Weather-beaten, scarred, scary-looking … and an artifact

One of these two is a weather-beaten, scarred, scary-looking old head. The other is an artifact on display in the Viking Ship Museum.

The museum in Oslo, Norway, features a small but impressive collection of artifacts from the viking era. The highlights are three preserved viking ships. The museum is thoughtfully laid out to permit you to see the ships from above and below.

It’s hard to say what is more impressive – the craftsmanship that the shipbuilders had more than 1,000 years ago, or the fact that they actually went out on the ocean in these things.

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I mean, they call these vessels “ships” but they are surprisingly small if you were to think about, say, trying to sail to Greenland in one.

By today’s standards, I would guess most people would call these “boats” not ships. In truth, the “Viking Boat Museum” doesn’t sound quite as impressive, does it?

But then what is the difference between a boat and a ship anyway?

And along those lines, as a public service, here is a link to an invaluable guide for How to Avoid Huge Ships. I urge everyone to read this book if you are preparing for an ocean voyage, currently navigating through shipping channels, or thinking about going to the Viking Ship Museum.

By the way, if you travel to Norway and visit the ship museum, the multimedia presentation that is projected in one of the halls is definitely worth viewing if just to get a more immersive feeling of the people who made these ships.

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6 Replies to “Weather-beaten, scarred, scary-looking … and an artifact”

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