Today was a very full and educational day for me here in the gorgeous Oslo, Norway! First thing we did this morning was go to the Nasjonalmuseet, or National Museum, which is an art museum right here in Oslo. The most exciting thing about the Nasjonalmuseet is that it is home to Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” It also houses a lot of other amazing pieces of art and culture. I enjoyed this art museum a lot, but I’m still biased and think the Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the best in the world, and best I’ve ever been to.
After visiting the Nasjonalmuseet we walked to the Oslo Opera house, which looks amazing on the outside. It was designed and built in such a way that you can actually walk all the way around it on the ground, and on the roof of the building as well. Inside the opera house is just as breathtaking of architecture. We had a guided tour by a very generous man who was employed by the opera house, as well as performs in the opera choir regularly. He took us around the theater giving us great information on the opera itself, the theater, how it was built, how much it cost to build (5 billion USD!!!), and the city of Oslo as well. We got a sneak peak of the National Ballet practicing for the opening night Saturday, and we also got to go in the costume workshop and backstage which was really neat, specially after seeing the opera in Denmark.
Upon finishing the opera house tour we decided to then go to the Vikingship museum followed by the Fram Polar Museum, both also centrally located in Oslo. The Viking ship museum contained three real Viking ships dug up and restored or preserved right in Norway. It was fascinating to see all the different artifacts that have been recovered from as early as 890 AD. The most interesting artifacts they had on display was three different partial Viking skeletons, two that were believed to be women, and one that was obviously a male judging by the size of his giant femur bones! The femur is the longest bone in the body, and the femurs on that Viking skeleton were easily four and a half feet long!
The Fram Polar Museum was also extremely exciting to see! I didn’t think there would be the real Fram ship that explored the Arctic there for us to touch and go in and explore. The sign on the outside of the museum read “Best Museum in Norway” and I definitely can agree with that statement. There was also an exhibit that replicated Arctic winds and weather, and even included a faux “trapped in ice” room where when you walked through it there was ice covering you on all four sides and it got narrower as you walked through. It was very cold and actually scared me with it’s wind simulator and fake mummies, even a polar bear attacking you from above. I really appreciated all the work and effort put into that museum.
After finishing up at the Fram museum we went back to our hotel and then caught dinner. Me, Sheila, and Marina wanted to check out the Authentic Norwegian Cuisine restaurant about a block away from our hotel, specifically for the Reindeer and Whale meat meals they advertised. I ended up ordering a Whale Steak meal, and I was pleasantly surprised it was good!
The whale steak tasted like beef roast, with the texture of a medium rare steak, and a hint of a fishy tuna taste. My whale steak came with potatoes, carrots, and lingonberry jam which was also delicious. I was extremely pleased with my meal and even washed it down with a Hansa Pilsner. The trio of us that was daring enough to try the Norwegian food then treated ourselves to a Norwegian waffle with brown cheese for desert as well, which was also extremely tasty.