A Travellerspoint blog

Oslo to Bergen "Norway in a Nutshell"

A planned highlight of the trip turns into a day of tempest

storm 10 °C
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Going to Norway, I also wanted to see the fjords and doing my research before the trip I soon stumbled on the 12 hour "Norway in a Nutshell" train-tourist railway-ferry-bus-train trip between Oslo and Bergen billed as one of the best ways to take in Norway's scenery with the Flam Railway section billed as one of the top five railway journeys in the world. The day before in Oslo had been lovely and sunny but the weather then changed and mid afternoon I got an email saying "Due to the flood in Flam the Flam railway has been partly damaged and cannot operate from October 31st until further notice." It was not going to be the trip I'd hoped:-(
Fields near Nesbyen

Fields near Nesbyen


Countryside near Nesbyen

Countryside near Nesbyen


Hallingdalselve River widening out near Nesbyen

Hallingdalselve River widening out near Nesbyen


Disused Bridge near Nesbyen

Disused Bridge near Nesbyen


The 3 hour train journey north west from Oslo was fine even if the sky was a bit grey but by the time we reached Al to get on the bus organised in place of the bus to take us to Flam the weather was closing in and it was trying to snow.
Transferring from the train to the coach at Al

Transferring from the train to the coach at Al


The weather closing in as we leave Al

The weather closing in as we leave Al


Rapids above Al

Rapids above Al


Definitely beginning to look like winter

Definitely beginning to look like winter


The end of Strandavatnet Lake

The end of Strandavatnet Lake


As we travelled further up into the mountains above Strandavatnet Lake it was evident that it was getting bleaker and bleaker outside and we could sense the scenery must be stunning, if only the rain and mist would lift long enough to allow us to see it!
Water rushing down the river beside our coach

Water rushing down the river beside our coach


The bleak landscape from Highway 50 above Aurland

The bleak landscape from Highway 50 above Aurland


Frozen Lake above Aurland

Frozen Lake above Aurland


Mountain Huts above Aurland

Mountain Huts above Aurland


Crags above us on the road above Aurland

Crags above us on the road above Aurland


The coach stopped for photographs when the road emerged from the mountains above Aurslandfjord. Even with the weather being awful this was still a spectacular view. The road then twisted its way down to the fjord side through endless tunnels.
This first view of Aurslandfjord is normally spectacular

This first view of Aurslandfjord is normally spectacular


There were LOTS of tunnels on the road down to Aurland

There were LOTS of tunnels on the road down to Aurland


You can see the rain on the coach windscreen as we emerge from a tunnel

You can see the rain on the coach windscreen as we emerge from a tunnel


Drive alongside Aurlandfjord to Flam

Drive alongside Aurlandfjord to Flam


We then arrived a Flam, the normally picturesque small ferry port and tourist train terminus at the southern end of Aurslandfjord. We could see the locomotive of the famous Flambana Railway we'd originally booked to arrive on sitting idle in its sidings.
The Flam Ferry Port at the bottom of Aurlandsfjord

The Flam Ferry Port at the bottom of Aurlandsfjord


The Flam Railway Locomotive stands idle in the sidings

The Flam Railway Locomotive stands idle in the sidings


The Flam Railway Locomotive

The Flam Railway Locomotive


Despite the Flambana Railway not running the place was a hive of activity with suction trucks and hoses cleaning up the silt the covered everywhere. I got talking to one of the locals and it was evident the flood down the Flam valley had been one of the largest for decades and not only the Flambana Railway but the also the Oslo to Bergen Mainline had been cut and could be out for weeks if not months. Many homes had also been washed away further up the valley although thankfully nobody had lost their lives or been hurt.
Clean up underway in Flam sucking up all the silt

Clean up underway in Flam sucking up all the silt


Hosing down the silt outside the ticket office

Hosing down the silt outside the ticket office


Our ferry arrives to take us to Gudvangen

Our ferry arrives to take us to Gudvangen


After lunch at he ferry port the ferry arrived and we climbed on-board. Aurlandsfjord is a branch of Sognesfjorden, the longest fjord in Norway stretching 128 miles inland. Despite its length the fjord is deep and ocean going cruise liners do call at Flam.
View from the back of the ferry as we set off down Aurlandsfjord

