Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Norway! The home land...

Josh and I found some great flights from Milan directly to Norway, and we had to take advantage of the opportunity to see where my family comes from! I've been dying to get to Norway for that reason, and also to visit Sissel and Ragnar. I believe we determined that I am Sissels second cousin, once removed. So that would make her dog (Mia) my third cousin :)

We flew up on Thursday evening and stayed through Tuesday morning. Sissel and Ragnar were great hosts and tour guides- they showed us all of the highlights in one weekend! We were able to visit Oslo, Hemsedal, Borgund Stave Church, Laerdal, the Naeroyfjorden, Flam, Sissel and Ragnar's cabin in the mountains, Drammen, and we also saw the Lier Valley where my namesake, my great grandmother Maren Granheim, was born. Sissel even brought us to the place where her family farm was. It was a pretty amazing trip! I surprised myself when I didn't want to leave! It felt like home in Norway and I wish we could have stayed longer. But like all good things, it had to come to an end. The country is so beautiful with it's ever changing landscapes- the east side is more hilly, and the west side has the taller mountains. It's just amazing!

Josh took a TON of pictures on the trip, so I'll try to tell the story through pictures. It may take another blog or two... here we go!!

Friday: We explored Oslo and visited the Viking Ship Museum, the Royal Palace, the National Gallery and just meandered around town. The National Gallery was pretty amazing- they had some really amazing nature artwork, and also had a large collection of Edvard Munch's paintings, including The Scream. We became fans of his work after viewing the collection. His art is really interesting! A little dark... but thought provoking.

The "Queens" ship- this one was used by a queen, and she
was even buried in it. The woodwork on the ends was amazing!

View of the Queens Ship from above

Another ship that wasn't preserved very well. It was in rough
shape, but this was also a burial place.

These items were found on one of the ships. The metal stakes on
the wall were used to hold up tents on the deck of the ship.

A cart on display- it was found in the Queen's Ship to aid
her in the afterlife. The mindset of the Vikings reminds me
of the Ancient Egyptians.

Details on the cart. The woodwork was incredible!

The hull of another ship. This one was much bigger than the
others! You can see a picture on the wall of what it may
have looked like when in use.

The entrance to the museum. We lucked out with amazing weather
that day!!

The Royal Palace

Taking a short break. You can see the main road through
Oslo below.

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