Sunday, April 25, 2010

Norwegian Sunday

This is blog post #800 in my three year European adventure!

I'm listening to the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" as I start this post, it couldn't be helped!

Up early again for my last full day in Oslo. Another great breakfast in the hotel and it was off to catch the ferry to the Bygdøy Peninsula to start Sunday with a whirlwind of four museum visits. But first . . .


Karl was walking in the opposite direction from the ferry landing sporting his "Sunday Best" with his fabulous beard. I had to stop and talk to him.

Another addition to my "Persons of Interest" list, Karl has had this beard since 1955!!!

Must have been a Brooklyn Dodger fan.

Bygdøyan Womens Crew

Seeing a Crew House brought back a wealth of memories of UW football living together as a football team on the Husky Crew House during the season.

Hearts anyone?


Three ninth century Viking boats plus artifacts from the good old days of rape, pillage and plunder.

There was once a time in much of frightened Europe when people closed their prayers with, ". . . and deliver us from the Vikings, Amen."

The Gokstad

A length of 24 meters and room for 32 oarsmen, this is the largest of the ships on display.

How could it survive in deep water?

Hein and Barbara Woldring

Lets ask Hein.

We met on the ten minute walk from the ferry landing to the museum. The Woldrings live in the Netherlands in the town of Groningen.

While Barbara is originally from Britain, she said she had no deep seated inner fear of Vikings and was not panicked in any way, shape or form being here!

Hein is Dutch and used to build boats, subscribes to "Wooden Ships" magazine but now restores and makes violins. Check out his website at

He waxed poetic about what a perfect design the Vikings came up with for their vessels. Being shallow but wide actually helped the Norsemen in rough seas and made it easy to go up rivers as well.

The Woldrings are nice people.

The Oseberg

She is made of solid oak and is 22 meters long with a crew of 30 Vikings.

Not as sturdy as the Gokstad, she was probably used as a royal pleasure craft for short journeys in calm waters.

I'm ready for a Viking Fantasy Camp!

The Tune

Not much remains from this vessel built in ca. 900 A.D.

The Good Old Days!


As the title implies, this 35 acres indoor/outdoor museum brings into focus everthing you could possibly think of about the customs and traditions of the people of Norway.

The Gol Stave Church

Built in 1212 A.D. in Hallingdal, note that this wooden Stave Church style of construction was unique to Norway and had a distinctive Viking ship look to it.

A closer look at our religious ship

The inside of the Gol Stave Church

A Storehouse

I'll bet the Viking men had a grog or two in here after a long day of pillaging.

Traditional Norwegian Dress Shoes

Laurie actually has a pair just like these.

They are located in her Shoe Closet 7, Shoe Rack E, Row 2, Box 4.

I wonder what Hein could have told me about this violin?

Colorful Norse Handcrafting

The Eyes, The Hands, Crazy Norwegians!

Intricate Carving Skills

A Traditional Norwegian Wedding Scene

I've seen "The Mexican Hat Dance"

The Norwegian Hat Dance looks much more interesting!

A Series of Bridal Crowns

Hey, Cleveland Browns colors

I may need a vestment like this for the upcoming NFL Season.

Sami Hats ROCK!

The Sami are the nomadic people who live above the Arctic Circle in Norway, Sweden and Finland.

They may be cold but they are colorful!

"Dad, can I borrow the reindeer this Saturday night?"

Fighting a fierce Arctic bear
with a bent spear?

Plain old Sami fun if you ask me!


In 1947, Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl and five crewmen built a balsa wood raft named Kon-Tiki using pre-modern tools and techniques. They then successfully sailed from Peru to Polynesia in 101 days to prove that contact between the peoples of these two cultures was technologically possible in ancient times.

The Kon-Tiki

The Kon-Tiki's aft living quarters

The Ra II

In 1970, Heyerdahl and his crew used this reed boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean 6100 kilometers from Morocco to Barbados to prove that contact between the Old and New Worlds was possible long before Columbus.


The Fram

This ship was used to explore both the Arctic and Antarctic by modern day Vikings Roald Amundson and Fridtjof Nansen.

It was actually stuck in the Arctic ice for THREE YEARS!

Warm boots were very necessary
on The Fram

I don't recall Laurie owning a pair like these.

The Fram's Medical Tools

Four museums uncovered in four hours!

Perhaps a new personal record but I was hungry again.


Part of my conscious decision to buy that burrito yesterday lay in the fact that I have been dining in various 7-11 locations in the greater Oslo Metroplex.

I am taking advantage of this great deal. The Coke by itself is 23 Krona while the delicious Super Big Bite retails for 18 Krona. Together, I saved 16 Krona on each of my nutritious dinners in Oslo.

Red Pants? And its a school night!!!

Old Time Tram on the #12 Line

What is it that she is holding overhead?

A pink bike for Laurie???

The last event for the day was a two hour cruise of the Oslo Fjord.

This fjord is not dramatic like the famous Sognefjord to the West. It was more like cruising the Puget Sound in Washington.

The Norwegian Royal Yacht

The Oslo Opera House

Our Cruise Guide declared that this white restaurant was excellent but quite expensive.

I had to wonder what their beef burrito would cost.

Oslo's Oldest Lighthouse

It still works.

The peaceful Oslo Fjord

Idyllic Living if you can afford it

Bath Houses

Each one of these belongs to a house farther up on the hill. The owners just use these in the Summer to go swimming.

Clothing optional of course.

Colorful, quaint bath houses abound

After a long day I decided to walk through the Royal Palace grounds just in time to see . . .

The Changing of the Guards

Nowhere near as dramatic as the same function in London at Buckingham Palace but still fun to watch.

I'm exhausted from these three days of sightseeing but it was well worth it!

Oslo should be on your list of cities to explore the next time you are in Europe, especially with 7-11's late hours!


DPLassen said...

Maybe for dining variety you should have tried the garlic wings advertised on the sign behind the tram.

Vanessa said...

I think Karl's true identity is that of one "Albus Dumbledore"

George said...

Who is Albus Dumbledore?

Laurie said...

800 posts! Congratulations!?!?

I DO love those shoes and DON'T have them in that color!


Michael Contreras said...

So, will you be cruising the Kon Tiki over to Cuba on your six week break this summer?

George said...


Do you know where I could find 3 able bodied seamen who know the Cuban waters well enough to join my crew?

Michael Contreras said...

Perhaps, perhaps.

Vanessa said...

Dumbledore is the headmaster at Hogwarts school (Harry Potter's residence)