View from the back of the ferry as we set off down Aurlandsfjord


Aurlandsfjord

Aurlandsfjord


Our first port of call was Aurslandvangen itself. Having watched foot passengers get on and off the ferry we passed lots of debris floating in the fjord being fished out by a boat, a reminder of the damage wrecked by the flood down the Flam Valley the previous day.
Approaching Aurland

Approaching Aurland


Fishing debris from the previous days flood out of the fjord

Fishing debris from the previous days flood out of the fjord


View out the back of the ferry

View out the back of the ferry


Waterfall near Undredal falling into the fjord

Waterfall near Undredal falling into the fjord


About an hour and half into our trip we arrived at the picturesque fjord side port of Undredal and watched passengers climb off the ferry up into the town with its white Stave Church visible on the hillside, the smallest stave church in Norway.
The Stave Church at Undredal, the smallest in Norway

The Stave Church at Undredal, the smallest in Norway


Passengers leave the ferry at Undredal

Passengers leave the ferry at Undredal


Me at Undredal - looking very cold and wet!

Me at Undredal - looking very cold and wet!


Last view of Undredal

Last view of Undredal


We then turned into Naeroyfjord, one of the narrowest fjords in Norway famous for its dramatic landscape and inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Apparently there are 25 waterfalls cascading into the fjord and we did get close to a couple of them but unfortunately the appalling weather meant we did not see them at their best.
Norwegian Coastguard

Norwegian Coastguard


Aurlandsfjord

Aurlandsfjord


Turning into Naeroyfjord

Turning into Naeroyfjord


A large waterfall cascading into Naeroyfjord

A large waterfall cascading into Naeroyfjord


It was gradually getting darker, wetter and colder as we approached Gudvangen and even the toughest of the ferry's passengers hardly ventured out of the cabin to take photographs.
Rain on the window of the Ferry

Rain on the window of the Ferry


It was getting dark towards the end of our ferry trip

It was getting dark towards the end of our ferry trip


Arriving at Gudvangen - the end of our ferry trip

Arriving at Gudvangen - the end of our ferry trip


Leaving the ferry at Gudvangen to board another coach

Leaving the ferry at Gudvangen to board another coach


At Gudvangen we climbed aboard the awaiting coach in the dark. The driver reminded us how great the scenery was outside, if only we could see it in the dark and through the weather! About an hour later we arrived at Voss where I took a photographs of its Stave Church before mounting the mainline train for the final leg of our trip to Bergen. When we eventually arrived in Bergen I was relieved the trip was over; I had hoped "Norway in a Nutshell" was going to be a highlight but in the end with the poor weather and darkness it was just a tease and it is a trip I feel I'll have to do again.
The Stave Church at Voss

The Stave Church at Voss


Bergen Railway Station

Bergen Railway Station


Velkommen til Bergen! Our journey end

Velkommen til Bergen! Our journey end

Posted by FrancisRTW 07:24 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

A day strolling around Oslo City Centre

Another castle, another royal palace, another changing of the guard, another Nobel Centre... and another State Visit by the President of Ghana!

sunny 13 °C
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Having done most of my Oslo Bucket List yesterday today was planned as a quiet stroll around the city centre mopping up the Castle (Akerhus Festning), the Royal Palace (Slottet), the Nobel Peace Centre as well as the Cathedral, Parliament (Stortinget) and City Hall.
The Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery) home of Edvard Munch's 'The Scream'

The Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery) home of Edvard Munch's 'The Scream'

Oslo Domkirke (Cathedral)

Oslo Domkirke (Cathedral)

Youngstorget - square renowned for being the home of labour organisations... and a fruit and veg market

Youngstorget - square renowned for being the home of labour organisations... and a fruit and veg market


Stortinget (the Norwegian Parliament)

Stortinget (the Norwegian Parliament)

Nationaltheatret (National Theatre)

Nationaltheatret (National Theatre)

