Welcome to “the shittiest city” in Norway! ;)

Finally, I’m done with the third to the last chapter of my online Norwegian course. Learning the language online is quite a challenge, and while it is very exciting at the start, the enthusiasm slowly fades. And I’m left with only a minute motivation to finish it, because yes, it has gone boring. 😛

But I’m not here to complain about how my Norsk is going. I’m here to write about the first time I set foot on Drammen — “the shittiest city” in Norway, according to my hosts. Before the visit to the Drammen Museum and the romantic climb up the Spiraltoppen on Valentine’s Day, there was, of course, the first time I laid eyes on the city. My boyfriend invited me over for the first time last January, and after the commentary of the city being the shittiest, I lowered my standards and didn’t expect to see much.

At Sandvika station, while waiting for the train to Drammen
At Sandvika station, while waiting for the train to Drammen

Of course, the comment was based on something factual. The city was dubbed “worst” because of the traffic jams that often occurred there in earlier years. But since the 1970s, the local government has been working very hard to come up with really good solutions —  and now, the city is one of the top 10 most attractive business regions in the country. How cool is that? In fact, Drammen won “the prestigious prize for the best city development in Europe” in 2008.

Drammen, as seen from the train window
Drammen, as seen from the train window

Drammen is a river city, lying on both sides of the Drammenselva (“elv” is the Norwegian word for river). Its location makes it the main harbor for fruit and car import in the country.

The Ypsilon bridge
The Ypsilon bridge
The Ypsilon bridge in winter
The Ypsilon bridge in winter
The Ypsilon bridge
The Ypsilon bridge

There are a few bridges in Drammen connecting both sides of the city. One of which, and is also a landmark, is the Ypsilon bridge (see photos above). Its name was due to the fact that the cable-stayed bridge is shaped like the letter Y, with one end on the Strømso side and two on the Bragernes side.

Next to the Ypsilon bridge is a giant steel ball — but it’s not just a ball. It’s part of the 2008 art installations by the riverside. The ball is actually a harp, with sensors capturing the footsteps, river sounds and wind. It is indeed a hundred percent fascinating!

Giant steel ball by Drammenselva
Giant steel ball by Drammenselva
My reflection
My reflection

Beautiful graffiti is found all over the city!

Graffiti in Drammen
Graffiti in Drammen

We also dropped by my boyfriend’s workplace. One really nice thing your bf/gf can do, at least in Asian culture, is to show his/her workplace. While my bf has never been to my workplace due to proximity issues, he had taken me to his a couple of times and I’m proud of what he does.

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It was a late night walk around the city, and the cold was creeping in. So we ended the tour with some refreshing beverage in this Sportsbar called Lauritz located in Bragernes Torg. The bar is under renovation as of the moment.

Lauritz Sportsbar
Lauritz Sportsbar

So, what happened to the shittiest city in Norway? Someone even dubbed it as the ugly duckling of cities in the country! With major developments in infrastructure, I’d consider the city one of the most livable. I’m excited to see how it is in Drammen during summer. 😉 I even came up with an adjective to describe the moments my bf and I spend in Drammen — Drammentic! haha

Welcome to Drammen!
Welcome to Drammen!

There. There. Today, WordPress greets me with a Happy Anniversary. Haha! Been with WP for many years now, so I guess it’s a Happy Anniversary to Pinay Odyssey! Been blogging about my travels for a year now. Awesome! I still have lots to document though. 😉

This is all for now. Hope to see you in Drammen! ❤

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14 thoughts on “Welcome to “the shittiest city” in Norway! ;)

  1. I just wished Philippine government would do something the same as what Norwegians did in this city. Improvement. Happy blogging Anniversary!!! Oh. The steel ball looks lika a poké ball. Hahaha.

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  2. Happy Anniversary! Wow, this place is amazing. I wish the same thing will happen here in the Philippines too. Most specially here in Metro Manila where traffic is very OMG. LOL. I appreciate the efforts they’ve made to turn the ugly duckling into a swan.

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  3. Just a proof that transformation is possible. From shittiest to nicest. It’s good you had the tour at night and I could see its unique great spots. All credits go with the people in Drammen on how they have worked for its development.

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  4. I know I will never step foot on Norway and it is really nice that I am able to see other places by just sitting here in front of my computer. I think the title shittiest city best describes Manila. I felt sorry by just typing that. I wish that the traffic condition will be solved by the next president.

    Today is 35°C here and you have no idea how much I wish i could go to Drammen right now.

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  5. I’d like to see photos of Drammen in summer too. That’s a major leap that the city has achieved, from being the shittiest to one of the most developed cities in Norway. I hope that happens to cities in Manila as well, and we’d be able to do something to ease the traffic in EDSA. 🙂

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  6. People of Drammen should be proud of themselves, imagine from nothing to something. I could feel how people can be proud there if ever they will tell the story of their city. Good job to the government. Seriously, all I can see in the photos are snow. Hahaha. I wonder and excited on when to have my first snow experience.

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  7. That steel ball is surely interesting. I have seen the Ypsilon bridge somewhere before and couldnt remember it now. But it’s nice to see that Drammen has street art too. 🙂

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  8. Well that is not as shitty as expected at all! Hahaha. Drammen is a cool city from what I can see from your pictures. Had some things like a museum, pretty good. Maybe it’s not like Stockholm or Dubai, but still worthy to travel too. If I would go, I hope to see you too!

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  9. The traffic there is worse? I honestly thought nothing could beat the traffic in the Philippines.

    I love that giant steel ball. I have a thing for street art installation, I just think they are pretty amazing.

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    1. Haha, yes, it’s worse compared to the traffic jams in other places in Norway, which is nothing compared with what we have in Manila. 😛 You’d be surprised by how lots of people choose to take the public transpo or bikes to avoid a 30-second traffic jam.

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  10. How I wish this could be done in Metro Manila too. Although one could argue that the sheer size and population of Metro Manila makes it impossible, the right mindset is to learn how Norway did it and see how we can improve ours.

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    1. That’s true, sir Robert! Drammen is 4x the size of Manila, but it only has around 62,000 inhabitants. Manila has over a million. It pains me to see the disparities between the two countries, to be honest.

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