Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Folk History and Vikings


Our first day in the capital city was action packed. We started off with a walk to the Palace, which for my personal experience of the town, is the starting point for any trip.  I always walked through the Palace grounds on the way to my hotel, straight from the airport.

We actually had tickets for a tour - the royal family goes on vacation in the summer, and while they're gone, they open the Palace for four weeks of guided tours - but there had been a terror threat earlier in the week, so they were closed for security reasons.


After that stroll, we took the ferry across the fjord and visited the folk museum with one of my friends/colleagues and his family.




This was the first boat ride of the trip, and the boys were pretty excited.



Old buildings from all over the country had been moved here in an open air museum.


Many were humble farm buildings.


There were a few that more more elaborate, like this guest house with elaborate paintings outside . . .


and inside.



Our friends' boys and ours went inside one building for a Demonstrasjon av Tradisjonsmat (sure looks like "Traditional Demonstration" to me.)


A woman was baking lefse, a sort of flatbread, and they were all able to sample a small piece.




In the next house, another woman was working on sewing crafts.


This is an iron, a wooden tool that smooths fabric without heat. They were traditionally made as courting gifts - the suitor could show his skills with elaborate carvings or pay someone else to do it.  Either way, he showed his ability to make things or make money.


A fiddler and dancers demonstrated a dance they called "old Rhinelander," which has the same roots as Schottische.




Horse-drawn wagon ride.  That's pretty much the same, world around.



We saw a beautiful stave church built 800 years ago.  When our friends took the picture, they pointed out that we couldn't prove it was different from the stave church replica that we saw at Epcot/Disney last summer, so you'll just have to take our word for it.


Gorgeous carvings.




Next, ice cream ( an important part of Norwegian summer,) and the Viking Ship museum. I remembered that the ships are about a thousand years old, and it was interesting to learn that they had been discovered and first restored 150 years ago. Since we often reconstruct dances from the mid-1800s, it's fun to know that the people of that era were busy learning about the past themselves

What a day!

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