Oslo University

Oslo University

Karl Johan's Gate - Oslo's most prestigious street

Karl Johan's Gate - Oslo's most prestigious street


First up was Akershus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's 700 year old castle) nestled on a hill at the head of Oslofjord overlooking Oslo City Hall and all the berths for ferries constantly busying themselves getting to and from other parts of Oslofjord.
The entrance into Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle)

The entrance into Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle)

Canon on the battlements of Akerhus Festning

Canon on the battlements of Akerhus Festning

Guns on the battlements of Akerhus Festning overlooking Oslofjord and Oslo Town Hall

Guns on the battlements of Akerhus Festning overlooking Oslofjord and Oslo Town Hall


Inside Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle)

Inside Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle)


Looking back at Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle) from its battlements

Looking back at Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle) from its battlements


The view down Oslofjord from the battlements of Akerhus Festning

The view down Oslofjord from the battlements of Akerhus Festning


There were a couple of uniformed guards on duty from the Kings Guard but the castle itself was closed so I was only able to wander around the battlements and look around a short display on the castle's history especially as a prison. What I did manage to look around was the Hem me front misery, Norway's Resistance Museum located at the top of the fortress. Although it did not offer much to take photographs of it did give a fascinating incite into everyday life in Norway while under Nazi occupation.
Member of the King's Guard on guard duty outside Akerhus Festning

Member of the King's Guard on guard duty outside Akerhus Festning


Hjemmelfrontmuseet (Resistance Museum) In the grounds of the Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle)

Hjemmelfrontmuseet (Resistance Museum) In the grounds of the Akerhus Festning (Akerhus Fortress - Oslo's Castle)

Arms cache of rifles used by the Norwegian Resistance during the Nazi Occupation

Arms cache of rifles used by the Norwegian Resistance during the Nazi Occupation

One of the bombs the RAF dropped on the Tirpitz

One of the bombs the RAF dropped on the Tirpitz

Supply Pod dropped to the Norwegian Resistance by the RAF during the Nazi Occupation

Supply Pod dropped to the Norwegian Resistance by the RAF during the Nazi Occupation


Next up was the Royal Palace (Slottet) situated imposingly at the top of a hill at the end of Karl Johans Gate, the long straight street through the centre of Oslo and the most prestigious retail space in the city. Having seen the Changing of the Guard in Copenhagen and Stockholm I was determined to also watch the Norwegian version in Oslo. Like Sweden Norway includes lady soldiers standing guard outside the Royal Palace but its just the Kings Guard and not every unit in the armed forces like in Sweden.
View up Karl Johans Gate to the Slottet (Royal Palace)

View up Karl Johans Gate to the Slottet (Royal Palace)


Closer view up Karl Johans Gate from the University towards the Slottet (Royal Palace)

Closer view up Karl Johans Gate from the University towards the Slottet (Royal Palace)


The King's Guard arrive at the Slottet ready for the Changing of the Guard

The King's Guard arrive at the Slottet ready for the Changing of the Guard


Then the guards were methodically each placed on tape marks on the parade ground in front of the palace and the police moved the small crowd back, something was up. Then the cavalcade of limousines arrived, another state visit at a Royal Palace just like I'd seen in Copenhagen! I recognised him, he was the same chap and when I looked it up subsequently on the internet it was the president of Ghana.
Something's up, the Politi (Police) move the crowd back

Something's up, the Politi (Police) move the crowd back

The honour guard from the King's  Guard stand ready

The honour guard from the King's Guard stand ready

Second time on my trip I'm photo bombed by the President of Ghana at the Royal Palace on a state visit (the first was in Copenhagen)

Second time on my trip I'm photo bombed by the President of Ghana at the Royal Palace on a state visit (the first was in Copenhagen)


Police outriders assemble after escorting the President of Ghana's cavelcade

Police outriders assemble after escorting the President of Ghana's cavelcade

Me in front of the Slottet (Royal Palace)

Me in front of the Slottet (Royal Palace)

King Karl Johan's Statue in front of the Slottet (Royal Palace)

King Karl Johan's Statue in front of the Slottet (Royal Palace)

