Given the number activities and of pictures, and the speed of transmission on the internet I decided to divide this entry into two parts. This first part covers our arrival, a visit to Vigeland Sculpture Garden and a visit to the Viking Ship Museum.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, lies at the top of Oslo Fjord, which extends some 40 miles inland from the sea. Originally a Viking fishing village, it is not hard to see why this area was the heartland of Viking country – with fjords and islands in abundance, perfect for harboring their craft.
This island is directly across from Oslo, perhaps a mile offshore and is served by a ferry.
Askershus Castle and Fortress is directly adjacent to the port.
After departing the ship, our first stop was Vigeland Sculpture Garden. This is a very large park in the northwest of Oslo, and is devoted to sculpture of Gustav Vigeland, containing some 200 of his sculptures depicting the complete human life cycle.
“Angry Baby” is perhaps Gustav Vigeland’s most popular, most famous work. Notice that his left hand is polished by the constant stream of people touching him to “calm” him.
Our next stop was the Viking Ship Museum, which contains several Viking ships which were discovered in the past 100 years. It is believed that these ships were burial ships for high ranking persons in the eighth and ninth centuries. When found, they had burial “sleighs” or coffins on them, as well many of the important possessions of the people being buried. They were found in bogs, which preserved them intact, but valuables such as jewelery and precious metals had been removed by ancient grave robbers. The ships were considered shallow water “royal cruising” ships rather than the ocean going ships used for exploration and raiding.
An interesting map, showing the extent to which the Vikings raided. Notice that they claim exploration of New Foundland, hundreds of years before Columbus.
One of the burial carts found on the ship.
Next – the Kon Tiki Museum coming up in part 2.