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OsloBG The Mayor’s reception at the City Hall

Oslo Blog Gathering’s grand opening was the Mayor’s reception at the City Hall. Blog friends from all over the world brought a small gift from their homeland, since it also happens to be the Mayors birthday. He said he had not received that many gifts since he’s 5th years celebration. Her you see some of the participants in front of the city hall:
OsloBG The Mayor’s reception at the City Hall #1

After the Mayor’s welcome speech, it was my turn to return the favour with some words:
Our Dear Mayor, Oslo Blog Gathering participants, and associates;
They say that Oslo is the city with a big heart, and you dear Mayor, participating in this reception is certainly proof of that. Even on your own 55th birthday you are here to welcome my guests from around the world with open arms. In the five years I have been blogging about Norway, our culture, traditions and habits, I have lots of regular readers who have become curious about our country, find us a bit exotic, and wanted to come and visit. I have also tried to explain about our open and transparent society. I have told the world about our accessible politicians who hear our individual voices, and you are now an excellent example of this.
I also wish to express my thanks to VisitOslo for their contribution as well as the gathering’s hub, First Hotel Millennium.
I’m proud of Oslo city and I know you are too. To me it is a dream comes true that I am able to give my blog friends, from all around the world, a taste of what we have to offer. Again, thank you dear Mayor for receiving us and letting us have a look at the heart of Oslo, our lovely city hall. I’m sure our participants will share some of their adventures from today and their expectations in the rest of the program with you.

Then we had a great time enjoying the food, the drinks as well as a nice chat with the Mayor (click all pics to bigify and enjoy):
OsloBG The Mayor’s reception at the City Hall #2 OsloBG The Mayor’s reception at the City Hall #3

We also were lucky enough to get a guided tour in the city hall: Located by the waterfront, with Fritdjof Nansensplass on the inland side. It’s open to the public, with a spectacular main hall featuring huge murals with typical Nordic social democratic themes. Its characteristic architecture, artworks and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony makes it one of Oslo’s most famous buildings. There are also some displays of historical artefacts in the side rooms upstairs and we where in the Munch-room with a beautiful view of the harbour and Oslo Fjord:
OsloBG The Mayor’s reception at the City Hall #4 OsloBG The Mayor’s reception at the City Hall %

The day however started in the morning at reception in OsloBG’s HUB; The First Millennium Hotel, where we all meet for a guided tour: Highlights of Oslo:
OsloBG at the Hub: First Hotel Millennium

Let me just give you a short memo from the bus tour which started with a round trip in the city when the guide gave a short overview and description of the towns history:
Our capital and largest city in Norway was founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway and largely destroyed by a fire in 1624. The Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV rebuilt the city as Christiania. In 1925 the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo. The diocese of Oslo is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, which originated around the year 1070.
Oslo is the cultural, scientific, economic and governmental centre of Norway. It’s also a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping as well as an important centre for maritime industries and maritime trade in Europe. The city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of them are amongst the world’s largest shipping companies, ship-brokers and maritime insurance brokers.
We also had some short stops to some sightseeing:

The Vigeland Sculpture park:
OsloBG Vigeland Sculpture Park #1
Some of us gathered by the Angry Boy; the most tourist photographed object in Norway. We had an excellent guide who gave a wonderful introduction to Vigeland’s beautiful work of his life (you may read more about it in my post: Olga the travelling bra clothing statues Vigeland Park:
OsloBG Vigeland Sculpture Park #3 OsloBG Vigeland Sculpture Park #2

The Holmenkollen ski jump:
20 minutes by tram, on the hill behind the central city, you’ll find Norway’s number one sports icon: The Ski Jump: is host to the world’s oldest notable ski jump competition still in existence.
Since then the capacity of the stands has been increased to over 50,000 people and the jump has been extended 18 times, last time in 1982. Today’s tower extends 60 meters above ground, and 417 metres above sea level. The current record of 139.5 meters was achieved by Andreas Kofler of Austria on 14 March 2010. I was there at that time and can recall you’re memory from my post: “Holmenkollen Ski Jump preparing for OSL2011
This time we went to the very top and here is the view (unfortunately in rainy weather):
OsloBG 2010 Holmenkollen Ski Jump

Bygdøy Island & the Museums:
We ended up passing the Museums at Bygdøy (click the links to read my earlier posts:- Like the Kon-Tiki Museum, which shows all year long the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl. The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. Viking Ship Museum as well as Norwegian Maritime Museum and the ship Fram, used by Roald Amundsen.