The view down Karl Johans Gate from the Slottet

The view down Karl Johans Gate from the Slottet

.
I then wandered down to the head of Oslofjord where the Rudhuset (Oslo City Hall) and the Nobel Peace Centre are situated. I decided to do the Rudhuset first, its a large modernist building opened in 1950 and it doesn't look very exciting on the outside (it grows on you!) I was keen to see its Great Hall which is where the annual Nobel Peace Prize is presented each December 10th (anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death).
Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)

Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)

The main entrance into the Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)

The main entrance into the Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)

Flag and plaque in the Radhuset Great Hall for HMS Devonshire who returned King Haakon VII to Oslo in May 1945

Flag and plaque in the Radhuset Great Hall for HMS Devonshire who returned King Haakon VII to Oslo in May 1945


The Great Hall of the Radhuset (Oslo City Hall) where the annual Noble Peace Prize is peesented

The Great Hall of the Radhuset (Oslo City Hall) where the annual Noble Peace Prize is peesented


North side of the Rudhuset (Oslo City Hall) Great Hall

North side of the Rudhuset (Oslo City Hall) Great Hall

The first floor Stordtein Room overlooking Oslofjord at The Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)

The first floor Stordtein Room overlooking Oslofjord at The Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)


The firt floor Banquet Hall of the Radhuset (Oslo Town Hall)

The firt floor Banquet Hall of the Radhuset (Oslo Town Hall)

The City Council Chamber at the Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)

The City Council Chamber at the Radhuset (Oslo City Hall)


From the Rudhuset I the crossed the road to the Nobel Peace Centre housed in Oslo's former Vestbanen Railway Station. This was smaller than the Nobel Centre in Stockholm and contained of interactive displays about democracy and the impact of social media as well as lots of info on past winners of the peace prize. As I mentioned earlier, the annual peace prize is actually presented in the Great Hall of Oslo City HallHall so it was interesting to video of kasst year's prize being presentesd there and comparing it with the vast empty space I had just seen.
The Nobel Peace Centre on the shores of Oslofjord in Oslo

The Nobel Peace Centre on the shores of Oslofjord in Oslo

the Democracy Wall inside the Nobel Peace Centre including a map where every country is given a 'Democracy Rating' - not surprisingly Norway came top and North Korea came bottom

the Democracy Wall inside the Nobel Peace Centre including a map where every country is given a 'Democracy Rating' - not surprisingly Norway came top and North Korea came bottom

Social Media Exhibition at the Nobel Peace Centre with a globe where live tweets about democracy were flashed on the inside of small panels

Social Media Exhibition at the Nobel Peace Centre with a globe where live tweets about democracy were flashed on the inside of small panels


The darkened room of the 'Nobel Field' where iPads sway on the end of luminous rods with pictures of Nobel Prize winners; if touch one it gives details their peace citation, Malala Yousafzai for 2014 is in the foreground

The darkened room of the 'Nobel Field' where iPads sway on the end of luminous rods with pictures of Nobel Prize winners; if touch one it gives details their peace citation, Malala Yousafzai for 2014 is in the foreground

The Nobel Peace Centre's interactive 'Wall of Papers' where you can use slider to bing up details of a laureate's nomination - this is Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross and prize winner for 1901

The Nobel Peace Centre's interactive 'Wall of Papers' where you can use slider to bing up details of a laureate's nomination - this is Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross and prize winner for 1901

The display for 2014 Malala Yousafzai on the Nobel Peace Centre's Wall of Papers

The display for 2014 Malala Yousafzai on the Nobel Peace Centre's Wall of Papers


Still from a video of the 2013 Peace Prize Award Ceremony across the road in The Great Hall of Oslo City Hall, I thought I'd include to compare with what it looked like empty!

Still from a video of the 2013 Peace Prize Award Ceremony across the road in The Great Hall of Oslo City Hall, I thought I'd include to compare with what it looked like empty!

Detailed documentation for each  winner's nomination are kept secret for 30 years before being released, 30 years ago in 1964 the Nobel Peace Prize was Martin Luther King, Jr.

Detailed documentation for each winner's nomination are kept secret for 30 years before being released, 30 years ago in 1964 the Nobel Peace Prize was Martin Luther King, Jr.


