Our last day in Norway! Today we explored just a touch more of Oslo. We left this morning around 9:30 and took a ferry over to the Viking Ship Museum. It was incredible! These ancient ships were found in burial mounds. Because of the soil the ships and almost all of their contents were preserved. They found fabrics, utensils, animal bones, human remains (the people that were honored by being buried there) and so much more. Most of the ships were from the 800's. The ships were excavated in the early 1900's and most were found and reported by regular folks from Norway like farmers, etc. It was a fascinating museum, much more interesting than I thought it was going to be.
We also visited the Fram museum. This is a museum about a Norwegian polar exploration. In the middle of the 3 or 4 story museum is the original ship…the Fram. You are allowed to go inside the ship and explore the interior. We saw the tiny cabins, the engine room, the dining hall and the storage areas. It was another thing I wasn't very excited about but it ended up being really neat.
We finished the day at the Oslo Opera with a balcony concert. The chairs are set up on a second floor balcony where you would normally enter the opera house. We were completely surrounded by beautiful wood and there we about 75 people there. We got our tickets the night before and they were only $10 (the cheapest thing in Norway). There was a fantastic soprano singing Grieg, and some other composers that I am not as familiar with. She had a fantastic accompanist and although we couldn't understand the singing or the speaking between, we really enjoyed it.
Now we are back on the ship. The "on ship" time is 6pm and we will make our way out through the fjords tonight. We have 3 days until we get to Russia. We are hoping all remains peaceful there. We are heading into Moscow with an organized SAS trip.
SIDE NOTE: Some of our students stayed in a hostel in Norway that had bed bugs. Luckily they called ahead the ship and they were ready for them when they got here. They bagged their belongings and took their clothing, etc. Our crew is amazing, they are always on top of everything. It makes you feel so much better knowing we are in such