Yesterday, we took a 7 hour train trip, leaving Oslo and arriving in Bergen to settle into our ship. Due to some bus scheduling, the train was delayed just outside of Oslo and we arrived pretty late in the evening. We ordered room service, unpacked and went to sleep. Today we’re going to explore the area and our ship, the Viking Sea. It’s a new ship and still has a new smell. Didn’t realize that a new ship would smell new, but it’s rather delightful. And–bliss–the bathroom’s floor is heated! I’ve got happy toes.
Before we boarded our train, we took a tour of the Viking long boats that had been excavated from three tombs. High ranking dead folks got to be buried in their long boats, along with lots of their stuff, food, animals (the occasional peacock) and everything necessary to have a comfy trip to Valhalla, very similar to the pharaohs trucking off to their beyond.
The long boats were amazing…even more amazing is the fact that the Vikings used them to travel so far…in the ocean and rivers. They didn’t just ransack and loot, they had established trade routes. Two of the long boats were sea-faring and utilitarian. The third was ornate…covered with beautiful carvings and containing carved sleds and carts…because who knew what the weather would be like on the road to Valhalla, right? This one was described to us as more like a yacht. It was slightly deeper-bellied and would not have been taken across open oceans. It contained the bodies of two women, one assumed to be a ruler and the other a high priestess.
Fascinating culture and we will be learning much more about it on this cruise entitled, “In the Wake of the Vikings.” And, of course, I will share with you, patient reader.
But for now, I will share pics from yesterday’s excursion and train trip… have a delightful day….
And now, some pics of the trip across to Bergen…where we climbed to 4000 feet above sea level…across the Hardangervidda, Northern Europe’s largest mountain plateau and the home of 10,000 some reindeer who were too busy roaming to be seen…..enjoy!