Cool Oslo-part II (April 2014)
It was a grey day in Oslo. It didn’t start to rain just yet but you knew that it would. We hurried up from our hotel to the quayside in front of the City Hall where we boarded our boat to Bygdøy peninsula to visit the museums. It was the museums day 🙂
We were among the first passengers on the boat that morning and we arrived even before the Fram museum opened its doors. So we had a quick look around and then entered the museum named after the Fram; a ship made exclusively for polar expeditions. Yes, there’s a huge ship in the museum and you can come on board the ship and explore its cabins too. The Fram still holds the records for sailing farthest north and farthest south. Why was it used and when? Please read the museum’s explanation : „She was used on three important expeditions: with Fridtjof Nansen on a drift over the Arctic Ocean 1893-96, with Otto Sverdrup to the arctic archipelago west of Greenland – now the Nunavut region of Canada – 1898-1902, and with Roald Amundsen to Antarctica for his South Pole expedition 1910-12.˝ Impressive, right?
We almost had the entire museum to ourselves so we leisurely saw all the exhibits which show how life looked like onboard the Fram. There’s also a fun polar simulator and a big scary polar bear. Of course, there’s a café and a museum shop too. You reach the other polar ship Gjøa which is famous for being the first ship to navigate the whole of the Northwest Passage by going under the tunnel which connects the two museum’s buildings.
The best part was going onboard the Fram and taking a peek inside it. Of course, my husband (actually he was my fiancé on this trip since we got married a couple of months later) had to read every single explanation of every single object which drove me mad!
Anyway, right next to the Fram museum you have the Kon-Tiki Museum and the Norwegian Maritime Museum but we didn’t visit them. Instead we went to the Viking ship museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum. It was a short walk from the Fram museum. We saw a lot of beautiful colourful wooden houses and a big Norwegian cat 🙂 There was also a big house like a manor house hidden away in the forest; we only had a peek at it through the bushes.
So, we arrived at the Viking museum and oops there was a queue actually to get in. Do you watch the Vikings series? It’s great. I’m sure that you’ve heard something of the brave Vikings who lived in Scandinavia and raided around Europe and further in the period of the late 8th to the late 11th centuries. They even reached the North America under the rule of Erik the Red. So,what can you see in this museum? You can see real Viking’s ships from several archaeological sites: Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune. The two wooden ships from the 9th century look amazing but the third one is in a bad shape. There are also a lot of other objects from the tombs such as sledges, tools, jewellery etc. I was gobsmacked when I saw the Viking’s ships. It’s unbelievable how ornate and decorative they look and how well they were build to withstand the fury of the ocean.
After our quick sandwich break we headed to the last museum the Norwegian Folk Museum. Now, that’s unlike any other museum that I’ve ever visited. It’s an open-air museum which showcases 160 traditional houses from all around Norway and from different time periods.You can enter some of the houses and see how people lived. The museum is set in a big park/forest and you walk around it and look at all the interesting houses. There’s even a school building, a petrol station and a whole street from a town. There’s also an apartment building where you can see how apartments looked like in different periods of the 20th century. The most striking building is the Stave church dating from 1200.
I think that this is a great museum for children too especially since there’s also a farm with farm animals. Of course there are permanent indoor exhibits too which include folk costumes, toys, furniture , Sami culture and more. It’s a pity that it was raining and that we didn’t visit in another season since beginning of April is still long way from Spring for Norway and everything looked a bit bleak.
We had great time visiting these museums and we got back to Oslo in the late afternoon. Then, we did some souvenir shopping (warm thick socks with Norwegian motifs, a Viking ship model, magnets etc.) and ate and walked some more around Oslo center.
p.s . stay tuned for my final Oslo post, and read my first Oslo post if you haven’t! 🙂
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