Bygdøya - the island of museums

Part 1 from my little trip to Oslo:
When I was a kid my parents came up with a museum game for my sister and me. We each got a notebook and pen, and were to write down interesting things that we saw. The game got both of us really paying attention, and then made the ride home more fun. Could we Stump the Parents with some obscure observation? I realized, while I was wandering around the bygdøya museums and taking notes for myself, that I was still playing this game. This is a list of things that I didn't know, or found interesting:
  • Viking Ships:
    • The Tune find. I'm not all that into Vikings anymore. I was at one point, but that has rather faded. The ships have been repaired, to appear as they were meant to, except for the Tune ship. I still love the Gokstad, with its beautiful line, and practical nature (as opposed to the Oseberg, which is dolled-up and gets more attention with its ladies found aboard). But I found that I really liked seeing the Tune find as found. It is little more than the bottom of the boat, but lets one see the interior construction better.
    • The textiles. One does have to be in awe of standing in front of weavings and embroidery done over 1000 years ago.
    • The carts are starting to deteriorate. There are about four carts found with the Oseberg, and three of them are now enclosed with one-sided windows, so that visitors can look in on them while examination and evaluation is conducted.
    • The batteries in my camera were dead, and I didn't have any spares.
  • Kon-Tiki:
    • I didn't know that Thor Heyerdahl:
      • Fought in WWII.
      • Was an environmental activist, using his observations at sea to fight ocean pollution.
      • Drew cartoons. There is one of a line of identical beauty contestants that the judges can't decided among. Apparently he didn't care much for contemporary asthetics.
      • Was of interest to President Clinton. He visited the museum a few years ago, was shown around by Heyerdahl's son, and has read the man's books.
    • I found batteries for my camera.
  • Fram:
    • Visitors get to walk around on and in the ship. Very keen. It smelled like wood. Wood smells nice.
    • Horlick's of Racine, Wisconsin packaged malted milk for the 1926 expedition.
    • I got to look at the Gjøa, which is one of my favorites. The first successful navigation of the Northwest Passage. By someone other than indigenous people that is. Mostly the Northwest Passage was a fool's trip for the longest time, but with old glacier melt, the passage is opening up to become possibly more than a seasonal shipping lane. Sad.
  • Folkemuseum:
    • This really requires much more time than I had for it.
    • The Sami exhibit is a small room off the toy exhibit. I'm trying to temper myself against taking this as a slight, because I'm not Sami or an ethnic minority, and they should get mad themselves if anyone is going to. I didn't learn anything there, but got to look at things that I've only seen pictures of before.
    • The Wesselsgate building:
      • The exhibit on drinking states that the Norwegian temperance movement was pro-beer, because it 'cut down on drinking of spirits'.
      • The apartments in the building have been set up from different time periods, including one reconstruction of a family home from the 70's, and an apartment following the set specifications for Nora's home in A Doll's House, which it was very appropriate to see this year, as the Ibsen anniversary.

No comments: