My Viking Soujurn Day 2—The Viking Ship Musuem!

As many of you know, I have long been obsessed with all things Viking. One of my more ‘mystically’ oriented friends is convinced that my current fixation on the Norse is because in a past life I lived either as a Viking or with Vikings. Not sure I believe in past lives, however I admire and respect pioneers. Long a go when asked to name my heroes in a job interview, I didn’t hesitate for a second, and answered, “Eric the Red, Shakespeare, Neil Armstrong, and my father.”

The interviewer was at first taken aback, and then he said, “You admire pioneers.” Until then, I had never made the connection between those four men.

Today we visited the Viking Ship Museum which is located on the island of Bygdøy in the Oslo Fjord in Norway. It is part of the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo, and houses archaeological finds from Tune, Gokstad, Oseberg and the Borre mound cemeteries. The Viking buried their dead in the ships in which they traveled the world.

When you think back to what was known about the world in 982 A.D. it’s impossible (for me) to imagine the absolute courage it must’ve taken to sail into the unknown. Eric the Red left Iceland and sailed west with not a single clue as to if he would hit land or die first. To travel 1016 nautical miles (a nautical mile is 1852 meters or 6,067 feet, while a land mile is 1609 meters or 5280 feet), a journey estimated to take at least two months of solid rowing with completely no idea of not only what lay on the other end, but if there was anything at all there must’ve been harrowing.

Here are some pics of the Tune, Oseberg, and Gokstand Viking longships:

IMG_2827   IMG_2922   GOKSTAD



Here’s the link to the museum for those who’re interested:

Can you tell I’m living and breathing Vikings these days?

My Viking Sojourn, Day 1—Florida to Oslo, Norway!

The Viking and I are back from our Scandinavian trip!

My Viking’s so paranoid that he wouldn’t let me post while we were gone, so today I begin posting the travelogue that I kept for each of the 21 (OMG) days we were away.  So, sit back and enjoy! (I hope you won’t be bored)

dreamliner 2My Viking Sojourn, Day 1—Florida to Oslo, Norway!

If you’ve never flown on the new Dreamliner jets—you’re missing a real treat! Norwegian Airlines flies directly to Oslo from Ft. Lauderdale and their fleet’s composed of Dreamliners.

First of all, these planes can fly higher than most other jets, and that cuts the flying time by an hour and a half. Secondly, this was the most comfortable transatlantic  flight I’ve ever had. The seats recline and there’s a little footstool. If, like me, you’re five almost nothing, this rocks!

Thirdly, and this is the fun aspect, each seat has its own personal touchscreen tablet. OMG!

I dozed, I watched a couple of TV episodes, I played Sudoku and Scrabble , and dozed some more. The food was plain awful, but our Floridian Norwegian neighbor, Nina, had warned me about that, so I packed a picnic.

We took a FlyBus to the Oslo Radisson Blue hotel and enjoyed the passing scenery. Lush green farm after farm flew by. I’m not sure why I was so shocked, but for some strange reason I didn’t expect Norway to be so rural.

Water everywhere, but that I expected.

Because we wanted to stay aligned to the local time, we decided to shower and change, and explore the city. Here are some of the sights:


IMG_2944    IMG_2942   OSLO CASTLE VIEW1

Nina, our Florida Norwegian neighbor, picked us up later that night and we headed to her lovely home with a fantastic view of the city for dinner. The weather was perfect, we sat on the balcony sipping on a chilled chardonnay, and munching on sausages Nina’d purchased in Cannes, France, a month earlier.


Yummy food, including a duck salad and by far the best salmon I’ve tasted to date, great company, and a breathtaking view—what more could a gal ask for???

When we returned to our hotel long after midnight the sky was still light and it felt like dusk had just fallen. So weird. This far north darkness never really happens in the summertime and it remains a surreal twilight from one until about 4:30 A.M. When I pulled back the curtains at that time, the sun was full in the sky and it felt like ten in the morning.

I’m so revved about this vacation that I have a strong hunch sleep will be elusive.