I couldn’t shake the feeling that Oslo didn’t look like I’d pictured it in my mind. Then the last day we planned to visit the Viking Ship Museum.
To get there we first walked in a new direction to find the boat. We arrived at the harbor in front of City Hall.
There it was! This was the view I’d had in my mind. It was here all along, I was just a few blocks off. I’m so glad I found it, but why? It isn’t like I was dissatisfied with the city, so I’m not sure why I was pleased it fell in line with my preconceived notions. We took a boat to the museum, but still had to walk a few blocks through a very beautiful neighborhood. The houses were built with a variety of styles, modern and traditional, but almost without exception were white with shiny black tiled roofs. Street after street of black and white houses and green landscaping. It was remarkably crisp and clean.
The museum itself was also black and white. It is really a rather small place but designed perfectly for its purpose. There are three rooms each containing a ship, and one other containing sleds found in the burial mounds. Each of the two main ship rooms include small balconies you can climb up to for a better view.
Along the exterior walls and one smaller room are displays of the astonishingly intricate carvings, metal works, and textiles from the excavations. There were also loom fragments and weaving tools , strips of woven hold ribbon, and small squares of wood for card or tablet weaving. If you aren’t familiar with this ancient technique, here is a good video.
Later that day we caught the Stena Line to Denmark. This was also a suprising experience and not what I pictured, maybe because when I thought of it I thought of the views and ship, not the amazingly diverse crowd of passengers and their many ways of passing time while on board. Norwegian families bursting into song at dinner was fun to see.
We had a cabin in the very bottom of the ship, under two levels of cars. Steerage, basically. After watching the first couple of hours of the Oslo Fjord go by we had a very nice supper, went out to look at the moon, heard some very earnestly performed American country music, and got a surprisingly good night’s sleep, waking up in beautiful Denmark.