By now the sun was starting to set and I had an epic rail and ferry trip across mountains and down fjords planned to Bergen for tomorrow so I made my way back to my hotel, not before taking a few photos of the sun setting on Oslofjord of course!
Harbour Clock on the shores of Oslofjord as the Nessodden Ferry comes in

Harbour Clock on the shores of Oslofjord as the Nessodden Ferry comes in

view along Oslo Strand

view along Oslo Strand

View down Oslo Fjord

View down Oslo Fjord

One last photograph of Akershus Festning beside Oslofjord as it gets dark, tomorrow its my epic trip to Bergen!

One last photograph of Akershus Festning beside Oslofjord as it gets dark, tomorrow its my epic trip to Bergen!

Posted by FrancisRTW 08:07 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

Grey days in Bergen

Braving the drizzle in Norway's 2nd City to go sightseeing

rain 10 °C
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Corner supermarket opposite Bergen Railway Station

Corner supermarket opposite Bergen Railway Station


Typical cobbled street near Bergen Railway Station

Typical cobbled street near Bergen Railway Station


Domkirken (Bergen Cathedral)

Domkirken (Bergen Cathedral)


Ludwig Holberg's Statue in the square by Bergen Fish Market

Ludwig Holberg's Statue in the square by Bergen Fish Market


Vagen, the main harbour in Bergen

Vagen, the main harbour in Bergen

Posted by FrancisRTW 22:56 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

Onward to Oslo

The long train journey west to see 'The Scream', an Olympic Ski Jump and Viking Longboats

sunny 13 °C
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I had booked myself on the early train for the 6 hour journey to Oslo. This time it was an old train rather than a high speed one like I had from Copenhagen and there was nothing of note during the journey - hours of endless coniferous forests dotted with lakes with the occasional town.

Having booked into my hotel I managed to visit the Nasjonalgalleriet before it closed to tick off one of the items on my Oslo bucket list - too see Edvard Munch's famous 1893 expressionist painting 'The Scream'. Mind you I did looking around the rest of the gallery's collection as well and particularly enjoyed Norwegian Landscapes as well as some of Munch's other works (the gallery had a special Munch Exhibition on so there was rather a lot of them!). On the way back to my hotel I passed a line of electric cars plugged into a public recharging point - not something I can say I have ever come across before.
Edward Munch's 'The Scream' (1893) on display in the Nasjonalgalleriet - the most famous art work in the collection

Edward Munch's 'The Scream' (1893) on display in the Nasjonalgalleriet - the most famous art work in the collection

I particularly liked Johan Christian Dahl's 'Stugunoset pa Filefjell' (1851) but I don't think this photo dringa out the amazing detail of the large herd of deer on the rock lost in the vastness of the landscape

I particularly liked Johan Christian Dahl's 'Stugunoset pa Filefjell' (1851) but I don't think this photo dringa out the amazing detail of the large herd of deer on the rock lost in the vastness of the landscape

Thomas Fearnley's 'The Labro Falls of Kongsberg' on display in the Nasjonalgalleriet

Thomas Fearnley's 'The Labro Falls of Kongsberg' on display in the Nasjonalgalleriet


Erik Werenskiod's 'Peasant Burial' (1885) on display at the Nasjonalgalleriet

Erik Werenskiod's 'Peasant Burial' (1885) on display at the Nasjonalgalleriet

I liked some of Munch's other work, here's 'Rue Lafayette' (1891)

I liked some of Munch's other work, here's 'Rue Lafayette' (1891)

Picasso's 'Guitar and Glass' (1911) on display in the Nasjonalgalleriet

Picasso's 'Guitar and Glass' (1911) on display in the Nasjonalgalleriet

Electric cars plugged into a public recharging point in Central Oslo

Electric cars plugged into a public recharging point in Central Oslo


The next day I decided as in Copenhagen and Stockholm I would get a tourist day pass for Oslo and have an early start to get maximum value from it. First up I ventured 5 miles north on the T-bane (Oslo's Metro) to Holmenkollen, host to the 1952 Winter Olympic Games and 4 World Championships (1930, 1966, 1982 and 2011). Holmekollen is home to the World's oldest ski museum which was interesting, especially how Holmenkollen itself has changed over the years but the star of the show not surprisingly was the Ski Jump itself. From the top the 360° view of Oslo, the Fjord and surrounding forest was spectacular.
The entrance to the Ski Jump and Museum high above Oslofjord at Holenkollen

The entrance to the Ski Jump and Museum high above Oslofjord at Holenkollen

Artifacts from Roald Amundsen's 1911 expedition to the South Pole - yes that is one of the original dogs stuffed!

