Friday, August 10, 2012

A little bit of Nordic history

Today featured a ferry trip over to the peninsula of Bygdoy to see the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

The former features three Viking ships, used to bury several important chieftans or royals, along with some of the grave goods that were buried with them. They also had their skeletons - one was of a giant (his thigh bones were about twice as big as a normal thigh bone) and another was an old woman who died of cancer. It's amazing what can be learned from bones that are nearly 1000 years old.

The Museum of Cultural History is an open-air museum featuring old buildings from different periods of Norwegian history. You can go inside most of them, and some have either exhibitions or people dressed up all old-timey who can tell you about life in Norway in the past. It seemed like, for the most part, it would have been pretty uncomfortable. There were 17th century buildings (based on much older designs) that were still in use in the 19th century - one room with a fire in the middle and a hole in the roof to let (some of) the smoke out. Some of the buildings from later periods included an apartment building with interiors representing Norwegian life and design from the 19th century to today, and public and commercial buildings such as an old-fashioned grocery store, bank, pharmacy etc. It was a lot of fun wandering around and definitely made a change from a traditional-style museum.

The Fram museum (icebreaking Arctic explorer ship) museum from the ferry

View of the town hall from the ferry

View from the ferry

This bucket at the Viking ship museum featured a weird little Buddha-like guy in the lotus position, festooned with swastikas

I missed what exactly these carved heads were for

Two high-ranking women were found buried in this ship

Old school shop at the Museum of Cultural History

Me looking mildly pissed in front of a grass-roofed house

As happy as a pig in...

In a teeny tiny Sami winter hut

Oh là là, that's not nice

Carved doorway of the Stave church

Stave church from c. 1200

It was very small and dark inside the Stave church

Painting from the Stave church

Viking milk! Is that like Cream of Sum Yung Gai?

Fountain featuring a nekked lady (contact me by email for close-up) with the Nobel Peace Centre in the background


  1. I'm loving this Gwan Eurotour 2012! Girl, you're getting around! I'd say that funemployment is suiting you well.

    You are such a little French girl in your stripes. Adorable as ever!

    And I love you peeking out of that little door!

    Is that pig sleeping, stuffed or dead?

    1. Aw you're such a sweetie! Sleeping of course! X gwan

    2. Gwan - why are you anonymous? What's going on? : )

    3. No dramz was just having probs logging in on ipad

  2. The sun is shining in Norway?! I'm glad to see that you're having good weather in the land of my ancestors. When my father died, the whole family worked together to make a small VIking boat in his honor. Of course, in true VIking fashion we set fire to it before we let it sail down the Mississippi RIver. It makes me wonder why they didn't burn the women's boat as it sailed towards Valhalla.

    1. We have been having beautiful weather! Looks a bit dodge today but that's okay, we did our fjord trip already. I'm not sure on the burning/burying thing, I don't think the museum went into that. That must have been quite the sight, what a lovely idea to honour your dad.

  3. EnJoying your European tour. It is always a surprise where you will pop up next.
    Love the pictures and the comments. You make me laugh!
    Are you on your own?

    Love Deniae

    1. Thanks so much! I have popped up in rainy Lancaster now! X


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