Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oslo: Day 1

We got a late start on our first real day in Oslo but we still made the most of it! The concierge in our hotel was not helpful at all and couldn't help us get the Oslo Pass so we could ride all public transportation and get into the museums. So, we stopped in to the Grand Hotel next door where their amazing concierge, Kit, let us in on all the local happenings. We love Kit! Now that we had a game plan we were off to the Viking Ship Museum (Vikingskipshuset). This is a Museum with three Viking Ships from around 800 as well as sleds, horse carts, and wood carvings. Everything in the Museum was dug up from a 834 burial mound and it is considered the most well preserved find from the Viking Age. The ships were much larger than we imagined and it was really interesting to picture so many people on these boats for long periods of time traveling to far away lands. Can you imagine traveling in one of these with 30 of your closest buddies for months at a time, sleeping and eating and everything on the boat?
Next we walked over to the Kon-Tiki Museum. We had no idea what this Museum would hold but the name intrigued us so off we went. Nicola is currently living in a snow-less state so she was thrilled to spend some time in the snow. 
Once we got to the Kon-Tiki Museum we were told they were closing in 15 minutes so we only had a quick visit at this random Museum which was unfortunate because this place was actually pretty cool. Turns out Kon-Tiki was the name of the raft boat Thor Heyerdahl used to cross the Pacific Ocean, here's the actual boat.
Thor was trying to recreate the voyages of South American people to Polynesia, which he believed the South American's settled. I wish we would've had more time to read about this guy and his raft expeditions. I'll definitely be watching the Kon-Tiki movie from 1950 (which won an Oscar) and stay tuned for the upcoming movie being filmed this summer to learn more.

Outside the Museum we admired the city before heading back into town.
That's Emma, Nicola and Dale posing like the statue. Dorks :)

In town we went immediately to the Nobel Peace Center.
We all spent a long time in the main exhibition about this years Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Liu Xiaobo. His story is just fascinating as was the discussion about China.
There was also a room about Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian who was initially an explorer and made significant advancements in the exploration of the North Pole but later in life became a humanitarian and helped displaced refugees from the first World War for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.

After the Nobel Peace Center it was starting to get dark so we walked over to the Opera house to check out the night time cityscape and found this cool sculpture on the way there.
The Oslo Opera House was built in 2007 ahead of schedule and under budget (has that ever happened in the US?!). It's a beautiful modern building right on the water, not that you can tell from my winter time photo.

We went out to dinner for some surprisingly delicious Indian food and then finished the night playing cards in the hotel room.

Love Always,


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