June 30, 2015
Last Tourist Day in Norway
The trip is almost over. We could not leave without a few last stops. After a comfortable breakfast with Tore’s family, we loaded up our car and programmed our first stop. It took the GPS a while to find a way out of the residential area. I had to use dead reckoning to find the way out. Machines don’t yet rule all.
The Fram Museum houses the most famous ship in Polar exploration. The especially built Fram sailed further North and further South than any other conventional ship in history. It’s secret was that besides being built in an extremely strong way, it was built with a round bottom. It was stable on the open sea but in ice it would pop up like a cork when surrounded by ice. The designer Nansen planned to over winter in the Arctic ice for as long as it took to get close to the North Pole. It worked but they didn’t make it to the pole first. Americans reached the pole first.
The ship,returned to Norway and soon found work with Roald Amundsen who was determined to get Norway to the South Pole first. He was a careful planner and used Eskimo technology that he had studied when he lived with them in Greenland. His main competitor in 1911 were the English led Robert Scott. Scott was using tractors and Sinerian ponies as his main forms of transport. Amundsen put his faith in Eskimo dogs and the Norwegian staple, skis. Amundsen got there first and Scott froze to death. We recognized most of Amundsen’s equipment of mukluks and other Eskimo outer ware.
The best part of the museum was the chance to walk around, inside and on deck the ship. It was a hands on experience. The cold room experience gave you a brief exposure to the North. It was funky but fun.
The Kon Tiki Museum contains both the original balsa wood craft as well as the Ra II. The first Ra didn’t make it across the Atlantic. Thor Heyerdahl was certainly the great terrestrial explorer of the late 20th Century. He pretty well fit the Norwegian pattern.
Even better was the Folklore Museum. Like Skansen in Sweden, old buildings have been moved to Oslo from all over Norway. The highlight was the young girl making Lefse. She was using Hornsalt. Dave Sheff will need to closely study the pictures.
We turned in the car. Amazingly it does not seem that any traffic camera gave us a ticket. One more hotel dinner and then the airport in the morning.