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A pilgrimage to the Fram Museum in Bygdøy, Norway

Frammuseet is located in Bygdøynes, on an inlet across the water from Oslo proper. Our pilgrimage began with the ferry that runs from Akerbrugge to Frammuseet. We also took the opportunity to see the Kon-Tiki museum and the Sjøfartsmuseum (the Norwegian Maritime Museum), which are nearby, and later chose to walk to Vikingskiphuset (the Vikingship museum) and Norsk Folkmuseum, which takes about 15 minutes, provided you don't get lost like we did.

Frammuseet is a polargeek's dream: 3 floors of polar paraphernalia from Nansen, Sverdrup and Amundsen that surround the ship herself. The gangplank to board the ship (you get to board the ship!) is on the third floor, and once aboard nearly everything is accessible. Climb up on the bridge! Sit in the saloon! Stand at the helm! Peer into the galley! The berths are clearly labelled with who was in which bunk on which expedition. There are artifacts from all three expeditions on display in the ship, including Bjaaland's tent and a sledge and skis from the South Pole journey.

Each floor of the museum itself has information from each of the three journeys. There is a working model of the windmill Nansen had onboard for his polar drift. There is information about Sverdrup, not heard about much outside of Norway. There are artifacts and information on Amundsen's not-so-well-known Maud and Norge expeditions, and pictures from his final flight to rescue Nobile and the Italia.

Outside sits the Gjøa, the ship Amundsen took through the Northwest passage. It is a tiny, tiny ship. Even though she housed only 9 people, it is still incredible that they managed to live for three years on that ship. Despite the stairs, we were not allowed to board the Gjøa.

Norway is understandably proud of the Fram and all she has accomplished. There are lots of books in many languages in the gift shop, as well as the requisite postcards and kitschy trinkets (I got out of there with no less than a sweatshirt, 3 books, about 15 postcards, a pen that says "I (heart) Fram" and a Fram in a bottle).

Copyright © 2000, 2001 Emily Slatten; about framheim; about the pictures