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by Wildcat Dianne
December 22, 2002
Oslo is an expensive city to visit, but you can always find a bargain if you look hard enough at what the merchants have to sell. I love wearing long broomstick skirts, and I was thrilled to bits when I found one for $8 US at an Indian shop at the beginning of Karl Johans Gate. It is an abstract print that reminds me of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's "Scream" painting with its wild colors and patterns.
I love buying handicrafts of places I visit, and I found these cute keychains made of wooden balls and strung up on leather strings. They are then hand-painted with flowers. I bought one for myself and when I got home to Idaho, I copied the design and made a bunch of these keychains to give to friends and sell. Another favorite handicrafts shop was the Sami or Lapp shop off of the Karl Johans Gate. I spent most of the time talking with the owner about the Samis who live in Northern Norway and her upbringing there.
The street vendors are mostly Arab or Indian immigrants to Norway, but they have some good wares, too. I got a custom-made necklace with my name on it and had a piece of my hair wrapped in colorful threads. A tourist with a camera filmed my long reddish blonde hair getting wrapped, but when I went to find him later, I had lost him. I still have that wrapped piece of hair hanging from my bedroom window at home.
The Karl Johans Gate is pedestrian friendly and low crime, but still watch your valuables because there are vagrants that wander the street looking for handouts, but the police who patrol Oslo by horseback will send the vagrants on their way and let the tourists enjoy the beautiful city of Oslo. I have many great memories of my adventures and lost 10 pounds walking around all of the time.
From journal Friendly Oslo
December 10, 2000
Dining options also abound on the street. You will have the obligatory McDonalds to select from, but I would suggest other dining fares. I suggest for moderately priced food Mama Rosa's and 3 Brodres. Both were very value conscious and the food was a step above fast food fare.
Another fun thing about Karl Johan's Gate is the abundance of street performance artists that make it their summer home. They dance, sing, juggle....breath fire and mystify the crowd for hours on end.
Karl Johan's Gate is a definite treat in the middle of Oslo!
From journal Basking in the summertime sun of Oslo