I think this one photo alone shows what I've been up to. Last year a friend shared some photos on FB of her holiday and in that moment I realised just how much I wanted to see the Viking ships in Norway for myself. It's a bit like when we went to Orkney....we save and save so we can occasionally splurge on a really special occasion. We've got a celebration coming up later this month and this was our way of marking it.
The Tune Ship displayed as it came out of the ground. Due to the poor archaeological techniques employed at the time it suffered a great deal of damage and the grave goods disappeared.
This is Gokstad ship. Inside it was found a male skeleton. The body of the deceased was placed inside one of these triangular burial chambers along with all the goods they would need for the after life. The structure was built in the centre of the vessel before the entire thing was interred beneath a burial mound. Unfortunately we'll never know what the original contents were as the grave robbers had done their worst several centuries ago.
Finally the star of the show....The Oseberg Ship with its magnificent carvings and grave goods. It's difficult to see the detail of the prow carving so I've added in the detailed copy.
The women buried within it must have been extremely important in the Viking society of the day if the quality and quantity of their grave goods is anything to go by. They were well prepared with everything from cooking equipment to boots and even the leather horse's saddle has survived. So much exquisite detail on the exhibits it was difficult to choose which ones to show [plus they were devilishly difficult to photograph behind the glass]. However, I've plumped for the cart [I've definitely seen this a few times on various programmes] and one of the animal heads [there are three more on display].
The whole experience exceeded my expectations by a country mile....just absolutely incredible. At nearly 52 I was so excited that I struggled to get to sleep that night!!
There are more tales to be told of my time in Oslo.