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Offline Danee

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Sightseeing Progressive Oslo, Travel Writer, Rick Steves
« on: September 21, 2011, 02:56:27 pm »
By Rick Steves I was just in Oslo...struck by how  peaceful the city felt. It seemed a world away from the commotion and angst  that comes with the evening news here in the USA. A "congestion fee"  keeps most cars from the center of town. A new tunnel takes nearly all the rest  under the city. The old train station facing the fjord boat landing is now the Nobel Peace   Prize Center,  explaining the vision of a man who dedicated the wealth he earned inventing  dynamite to celebrate peace-makers. The brick City Hall — where the prize is  awarded — towers high above the harbor action. Matching memories I have from my childhood visits, a weather-beaten sailor stands at the stern of his boat  hoping to sell the last of the shrimp he caught before sunrise this morning.
There's a light mist. A  sturdy harborfront boardwalk glistens as if happy to be the city's dancing  floor. I stand at the edge of the scene and marvel at about a hundred  Norwegians swing-dancing to the tunes of a disk-jockey under an umbrella — in  what seems like a microcosm of a content society. It's mostly American-style  two-step to the recorded oldies...familiar tunes with unfamiliar Norwegian  lyrics.
Every time I come to Norway, I'm  fascinated by their experiment in big government. My local friends enjoy telling  me why they don't mind their high taxes. For example, everyone loves November.  It's "half tax month" as the government wants people to have some  extra money for the upcoming holidays. The Nordic countries — with their current  booming economies, coupled with tax incentives for new babies — are experiencing a baby boom. Paternity leave is very generous here. Families get nine months  leave at 80 percent pay which the mom or dad can split as they like. On top of  this, men are required — use it or lose it — to take a paid month of paternity  leave when their baby arrives.
 
Local shows off his snuff can height=154
As Europe becomes smoke-free, locals get their nicotine fix from snuff instead of cigarettes.
While there are more  babies than ever in Scandinavia, there's less smoke. Just a few years ago, smoke was a real problem for American travelers in  Europe. Now, much of Europe is actually less  smoky than the USA.  Italy went smoke free...then  Ireland...now Scandinavia. In Norway's bars, restaurants, cafés  and trains...it's clean air for all.
I visited one of Oslo's infamous old  "brown cafés" — so named for the smoke-stained interiors. It was so  old and brown that it still smelled of tobacco...but there hasn't been a smoker  in there for months. With the strict no-smoking rules (a bar can lose its  license if it allows smoking inside), Norwegian restaurants and bars are now routinely equipped with blankets so smokers can eat outside — even in the cold  season. And to consume nicotine indoors, locals are using snuff — "snus" in Norwegian. Men will notice that in Norwegian urinals, little used-up packs of chewing tobacco pile up rather than cigarette butts.
When the sun's out,  Scandinavian parks are packed. And, with that, American visitors will notice a  lot of nudity — topless women and naked kids. Scandinavia  has a casual approach to nudity. I'm not talking just mixed saunas. Many  Americans are amazed at what runs on prime-time TV. Parents let their kids play  naked in city parks and fountains. It's really no big deal. My friend tells me  that Norway  has coed PE classes with boys and girls showering together from the first grade  on. She said, "If you ever end up in a Norwegian hospital and need an X-ray, I  hope you're not modest. Women strip to the waist and are casually sent from the  doctor's office down the hall past the waiting public to the X-ray room. No one  notices...no one cares." Scandinavians are quick to point out the irony that  while America goes into a  tizzy over a goofy "wardrobe malfunction" or a president who has a  hard time keeping his zipper up, it is America that statistically has the  biggest problem with sex-related crimes.
 
Norwegian Chihuahua height=139
Along with lots of kids  and sun-worshippers in the parks, you'll see an inordinate number of locals  walking tiny dogs. Small dogs are the rage these days in Oslo. They call it the "Paris Hilton  effect." Chihuahuas sell for $3,000 each  in Norway.  I asked my Norwegian friend about her Chihuahuas.  She said, "We have two." "Why two?" I asked. "So they  can have babies. We just sold some and I paid off my credit card debt."
Snuff, obligatory  paternity leave, selling Chihuahuas  on the side and letting your babies run naked...travel makes it clear there are more ways than one to live your life. That's one reason why I keep on travelin'.




From: http://www.ricksteves.com/news/tribune/oslo_sights.htm



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Offline Leah

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Re: Sightseeing Progressive Oslo, Travel Writer, Rick Steves
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2011, 07:13:37 am »
Finland is the same
I may be nude but at least my mind is open

Offline cc71

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Re: Sightseeing Progressive Oslo, Travel Writer, Rick Steves
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 07:44:40 am »
When did that article come out?

Offline Ed

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Re: Sightseeing Progressive Oslo, Travel Writer, Rick Steves
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2011, 01:57:59 pm »
I've been to Oslo! It was a lovely city but unfortunately there wasn't too much nakedness going on 'cause it absolutely pissed it down the whole time :P

Offline tolkienfan86

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Re: Sightseeing Progressive Oslo, Travel Writer, Rick Steves
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 11:32:42 pm »
Oslo sounds like a fun place to visit. I'm sure there are nude beaches all over the place.

Offline Ola

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Re: Sightseeing Progressive Oslo, Travel Writer, Rick Steves
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 10:52:06 pm »
I've been to Oslo! It was a lovely city but unfortunately there wasn't too much nakedness going on 'cause it absolutely pissed it down the whole time :P

You should come back again and I'll show you some really cool places - even when it rains=D

Offline norwaynudist

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Re: Sightseeing Progressive Oslo, Travel Writer, Rick Steves
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 12:46:41 am »
My friend tells me  that Norway  has coed PE classes with boys and girls showering together from the first grade  on. She said, "If you ever end up in a Norwegian hospital and need an X-ray, I  hope you're not modest. Women strip to the waist and are casually sent from the  doctor's office down the hall past the waiting public to the X-ray room. From: http://www.ricksteves.com/news/tribune/oslo_sights.htm

well his friend lied. i'm a norwegian and i've never seen either of those happen.