! I’m going to miss it so much when I leave! :( I will have to have it sent to me…

What lead to this post was the fact that I managed to consume a large bar of ‘Walters Mandler’ in ONE EVENING, without the aid of anyone else…

‘Walters Mandler’ translates to ‘Walters Almonds’. But: Hvem er Walter? (Who is Walter?)

According to the packaging Walter has been an employee of Freia, the main Norwegian chocolate brand, since 1971. He is known to come up with exciting things to do with chocolate, with ‘Walters Mandler’ being is his latest masterpiece – a concoction of milk chocolate with salted, roasted, caramelized almonds.

For those of you who wonder if Norwegian chocolate is any good – I will tell you: It is. I also love Krokanrull too. Nomnomnom. Freia are the manufacturers of ‘Daim’ bars too – most of you will know what these are, if not, go buy them in Tesco… ‘Daim’ bars are available anywhere in the UK.

Freia have a sign in the centre of Oslo, down Karl Johans Gate – the main shopping street. It’s my favourite sign in the whole of Oslo (I will try to video it soon, so you can see it…) as it lights up continuously. Here’s a photo:

Freia sign, Karl Johans Gate, Oslo August 09

Freia sign, Karl Johans Gate, Oslo August 09

I walked on a frozen lake.

December 5, 2009

So, I walked up to Sognsvann yesterday with Marina and Linea – my flatmates. The snow was falling and it was white everywhere! There is an ice field for skating! Not that I plan on going anywhere near it… it would really be a fitting end to this semester should I injure myself!! We walked on the lake – I was quite surprised it was frozen, if I’m honest – I wouldn’t have thought it cold enough, but apparently so! We didn’t walk far onto it, if the ice had cracked, we would have merely been up to our knees – it needs longer to freeze, I think, though that is not to say that I will be going further onto the ice when that happens… I’m happy near the edge!! Anyway, her are some photos:

Snow falling thick and fast before the walk to Sognsvann 04/12/09

Snow falling thick and fast before the walk to Sognsvann 04/12/09

The snow outside my block at Kringsja 04/12/2009

The snow outside my block at Kringsja 04/12/2009

Kringsja 04/12/2009

Kringsja 04/12/2009

Marina on the ice field, Kringsja 04/12/2009

Marina on the ice field, Kringsja 04/12/2009

Myself & Marina with fluffy snow @ Kringsja 04/12/2009

Myself & Marina with fluffy snow @ Kringsja 04/12/2009

Linea, Myself, Marina 04/12/2009

Linea, Myself, Marina 04/12/2009

Tree @ Kringsja 04/12/2009

Tree @ Kringsja 04/12/2009

Athletics track, Kringsja 04/12/2009

Athletics track, Kringsja 04/12/2009

Woodland trail @ Sognsvann 04/12/2009

Woodland trail @ Sognsvann 04/12/2009

The above photo makes me think of Narnia… yes, I used to watch the BBC versions as a child! The whole surrounding area of the lake is SO magical covered in snow – the light is ethereal too. It’s so unbelievably beautiful – I can’t even begin to capture quite how beautiful it is in these photos!

Linea and Marina on the frozen lake, Sognsvann 04/12/2009

Linea and Marina on the frozen lake, Sognsvann 04/12/2009

Myself and Linea stood on the frozen lake, Sognsvann 04/12/2009

Myself and Linea stood on the frozen lake, Sognsvann 04/12/2009

Snow covered trees @ Sognsvann 04/12/2009

Snow covered trees @ Sognsvann 04/12/2009

Later that evening, I watched from my window as SIX ambulances drove along toward the lake. The road past Kringsja leads directly to Sognsvann and as the second ambulance appeared to have a canoe or boat attached to the back, I can only presume that someone fell through the ice. This makes me feel queasy, especially as I didn’t see an ambulance travel back along the road – let alone with blue lights flashing. I think what makes me feel so uneasy about it is that I know a number of international students who have never seen snow, let alone been able to imagine a lake being frozen or the dangers it can entail…

Snow update.

December 4, 2009

It’s now snowing heavily. I’m completely mesmerized by the flakes floating down outside my window… they really do float. It’s amazing to watch the wind affect their direction – up down, side to side. You’d think I’d never seen snow before, it’s a little ridiculous… Funny thing is, I have met people from countries where they have never had snow – so they, in turn, have never seen snow?

Snow falling at Kringsja 04/12/2009

Snow falling at Kringsja 04/12/2009

Also, there is a hell of a lot of ice about – I nearly slid on my behind whilst leaving KHiO the other day, which I found incredibly funny. I don’t think I would have found it quite so funny had my butt connected with concrete…

Snow snow snow.

December 4, 2009

This is the view from my window, right now:

Kringsja snow 04/12/2009

Kringsja snow 04/12/2009

It has just started snowing again – though I have been told it is due to rain over the next few days. Hopefully because we’re higher up than Oslo, we will miss the rain. The snow shown in the picture fell at the weekend, and much of it still looks fresh because the temperature has been so low. It’s getting really, really cold here now. I’m really starting to wrap up warm!!

Climate Change Project.

December 3, 2009

So, as I’m sure many of you may know by now – on the 7th December, world leaders will meet to discuss how to effectively tackle the serious issue of climate change. A few weeks ago, with a project based loosely around Bellona – the worlds leading NGO that formulates solutions to combat climate change, we worked on producing a campaign that would raise awareness and increase political pressure to inform change. Below is a link to a website detailing our final presentations of our projects and I will take photographs of my final pieces so that you can see how they really work. I hope you like the work!

Climate Change Projects

Norwegian Talent.

December 2, 2009

I don’t know why I haven’t posted this sooner…

Esra Roise, a classmate of mine, is a ridiculously talented illustrator. She works freelance and has an incredible list of clients. Check out her website and portfolio here.

Oslo City Origami

December 1, 2009

Oslo City is a large shopping centre. Their new Christmas themed advertisements include Origami figures of Nativity characters, created by using the paper notes of the Norwegian currency (Kr).

 

What I also find astounding is that there are PDF files available from their website that allow customers to create their own Nativity origami figurines! I have downloaded them and they are available below:

Engel PDF

Prest PDF

De tre vise menn PDF

Obviously, if you’re from anywhere other than Norway, these PDF’s will not apply – but I think it’s interesting to see how they have created the origami figures. I doubt I will have the chance to try to create them myself, I rarely carry cash on me… but then again, it might be worth a go…