I hate the fact that I couldn't reply to this thread before my first 14 days were over (stupid limit). Read fast through just about the whole thread and some stuff made me giggle, otherwise there are a lot of interesting takes on this tragic happening. Had a lot on my mind but it's mostly gone now...
I was in a big room on that day with windows partly opened because of the heat outside, and I felt (and heard) the explosion approx. 3-4 km. from the sight. The wind that was caused by the explosion entered the room, swept through it in half a second and disappeared. It was such a strange behavior for the wind that for a second my instincts were a little bit disturbed.
The noise was very strange too. It had traveled through hundreds of blocks and when it reached me it sounded like if you throw a wooden chair hard on a wooden floor - kind of hard to explain.
Still unbelievable that I have experienced a terrorist attack on my body, you only read about these things in the news right...?
I went to the grocery store about half hour later and noticed that something was wrong by looking at other peoples faces. Again, my instincts just knew that something wasn't right. I was using my iPod, continued listening to my music without caring much more, and went home to my parents. Suddenly I started getting phones after phones from other friends/families outside of Norway, and everyone was asking me if I was O.K.
I turned the TV on and could not believe what I saw. The very exact same road the explosion happened by, is the exact same road I use to drive home from whenever I am in the city to buy me kebab type of food. I got a little more disturbed and started checking out Twitter, Facebook, my mobile phone etc. to gather information about my family and friends and check if they were O.K.
So, just a few hours later A. B. Breivik started shooting on the island (Utøya). I'm an active Twitter user and used it as a source to understand more about the situation. Already after one - two hours it was reported that many Muslim girls and boys were harassed on the streets, shops and a buss (that I personally read about on Twitter). When this sort of stuff starts happening in Norway, you know people are REALLY frustrated!
Some of the younger Norwegians I followed on Twitter started asking for help to send someone at that island, because Breivik was hunting them down and they were afraid to call the people and get discovered by talking. We had no idea how serious it actually was - I was assuming that it probably was some kid who brought a an air gun with him or something else like that. Following the media didn't help because everyone knew as little as I did.
Many of those I connected with on Twitter died that day (4-5 kids), and it was devastating to discover over time who died and read the last happy tweets of those young girls and boys... It's true that Norway is a small country - I personally have two female friends who's got a brother and a sister that were on Utøya. I had met the sister of my friend once and it gave me chills, even worse when I saw her in the news explaining what happened.
I have never in my life experienced a tragedy which drags me down emotionally every damn time I'm reminded of it, so I'll make this part short as I'm getting all shaky again writing this stuff.
I was stuck in front of the TV for about 12 hours that Friday. I fell asleep watching TV with my family (mom, dad, and kid brother). The next day, I wake up... They had released a death toll estimate of 60 people... I was even more disturbed and couldn't believe it, and refused to believe it. My dad walked by, and I just stared at him - when he asked me what's wrong I told him about the estimated death toll, he too was left all speechless. There was nothing to say.
I continued watch TV that whole weekend (Friday - Sunday) as the photos of A. B. Breivik were revealed and everyone was furthermore shocked. I still remember how my hands were shaking all weekend as crying 15-17 year olds told their stories to the cameras. It wasn't until Monday that I decided to meet some friends of mine. Most of those who are close to me were not available so I joined some friends I had only met a few times before. We just sat at a café for hours and hours and kept talking about how unbelievable this was. It seemed no matter how much I talked about it wasn't enough - the weight on why shoulders didn't get any lighter. That's when I knew how big of a tragedy this was. You could also tell by how many beverages that where ordered that day - everyone was talking so much that they got thirsty all the time.
Still to this day, almost a year later, it's difficult to comprehend it all. I don't know how the media coverage in UK, but will follow this thread and try to paint an actual and correct picture of the person and the trial.
My own pictures from the following days:
The brown building in the background was the explosion target
Just behind the above brown building, there were shattered windows hundreds of meters across the sight:
People in line to sign official 22/7 guestbook:
Mayor of Oslo:
The leader of the youth labor party, who was a main target but escaped from the island:
HRH Prince of Norway:
Prime Minister of Norway:
After the Prime Minister speech, this is how we reacted:
My friends hanging up roses on the fence that blocked the closed roads where there were glass everywhere:
People as far as my eyes could see, literally, and in every direction:
Pictures I collected from the media the first week (or so). These are all random as it's very time consuming to arrange them + comment on each one. Keep in mind that the city only has 500.000 people, so the number of people that showed up on the 25th of July for support, it was just mindblowing. When we later started to sing together it felt unbelievable and I struggled to hold back tears.
Sorry for the long post. It helps to talk about it.
Edit; Corrected some minor spelling mistakes.