Hop aboard, explorers!
Our fearless leaders, Professors Maren Johnson and Alexandra White, had a mission for us! We were to make our own way through Oslo and find at least one of three museums: the Kon-Tiki Museum, the Fram Museum, or the Viking Museum. Most of us found this task rather easy, and we enjoyed walking outside to our destinations because we finally saw blue sky for the first time throughout the entire trip!
The first stop for most of us was the Viking Museum, an impressive venue which displayed viking ships that sailed as early as the 800's. The museum also contained a video of what went into the making of a viking ship and the thundering storms that these less advanced models had to endure. It was quite astounding because the video was not only projected on one wall but on surrounding walls and on parts of the ceiling!
The Kon-Tiki Museum was not quite as grand as the Viking Museum, but the story that it relayed was powerful. Kon-Tiki was an expedition led by scientist Thor Heyerdahl who proved that Peruvians were the first to discover Polynesia by sailing on materials used during pre-Columbian times. The museum captured the exploration flawlessly, placing the actual Kon-Tiki raft right at the entrance, having an entire section dedicated to Polynesian culture, and even showing the original documentary that Heyerdahl filmed during his travels!
The Fram museum was also exquisite, highlighting the adventures that took place during the Norwegian polar exploration. It contained a small movie theater that showed a ten-minute movie about the expedition. The movie was visually pleasing, but some of the provided headsets were only in Norwegian, making those of us outside of Nordic Studies quite confused! The rest of the museum was spectacular, though, and we were even able to go aboard the Fram ship which is one of the strongest wooden ships ever built!
We not only visited museums about exploration, but we had a real life explorer come see us: Liv Arneson! Liv Arneson is a Norwegian explorer that has taken on many expeditions such as crossing the Greenland ice cap, skiing solo to the South Pole, skiing with American skier Ann Bancroft, and so much more. The biggest takeaway from Arneson's talk was not to follow in her footsteps and become an expeditioner but to find a goal you are passionate about and follow it through!
Tonight is our final night in Oslo! Though we are sad and wish we had more time here, we look forward to what our final two destinations, Flam and Bergan, have to offer!
Until next time,
Alexander Davis and Jackie Cychosz