Holmenkollen Ski Museum is on the ground floor of the ski jump and even though my main aim had been to go up the viewing tower I’d decided I may as well visit the museum as I was there anyway. It actually proved to be much more interesting than I was expecting. Opened in 1923 it is the world’s oldest museum dedicated to the history of skiing.
On my last day in Oslo I decided to head up to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, not because I have any particular interest in skiing but because the guidebooks indicated that the views of Oslo and its surroundings would be well worth the trip. And they were definitely right. After a 20 minute ride on the metro, and a (somewhat strenuous) walk up the hill the views were already proving to be fantastic, and that only increased as I went up the lift to the very top of the ski jump.
The Vigeland Museum is dedicated to the sculptures of Gustav Vigeland, whose creations also adorn Vigeland Park. The museum building is the studio that Vigeland moved into in 1924 with his wife, and he lived there until his death in 1943. The Museum opened in 1947 and has almost all of his work, including the original plaster casts of the sculptures in Vigeland Park.
One extremely bright and sunny day I headed out to the Vigeland Sculpture Park, the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist. Gustav Vigeland was an important Norwegian sculptor and the designer of the Nobel Peace Prize medal. The sculpture park was his life’s work and has over 200 sculptures made from bronze, granite and wrought iron.
I’d heard good things about the Fram Museum so it was one of the museums I definitely wanted to visit. The highlight is of course the Fram itself – which among other voyages lead Roald Amundsen to become the first person to reach the South Pole. Being able to actually climb on board the ship and go down into the rooms below makes it a very special museum.
The Viking Ship museum was, as I’d suspected, a fairly small museum given the large crowds it attracts. It does however contain the world’s best preserved Viking ship that makes quite an impressive spectacle on entering the building. I also liked the viewing platforms which meant you could get a better overview of the ships (and better pictures not distorted by crowds).
The Norwegian Folk Museum showcases life in Norway from 1500 to the present. Although I was aware that this is largely an open air museum with historic buildings that have been relocated here (160) I was struck by how vast the place is and the amount of information on display. As well as exhibits in the main building you can enter many of the historical buildings and explore further exhibitions.
The Flam Railway Museum is a free museum in Flam that explains just what went into the making of the Flam Railway line. I’d deliberately given myself a bit of time in Flam before I had to get the train back which I would recommend doing, if only to stretch your legs!
The Flam Railway is a mountain railway line with a vertical drop of 865.5 metres, making it one of the steepest railway lines in Europe and it has been described as one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys. I did some research and booked all of my tickets for this journey before I left the UK and I would recommend this – the NSB (Norway’s rail system) is easy to navigate and tickets do sell out fast. My journey started early with an extremely comfy 4 1/2 hour train journey from Oslo to Myrdal, then joining the Flam Railway on the scenic route to Flam, with some time in Flam itself, before going all the way back again. A long day, but absolutely worth it.