OsloBG – The show will go on:
This was just a short report from the first day. The show will go on for two more days, so stay tuned!

Update: My wife DianeCA’s post from this first day: Blogger friends exploring Oslo at OsloBG!

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  1. Thank you Renny for updating your blog and telling us about your blog gathering days in Oslo!!!!!!!!!!!!I’ll stay tuned also in the next days, I’m following the blog gathering from Italy every day!!!^_^Lots of hugs to you and all the friends who are with you in this amazing adventure!!!!!!!!!!!!!^_^Letizia^_^

    1. You’re welcome Letizia – my pleasure you know and thanks for following us all the way from Italy!
      Hope you will come for a visit soon too.

      1. Yes dearest Renny, I’m following your blog gathering from Italy every day with great interest and a bit of sadness for not being able to share these wonderful moments with you all :((( I certainly wish to meet you, Diane and the other friends very soon, some day!!!If you’ll organize another gathering in Oslo or somewhere else, I’ll manage to ask for some days off from the school where I teach in order to come and see you all!!!!!!^_^

  2. Un grand Merci pour cette formidable réception á l’hotel de ville. c’est un grand plaisir d’avoir fait connaissance avec le maire d’Oslo, grace á vous deux, Renny et Diane.



  3. Heisann, det var sannelig en knallåpning til troos for det været vi hadde.
    It was a real blast of an opening, in spite of the weather.
    As the Mayor of Oslo said: That’s the kind of weather we are used to..
    The reception was something to remember for lifetime.
    And as you said to me today, all the gifts he received was an overwhelving surprise for the Mayor – at iss 55th Birthday.

    btw. It seems like Pierre have allready written a comment from my computer. Hooray. Det var meget hyggelig, ikke sant?

  4. Like I was telling Diane, I wish I could have made it. The way you organized the event is simply amazing – so professional, you really put your heart into it and accomplished a lot!

  5. Oh my–what you jammed into a day & there’s more?! I so wanted to come up from Stavanger but just couldn’t in the end…we either have to have a Blog Gathering down here or come to yours next time–Yes, I said next time (so you have to do it all again?!) And I’m surprised how young your mayor is too?! Thanks for all the Blogging & posting photos, so I can see what I’ve missed out on?! Enjoy Oslo Bloggers?! ;o)

  6. Dear Renny

    We are always present at 2.22 in the night thinking and speaking about the Oslo gathering.We had a such a great time and tomorrow again. Thanks, Renny and Diane. We had great time and many adventur.es all together.

  7. I agree with Letizia!!!! I’m very sad because I could not attend this event… but, every day, I follow the informations and photos on your blog and Facebook. You and Diane are wonderful and very receptive!! I hope one day to participate and represent my country (Brazil) in
    next Oslo BG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Being a tourist in your own city looked like such a delight when you have so many friends to be with and have fun!!! To compensate for my unfortunate lack of appearance, I did play tourist in my own city for 5 days! Hopefully I will have time to report on a bit. I know I missed out on a great time… One day!

  9. My dear Renny !
    It’s been incredible being with you and with everyone in Oslo. You made us feel at home. We are very happy, we had magic together. Thanks Renny, I’m still in the clouds …
    You can use all my pictures that are yours as well

    Take Care

    A big hug

    Maria ( Ibiza )

  10. Dear Renny
    Thank you for the wonderfull time and the gala reception in the City Hall.
    I made a post in my Blog using some of your photos, others of my own and others from Maria.
    I did my best to write a n english translation after the portuguese post.
    Please, try to read it and and give me your opinion.
    Kisses and hugs.

  11. For en gangs skyld på norsk:
    All ære for en flott gjennomføring og fantastiske dager i Oslo.

    Har du sett Maria har foreslått Ibizia neste år? Jeg har foreslått første uke av august…

  12. I have been bad at commenting lately but as you well know we have been quite busy! And of course I read your post before it was published as always hehehe! It was really a wonderful time and I was impressed more than I expected by the city hall and the recpetion by the Mayor! I have met him before with you of course, but I was not prepared for the warm reception we recieved and the tour of the City Hall was just excellent! Good work on everything my dear!

  13. Renny,

    I am not the least surprised by your organizational skills, I am not *nodding*. I loved the T-shirts!

    The meeting with the Mayor must have been fabulous (imagine my sad face as I type this). Your speech was worthy of a true patriot, I hope they give you the key of the city, man! :D

    I am looking forward to see more of the gathering!


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