Oslo and the Viking Ship Museum

28 June 2012

After Tromso I flew back to Oslo for a couple of days, before heading to Finland.

The hostel I stayed in again was clean and spacious, but the bathroom was a great example of designing a space that looks good but it totally impractical. There was no flat surface in the room to put anything on - be it soap, toothbrush or dry clothes - and there was no shower enclosure, or shower tray, it was just a shower rose in the bathroom, the rest of the room shielded by an inadequate curtain. And being a mixed dorm, getting dressed in the room wasn't an option.

Unfortunately I was still a bit knocked about by the bug I'd caught so I wasn't up to doing much. However I made an effort and took the bus out to the Viking Ship Museum.

The Viking Ship Museum displays the famous Oseberg ship and a number of artifacts recovered from the ship, as well as ships from Gokstad and Tune. It was fantastic to see, in the flesh, so many items that I have seen in books, or seen replicas of. I took as many photos as I could, there was only one section that wouldn't allow photography. You can view them here if you're particularly keen.

The museum was purpose built to house the ships and I found it enhanced the atmosphere and complemented the ships beautifully. So despite the large number of tourists milling round the displays it was still a memorable experience for the right reasons.

The ships were excavated in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. They are impressively complete examples of ships built in the 9th and 10th centuries, and another instance of feeling ever so short-lived and part of a society that would be completely foreign to someone from even just 100 years ago.

Anyway, on to the photos, as I'm sure that's what you'd like to see.

The Oseberg Ship. A pleasure craft with a low flat design, 22m long and made of oak.
Reconstruction of the serpent head on the Oseberg ship.

The prow of the Oseberg ship.

The Tune ship.

Burial chambers found with the Tune ship.

Smaller boats and tent poles found with the Tune ship.

The Gokstad Ship.  24m long, and of a more practical design than the Oseberg ship.

One of a pair of animal head posts found on the Oseberg ship.  Purpose unknown.

A selection of shoes.

Tablet weaving cards and other textile implements.

Beechwood chair? I can't remember.


Oh!  Look!  Shiny!

Small bucket made of yew wood with brass hoops and handle.

Another bucket of yew and brass.

Iron tripod and cauldron. Flat frying pan, bowl, fish-shaped plate and knife.

After the Viking Ship Museum I took a bus back into town to the Museum of Culture and History.  After whizzing through the pre-historic displays I spent a fair bit of time photographing Viking and medieval era items before I felt too faint to keep wandering, and headed back to the hostel.

Jewellery, and items of silver that were used as currency.

Golden neck and finger rings.

Clothing pins.



Loom weights.



Beads close up.

That was about it for me and Oslo.  Another place I need to go back to and have a better look around.  After this I went back to the hostel and slept.  Next day it was on an early train to Stockholm to catch the ferry to Helsinki.


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