Artifacts from Roald Amundsen's 1911 expedition to the South Pole - yes that is one of the original dogs stuffed!


Painting of early skiers in the Holmenkollen Ski Museum

Painting of early skiers in the Holmenkollen Ski Museum

Models in the Ski Museum of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump as it was in 1952 and 1982

Models in the Ski Museum of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump as it was in 1952 and 1982


The view going up in the lift to the top of the Ski Jump

The view going up in the lift to the top of the Ski Jump

The view down the Ski Jump from the start at the top

The view down the Ski Jump from the start at the top

Selfie of me at the start of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump

Selfie of me at the start of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump

The spectacular view out the window at the back of the top of the Ski Jump

The spectacular view out the window at the back of the top of the Ski Jump

The spectacular view across Oslofjord from the top of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump

The spectacular view across Oslofjord from the top of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump


Me standing on the top of the medals podium at the very top of the Ski Jump

Me standing on the top of the medals podium at the very top of the Ski Jump


From high above Oslo I made way all the way down to Bygdog, an exclusive fjord side residential area just across the water from Oslo's city centre and home to a number of museums reflecting Norway's cultural history and seafaring traditions. First up was culture with a visit to the open air Norsk Folkesmuseum containing 150+ buildings from all over Norway dating back to the 1500s. The star of the show was definitely the traditional wooden Stave Church built about 1200 and typical of western Norway (I really didn't think I'd get a chance to see one of these) but there were lots of other buildings moved here from all over Norway as well.
The star of the show - the Stave Church built about 1200 and moved here from Gol

The star of the show - the Stave Church built about 1200 and moved here from Gol


Detail from the spire of the Stave Church at the Norsk Folkemuseum

Detail from the spire of the Stave Church at the Norsk Folkemuseum

View of the nave inside the Stave Church

View of the nave inside the Stave Church

There were quite a few old wooden houses from all over Norway

There were quite a few old wooden houses from all over Norway

Another old wooden house at the open air Norsk Folkemuseum

Another old wooden house at the open air Norsk Folkemuseum

A street in Old Town with buildings from the late 19th/early 20th centuries at the Norsk Folkemuseum

A street in Old Town with buildings from the late 19th/early 20th centuries at the Norsk Folkemuseum


1890s counter inside a bank in the Norsk Folkmuseum's old town

1890s counter inside a bank in the Norsk Folkmuseum's old town

Reconstruction of a 1920s Norwegian Petrol Station (although the VW Beetle is from a bit later)

Reconstruction of a 1920s Norwegian Petrol Station (although the VW Beetle is from a bit later)


A recreation of the Norwegian Stortinget (Parliament) meeting chamber as it was in the 19th century

A recreation of the Norwegian Stortinget (Parliament) meeting chamber as it was in the 19th century


It was then on to another item on my Oslo bucket list, the Viking Ships Museum. They are in a cross shaped building with each of the 3 ships having a wing of their own. The are remarkably well preserved, over 90% original timbers and were genuine sea going Viking longboats from the 9th and 10th centuries which were then used to bury individuals of high status - not all viking chiefs were set a drift in burning boats Shetland Valhalla style!Entrance to the Viking Ship Museum

Entrance to the Viking Ship Museum

The Oseberg Ship built around 820, the most ornate of the 3 Viking ships and with pride of place in the museum

The Oseberg Ship built around 820, the most ornate of the 3 Viking ships and with pride of place in the museum


The Gokstad Ship built around 890 and solid enough to sail across the open sea, the largest of the museum's 3 Viking ships

The Gokstad Ship built around 890 and solid enough to sail across the open sea, the largest of the museum's 3 Viking ships


The Tune Ship built around 900, an Ocean going boat but not as well preserved as the other two

The Tune Ship built around 900, an Ocean going boat but not as well preserved as the other two


