Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Oslo of the vikings and explorers

I made some notes for myself, after the Viking Ship Museum, because I wanted that the strong impression of what I saw will also get through in this writing. When I was searching for the proper word to summarize what I saw, I simply wrote the following: WOUW!
Yes, this word describes perfectly how I felt.

In the museum I saw amongst all two almost completely preserved viking ships from the 9th century. One of them was a more luxorious burial ship, the other might have been used also for real sailing on the seas. The ships were impressive also from below, but the best was when you could walk up the stairs and look on them from above. To see the inside of the ships makes the mind wonder, and it is not hard to imagine how it might have felt to travel on a ship like this when it was still in use.

In the museum there were also other everyday objects: objects used for textile manufacturing, agriculture, jewels, pieces of silk and so on. I think it is also a great experience for people who are not watching the BBC History series The Vikings, but for me who does it was simply fantastic.
I saw exactly why I like this culture so much: the vikings were not only great warriors and explorers, they were also a well-functioning society with a strong sense of esthetics. and an eye for the detail.

When I finished this museum the sun was still shining, and it was very hot. The houses on this penisula are very wow. It is like walking in the shiny whiteness of money. You see all these white castles, villas whatsoevers. Cars with diplomate license plate number, boats in the harbour..You can imagine, if Norwegians earn the most in Europe, how much these people have to earn to be able to allow this lifestyle.

As I walked by these really beautiful houses I discovered a path leading downwards to a small bay. It was a good decision to follow my intuition, because at the end of the road I found a pretty bay full of boats and sailing boats, and the extreme surprise was the goose-families resting there with their small "kiddos".

After this we went to the Fram Museum with Aline, my Brazilian friend who I met here in Oslo at the hostel. I was quite full of the Viking Ship Museum  still, but after a while I could feel the atmosphere and the message of this place too. When you see these huge, original boats which were used in exploring the Northern Passage and the South Pole you forget easily about that how tired you are.

At this museum there were lot of photos taken by the explorers. I especially liked the black and white photos representing the inuit people, and the inuit culture, plus the ones which were showing the crew.
There were polar bears, and other artic animals too in the museum. I was surprised how huge a polar bear actually is!

An other part I really enjoyed was the exhibition telling about Nansen`s life and the short video presentation summarizing the explorations, and telling who was exactly who and what they did.

I looked at the photos of Nansen, and I tried to imagine what kind of person he was. There was a photo when his artist friend was drawing him for the last time after he died for example. It made me think what kind of charisma these people had to have when they were alive if their message is still so strong even now long time after they are dead An other interesting fact was that they were mentioning it at many places how Amundsen and his crew respected the inuit people, and how well these two cultures could live next to each other.

At the end the picture got together in me. The vikings, Nansen, Amundsen and their partners, they represent actually the same, something I really like. That is why I could probably spend almost one day with visiting museums about them. I like people who dare to look for something more, who are curious what the word might be about besides what we already know, and what we are told to believe.

At the end of the day, sitting in the Fram Museum I wrote the following sentence to myself:

"The world is a great place, and there is still so much to see."

*You find all the photos taken yesterday (and continously uploaded during the trip under:
Something even more cool: yesterday we were playing locals in Oslo with Aline, and could see a face of the city what tourists hardly see.  As a short summary I can say that Norwegian people are really cool, and the club we went yesterday was one of the best clubs I have ever been.
Now I am waiting for checking in to my plane to Helsinki. I really got to like Norway and Norwegian people, and I am sure it was not my last visit to Oslo, and to this country.

During next week I will write more about this local experience and the other things I saw and experienced here.

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