If you are tired of the exhausting sun of Turkey, Cyprus or Spain, go to Scandinavia". Add to this commander advertising slogan, that if you want to see the Scandinavian lifestyle in a square, go to Norway, the capital of which, however personifies the impact of petrodollars on a harsh nordic character.
Norway, from the narrow fiior bays whose thousands of years ago were sent on sharp-like roals to the shopping and conquest expeditions Vikings-Norman, before the beginning of the twentieth century there was an outdoor part of the Swedish kingdom. Reminders about this – one of the three crowns in the Swedish coat of arms and a special sense of satisfaction with which the Swedish enterprises are bought by the Norwegians today.
Country of Scandinavian Socialism
Until the 60s, Norway remained a poor country of sailors, fishermen and lumberjacks. But here in the Norwegian shelf of the Northern Sea, oil and gas reserves were found. And life has been transformed. Norwegians who are accustomed to the position of the poor, but proud relatives in the Scandinavian family, felt like a cindering for a fabulous inheritance. With northern foundation they accepted a unique solution. The country on the referendum decided not to be left in state ownership oil and gas wealth. Norwegians deliberately limited their today’s well-being, having decided to postpone exactly half of the profit from the sale of oil and gas to the Special Fund of Future Generations – until the time when oil reserves run out. However, the second half of the income turned out to be quite enough to provide the country’s highest standard of living in a rich northern Europe.
And here socialism, – you ask, because there is something similar in Kuwait? But. High incomes of Norwegians are equalized by astronomical taxes. "Poor", receiving about 3 thousand per month in dollars, pay tax 36%, the middle class is 48%, and millionaires – 52%. Due to the assembled funds, virtually free – and at the same time very perfect – education and health systems. Unemployed for 3 years (!) get a benefit of 90% (!) from its last average salary. Norwegian assistance to developing countries – the highest in the world per capita.
And the money is investing in roads and airports, city infrastructure, ecology and high technology. Thanks to all this, Norway is a real paradise not only for locals, but also for a tourist seeking to relax from the insane rhythm of megalopolises in almost rural, but at the same time comfortable peace of this clean, beautiful country.
Oslo – Reserve for pedestrians and cyclists. Automotive highways are removed into underground tunnels, and you will not see the cork familiar to any European city on the surface of the traffic jams. The center of the 500-thousand capital can be wateted for two hours. The royal palace built in the style of classicism – a hybrid of a white house and Russian noble estates. Inevitable local "Arbat" – Scandinavian tranquil and respectable trade and pedestrian carl-johans-gate. Lovingly renovated and turned into the area of popular restaurants, fashionable shops and workshops Artists Picturesque old harbor acherbrigge. Former royal residence, and now Museum-Fortress Akhershus.
However, this route is always hurrying "One-day" Tourists – only the shell behind which the real sights of Oslo hide. Such as an amazing sculpture park. Creating him at the beginning of the century sculptor-self-taught Gustav Vigenda managed to convince the city authorities to allocate an extensive plot and take on all the costs of the project. Powerful author’s fantasy recreated in a few hundred sculptures all the stages of human life. And around the wedding composition of the obelisk-phallus from the intertwined bodies – numerous sculptural images of a 60-year-old artist and his young beloved. Maybe these beauties, shady alleys and lawns, and maybe, a special energy concentrated here make the Park Wigeanda, a popular place of pilgrimage of tourists and Sunday recreation of local residents.
And nearby – a dozen minutes upwards on a high-speed tram or a taxi – Olympic springboard for ski jumps. At the foot of the above-mentioned over 400 meters of construction – an observation deck, from where it was a beautiful view of green surrounding hills, a city and part of the 100-kilometer naval nose of Oslo-Fiorrad. And very close to the Unique Ski Museum, where snow farms, which are 4000 years old, Amundsen skis, modern high-tech vehicles of the movement of Olympic champions, which are also difficult to call skiing
Generally, in Oslo – Razdan for lovers of unusual museums. Well, where else can you see the Viking ships assembled nearby, a bilt-rack "Kon-Tika" Tour Heyerdal and Polar Schoon "Fram" Framoof Nansen? By the way, a very close to this exposition, located in the nearest to the center of Oslo Island Bigdones, is another attraction, a very different kind: Summer royal residence with adjacent farms of His Majesty, as evidenced by the coat of arms on the cowshes and stables. The royal cows seem to feel quite well in the meadows "Millionaire Islands", where land is worth a fabulous money. And the Norwegians exercise in wit, telling jokes about cows, stopped vigilant guards at the most gate of the residence.
By the way, the Norwegian attitude towards the monarchy is far from lowlands. The king and the members of the August family easily communicate with the subjects at the morning jogs in the park. And the father of the current monarch, the avid skier, in the midst of the energy crisis of the 70s somehow went on the winter Sunday walk on. tram, a lot surprising travelers.
Oil wealth allows Norway to have almost the world’s short working week. In the evening on Friday, when everyday worries are retreating, usually a businesslike Oslo is transformed. The local population fills hundreds of bars, restaurants and discos. Tighten "Hot Norwegian guys" hours up to four in the morning, despite the high prices for alcohol. On Saturday, fun continues, however, with a little smaller scope.
Going to the weekend in Oslo, remember: the climate of Norway is not cold (in summer from +15 to +20, in winter, there is an average of about 0- influences the impact of a powerful warm current of the Gulf Stream), but wind and rainy. Windbreaker or raincoat, sweater will not interfere even in the summer. Local Monetary Unit – Crown, one dollar corresponds to about 7.5 crowns. Prices in restaurants and shops are close to Moscow. You can get to Oslo twice a week by direct flight of Aeroflot or daily with docking in Stockholm or Copenhagen, as well as on the marine ferry from all the Scandinavian capitals or ports of Northern Germany.