Friday, July 22, 2011

Thoughts of Oslo.

I am looking at the pictures of the explosion in Oslo; the city where the Nobel Peace Prize is celebrated. I remember Oslo as a quiet place when I was there in 2007, charming and attractive, with a little of the primness of Geneva. Even in the early evening there was little noise. People seemed to enjoy themselves with a considerate restraint. The biggest risk I could find on offer was to try a little reindeer steak for my supper.

There seemed to be just one main street going from the station to the palace on a slight hill.

Along it were restaurants and shops selling a little of everything. On the northern side of the street was the hotel with its famous balcony where the new Nobel Laureate traditionally stands to celebrate receiving the medal. To the west and south was the sea and this too seemed impossible to ruffle. By its side was the town museum devoted to world peace

and a castle that seemed closer to a mansion house than a defensive fort.

It seems incredible to me that Oslo of all places could be disturbed by a bomb, and that people should be killed and injured. In Oslo, there was none of the edginess I feel as soon as I step out of the railway station in a place like London - or any other capital city. But I suspect the old peaceful Oslo is gone now. Everything will have changed in this horrifying puff of smoke. No longer the sleepy backwater, but part of the modern hideous world, learning to live on its nerve. It is a sad day when a place like this loses its innocence.


Blogger Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

Beautifully expressed Clare and very sad, yes.

Sat Jul 23, 02:19:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Kay...and I wake up this morning to hear about that island. It has a name sounding so much like Utopia. Quite incredibly sad.

Sat Jul 23, 10:56:00 am  

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