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Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Just loved this!
Our next stop is the Viking Ship Museum.  No, there’s nothing like Kirk Douglas here, but it is an incredibly interesting and intriguing place that triggers your imagination and makes you picture how these people lived.  These brave sea-faring warriors roamed the world in wooden boats that look small and fragile in today’s mind, but many diverse places felt their influence.  I remember when visiting Ireland that the Vikings were there too.

Just follow those lines.  They certainly got around!
This grand museum houses more than just tales and maps.  The Vikings, brave beyond my comprehension, also were religious, and because the afterlife was a voyage to Valhalla, they wanted to be prepared.  Buried with them was the ship to carry them to Valhalla, filled with the afterlife’s necessities, decoratively intricate wood carvings, and practical items like wagons.  Archeologists discovered this as they researched sites in Norway.

Just beautiful.  So intricate.  

Beautiful designs. 
Wouldn't it be wonderful to learn if some of those patterns had
special meaning?
Two of those original Viking ships are on display at the museum.  They are long and graceful, but the thought of crossing oceans in them seems almost beyond belief.  Once again, it is one thing to read about these voyages throughout the ages, but quite another actually to see a ship. 

Overall an incredible experience.

As if the Viking Museum weren’t enough, we moved on to the FRAM museum.  The Norwegians were very active in polar exploration, and Roald Amendsen was chief among them.  He was the first explorer to reach the South Pole, a feat he achieved in 1911.  His ship, the Fram, is on display in the museum.  It is the strongest wooden ship ever built and still holds the record from sailing farthest north and farthest south. (

The ORIGINAL ship!  Imagine!
Once again, the fact that it was THIS SHIP that made THAT TRIP puts your mind in a different place and time.  I walk the deck with a fevered imagination trying to conjure up what it must have been like to sail.  Not that I can imagine myself ever really going.  Haha

Amendsen was determined to reach the North Pole as well, and in 1918 while sailing parts of the Arctic Ocean, his ship spent two years frozen in the ice.  Eventually, in 1926, he did fly over the North Pole.

In 1928, while flying a rescue mission over the Arctic, his plane disappeared.  He and the crew were lost. Nothing was ever found.

Our next stop was another WOW moment in a day of Oslo WOWS.  We drove to the ski jump built for the 1952 Olympics and which is still used today.  If you’ve ever been to the top of Lake Placid’s or Germany’s Garmisch-Partenkirchen, built in 1923 and used in the 1936 Olympics, you know breathtaking amazement at the real-time sight of what ski jumpers actually face.  You gasp, and if you are like me, you make sure you’re on terra firma.  My imagination is ablaze, but I would no sooner get into that sport than….

Our guide was very proud of Norway’s Olympians, particularly of  a famous figure skater, Sonja Henie, a three-time Olympic Gold Medal winner in women’s singles, a ten-time World Champion, and a six-time European Champion.  She became a movie star, and as an old-movie-fan, I have seen her in the movies.  She lived in the United States, but when she was dying, our guide told us, she longed to return to Norway.  Sadly, she passed away on the plane home.

I wish we had more time in Norway.  It would be wonderful to return. No time for sorrow. As we are on a cruise, the WOW moments of Oslo get me well prepared for an evening in Bellinis bar on the Regal Princess and some comforting cocktails.  Next stop—Berlin.

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