Norway: Go 'a-viking'

In 793 AD, several slender longboats sailed toward the English Coast. When the wind died down the single mast was laid bare and each man extended an oar. The vessel looked intimidating. A row of shields along each side protected the oarsmen from the ocean spray. The marauders soon stepped ashore on the island of Lindisfarne, just off the English coast, and proceeded to sack the surprised and undefended monastery. Anglo-Saxon scribes grieved that "heathen men made lamentable havoc in the church of God..." Soon other settlements would join Lindisfarne in petitioning for "deliverance from the fury of the Northmen."

The Vikings dominated Europe for the next 250 years. They founded Dublin in 836 AD and sacked Hamburg in 845 AD. The pioneered trade with Byzantium and in the process founded Russia. The established settlements in Iceland (870 AD) and Greenland (985 AD) and set foot in America (1000 AD). But the Vikings were only the first in a long line of bold Norwegian explorers...



About the Scenic Snaps

The museums in Olso house many fantastic relics from Norway's past. These photos capture some of the highlights, which include:

  • A 1000 year old ornamented Viking ship used as an elaborate burial tomb by a Viking princess.
  • The Fram, a 100-year-old polar expedition ship, which was purposely lodged into the moving Artic ice in an early attempt to obtain the North Pole.
  • Thor Heyerdahl's fantastic vessels, the Ra and Kon-Tiki, which demonstrated that the ancients could have crossed the Atlantic & Pacific oceans.
  • Notice the elaborate wood-carved ceremonial cart (and its terribly impractical wheels).
  • Also take note of the hall with the large painting. This is where the Nobel Prize is awarded.
  • By the way, that's dad at the wheel of the ship.

Copyright 2000, Wayne Pafko
www.pafko.com/ trips/ norway/n12/
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