Me standing by the Oseberg ship at the Vikingskipshuset

Me standing by the Oseberg ship at the Vikingskipshuset


Before my final target for the day I just had time to pop in to the Polar Ship Fram Museum, well I had a valid Oslo Pass so it was free so why not? The Fram was the wooden ship used by the Norwegian polar explorers Nansen (1893-96), Sverdrup (1898-1902) and final Roald Amundsen himself (1910-12). It is credited with having sailed further north and south than any other sailing ship in the world.The Polar Ship Fram used by Roald Amundsen inside its museum at Bygdoy

The Polar Ship Fram used by Roald Amundsen inside its museum at Bygdoy


The deck of the polar ship Fram inside its museum at Bygdoy

The deck of the polar ship Fram inside its museum at Bygdoy


My final port of call was the Kon-Tiki Museum, I remember reading about it when I was a kid. This was the fragile balsa wood raft that Thor Heyerdahl and his five-man crew used to sail from Peru to Easter Island in 1947 to prove that early South Americans could have peopled Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean. Alongside it is the Ra II in which Thor Heyerdahl embarked on a similar trip between Morocco and Barbados in 1970.
A recreation of an Easter Island moai statue outside the Kon-Tiki Museum

A recreation of an Easter Island moai statue outside the Kon-Tiki Museum

The Ra used in That Heyerdahl's1970 Morocco to Barbados Expedition

The Ra used in That Heyerdahl's1970 Morocco to Barbados Expedition

Front view of the Kon-Tiki used in Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 Peru to Easter Island Expedition

Front view of the Kon-Tiki used in Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 Peru to Easter Island Expedition


The Kon-Tiki

The Kon-Tiki


By now it was getting dark and I just had time to take some pictures looking down and across Oslofjord before the sunset. A good day with most of my Oslo bucket list covered, just a leisurely stroll around Oslo city centre planned for tomorrow.
Early evening view over to Oslo from the Bygdog peninsular

Early evening view over to Oslo from the Bygdog peninsular

View of Akershus Festning (Oslo Castle and Fortress) from the Bygdoy peninsular

View of Akershus Festning (Oslo Castle and Fortress) from the Bygdoy peninsular


Evening view down Oslofjord from the Bygdoy peninsular

Evening view down Oslofjord from the Bygdoy peninsular

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

Skansen and Abba

Djurgarden - Stockholm's Island of museums, parks and amusement parks

semi-overcast 12 °C
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My Stockholm Card was due to run out just after 10am so I quickly had a look around Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral) in front of the royal palace before racing over to the Skansen Open Air Museum on Djurgarden which is the most popular attraction in Stockholm.
Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral) behind the Kungliga Slottet

Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral) behind the Kungliga Slottet

The Altar inside Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral)

The Altar inside Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral)

St George slaying the Dragon statue inside Storkyan (Stockholm Cathedral)

St George slaying the Dragon statue inside Storkyan (Stockholm Cathedral)

Passing Stockholm tram.. from another Stockholm tram!

Passing Stockholm tram.. from another Stockholm tram!


Skansen was the first open air museum ever opened, originally founded in 1891 it contains over 150 buildings from all over Sweden portraying how everyday life use to be. Although end of season, quite a few of the houses had guides contemporarily dressed demonstrating traditional skills like printing and glass blowing.
A colourful local on his soapbox welcoming visitors at the entrance to Skansen

A colourful local on his soapbox welcoming visitors at the entrance to Skansen


Swedish Manor House in the Open Air Museum at Skansen

Swedish Manor House in the Open Air Museum at Skansen


Swedish Church at Skansen, complete with freshly dug grave and coffin on a cart!

Swedish Church at Skansen, complete with freshly dug grave and coffin on a cart!


