Oslo, the capital of Norway, is one of the largest cities in the country. It is also a county and a town in itself. In terms of size, it comes next to Stockholm and Helsinki as the largest Scandinavian city. The history of the city goes a long way back. It was established in 1838 as a municipality by being separated from another county called Akershus. The population of the city reached more than half million in early 2007. Oslo's downtown is located at Oslofjord, which connects the northern and southern side in a U-shape. Winter in Oslo is very cold and very wet too. The temperature can easily go down to minus 20 Celsius or even lower. During winter, the fjord is frozen, making it very suitable for ice-skating, ice-fishing and even skiing. The best months to experience Oslo is to go there around November to March.
There are public ferries that carry people in the harbor basin. Another alternative is to take a train to any destination you may want to visit. By train, you can easily go to Trondheim, and even to Sweden and Denmark. Oslo's train system is praised in Europe as the most punctual train transport, an impressive feature of the city. Being an icy country, Oslo became the host for the 1952 Winter Olympics. People had fun watching people ski and skate on ice in a competitive environment. In the summer, the harbor becomes safe enough to allow events such as sailing contests and races. These competitions attract more than 1,000 boats annually. The Norway Cup is also a big event in Oslo where young people compete with each other in a football tournament. The art and architecture of the city is also a beautiful sight to behold. There are more than 200 sculptures in the city, created by Vegeland. These sculptures include The Little Hot Head and the Monolith. The park in the city is also a famous place where locals and tourists often go. Wooden houses that are already centuries-old have been preserved well in the city. They offer an amazing sight and offer tourists the opportunity to see into the past. The Akershus Fortress is a well-preserved castle from the Middle Ages, showing how life was like during those times. The architecture of Oslo is also undergoing improvements. Although there was a number of traditional architecture dating back to the 17th century, there is already a handful of postmodern architecture. Through these innovations, Oslo's atmosphere becomes a blend of the past, the present and a little of the future. These architectural wonders then become hosts to the different events and activities that Norwegians and foreign nationals engage in. The music scene of Oslo is a conglomeration and fusion of different styles such as jazz, electronica and other contemporary music. It takes just a little research and one can be on the way to explore Oslo. The city is also an ideal base for exploring other parts of Norway and Scandinavia.
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