Monday 28 October 2013

Messing About In Boats

Oslo is a lovely and interesting - if expensive - city.  But I think to truly appreciate it, you need to see it from the water.  After all, this is a city on and surrounded by water; the capital of a nation of sea-farers and explorers (since way back in the way back, when sea-faring and exploring were means to an end of looting and pillaging.)

The beautiful opera house is reflected in the harbour, its marble structure more than a little reminiscent of an iceberg.

Given my love of islands and ferries and museums, you can understand that I'd be charmed by a ferry to an island of museums.

For 50- krone you get wonderful views of Akershus Fortress,

the colourful boats belonging to local sailors,

the container port,

and the distinctive A-frame of the Fram Museum.  Though I didn't visit on this occasion, it is wonderful and the trip is well worth it to find out more about the great Norwegian Polar explorers.

In fact I was bound for the Viking Ship Museum, housed in a building that looks more than little bit like a church.

The viking ships are glorious: three of the best-preserved (if not 'the' best-preserved) Viking ships anywhere in the world.  The Oseberg ship was the burial place for two women.  I like thinking of these two early lady travellers, embarking on their voyage to - they hoped - Valhalla.  Perhaps they hoped to make some interesting detours on the way.

Here are some other adventurers - when I saw them out of the corner of my eye, I wondered what they were waiting for.  It took a while for the penny to drop that this was tribute to Roald Amundsen and his fellow explorers, looking, looking out to sea.

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