Bredablick Tower at Skansen

Bredablick Tower at Skansen

The Town Quarter in Skansen

The Town Quarter in Skansen

Inside the 1840s style shop in Skansen's town quarter

Inside the 1840s style shop in Skansen's town quarter

Glass blowing in Skansen Town Quarter's Glassworks

Glass blowing in Skansen Town Quarter's Glassworks


I also managed to get into Skansen's Aquarium (a separate ticket) before my Stockholm Card ran out and was amazed how close and well behaved all the creatures were. Skansen also has a working farm and zoo of Scandinavian animals including some very playful brown bears; all in all a very relaxing when to spend a few hours in Stockholm.
An inquisitive snake inside the Reptile House at Skansen

An inquisitive snake inside the Reptile House at Skansen

Crocodiles inside the Reptile House at Skansen

Crocodiles inside the Reptile House at Skansen


Feeding time for the pigs at the farm in the Skansen Open Air Museum

Feeding time for the pigs at the farm in the Skansen Open Air Museum

Brown Bears 'playing' (it looked like a fight!) in their enclosure at Skansen

Brown Bears 'playing' (it looked like a fight!) in their enclosure at Skansen

An Elk having a rwest at Skansen

An Elk having a rwest at Skansen

Reindeer at Skansen

Reindeer at Skansen

Baboon in his enclosure at Skansen

Baboon in his enclosure at Skansen

Ground Antelope Squirrel from South West USA

Ground Antelope Squirrel from South West USA


It was then on to nearby 'ABBA The Museum' opened in the spring of last year; being a cultural icon of the 1970s and 1980s it had to be done. Inside it told the story of how they were all big stars in Sweden beforehand anyway before they got together and had their big international breakthrough by winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. Its full of memorabilia but the funist part are all the interactive displays with karaoke with the band in recording booths, performing on stage with avatars of the band and loads more.
The entrance to the ABBA Museum

The entrance to the ABBA Museum

The vast ABBA sign at the start of the Museum tour

The vast ABBA sign at the start of the Museum tour

ABBA's costumes and their original Eurovision performance on endless loop on screen at the ABBA Museum

ABBA's costumes and their original Eurovision performance on endless loop on screen at the ABBA Museum


Here some other punters do karaoke to one of the group's songs inside sound booths

Here some other punters do karaoke to one of the group's songs inside sound booths


There was lot of interactive karaoke activities during the ABBA Museum Tour - here are a couple performing on stage with full size avatars of the group!

There was lot of interactive karaoke activities during the ABBA Museum Tour - here are a couple performing on stage with full size avatars of the group!


Me sat inside the cockpit of the helicopter on the ABBA 'Arrival' Album

Me sat inside the cockpit of the helicopter on the ABBA 'Arrival' Album

Inside the ABBA Museum Gold Room filled with their stage costumes and gold discs

Inside the ABBA Museum Gold Room filled with their stage costumes and gold discs


After exploring the smart shopping district around Sergels Torg Square just north of Gamla Stan I had one last place I wanted to go before I left Stockholm. Being a fan of Steig Larsson's dark book 'The Girl with Dragon Tattoo' (I prefer the original 2009 Swedish film to the later 2011 Hollywood version) I wanted to find Lisbeth Salander's fictional apartment at Fiskargartan 9 south of Gamla Stan in Sodermalm.
View south down Drottninggatten, one of Stockholm's main pedestrianised shopping streets

View south down Drottninggatten, one of Stockholm's main pedestrianised shopping streets


Sergels Torg, Stockholm's Central Square

Sergels Torg, Stockholm's Central Square

The open air fruit market outside the Konserthuset Stockholm Concert Hall)

The open air fruit market outside the Konserthuset Stockholm Concert Hall)

9 Fiskargaten, fictional location of Lisbeth Salander's appartment in the 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

9 Fiskargaten, fictional location of Lisbeth Salander's appartment in the 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'


Lisabeth Salander's fictional apartment block from 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

Lisabeth Salander's fictional apartment block from 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'


It was getting dark by the time I found it but that was sort of appropriate! On the way back I stumbled on the top of the Katarinahissen, a lift dating from the 1930s originally opened in tge 1880s and famous for its views over Stockholm. Although currently closed for renovation I was able to take in the views :-)
The Katarinahissen at night

The Katarinahissen at night

Evening view from the top of the Katarinahissen of a cruise ship berthed up at Stockholm

Evening view from the top of the Katarinahissen of a cruise ship berthed up at Stockholm


The view towards the city centre from the top of the Katarinahissen

The view towards the city centre from the top of the Katarinahissen

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

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