Vikings, lefse and Mortiis: Last day in Oslo 2011

After a heart stoppingly expensive bus ride to Bygdoy, home of the Viking Ship museum, which literally takes about ten minutes, (its without a shadow of a doubt that they charge an obscene amount of cash because they know tourists make a bee line for Bygdoy) I was back at one of my favourite places in the world.

 

(The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark is also a corker). I’ve stood before the magnificent Oseberg Ship  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oseberg_ship Gokstad and Tune ships twice before, but I never tire of walking around the magnificent pieces of history, mouth agape, just overwhelmed by the sheer bloody wonder of it all.

 

I mean, come on Viking ships! The most beautiful objects in Olso were surrounded by a multitude of ‘things’ the Vikings used on a day-to-day basis: 1,000 year old combs which went through Viking hair, buckets that held all sorts and were carried by Viking men, women and children, shawls worn by Viking royalty mere inches away from your touch.

 

I was just as excited to see Tom’s reactions as he saw the ships, shoes and Viking bones for the very first time. It is difficult to describe how bloody incredible it is being in the same space as such significant, historical artefacts. If you have time to do only one thing in Olso, make sure that it is the Viking Ship Museum.

 

 

The Folk Museum was the next stop on our mystery tour. Again, I’ve been there on a previous trip, but in winter it’s a completely different landscape, and when I was there last, there wasn’t any warm lefse with butter.

 

As interesting as the houses were, what captured mine and Tom’s attention most was the Sami exhibit.

 

A few small rooms dedicated to providing a few chunks of Sami history and culture. One of the things we almost missed as we were leaving (and something I never noticed before when I was at the Folkmuseum) was a traditional Sami Shaman drum. The small hole through which to inspect it is close to the ground and you really have to be awake to catch a sight of it.

Our last night in Olso was spent in the greatest way possible – going to the Mortiis gig which was the primary reason we decided to get ourselves to Norway in the first place, and fucking hell, WHAT. A. GIG!

 

Mortiis were supporting Combichrist (it should have been the other way around) but we didn’t even bother with Combichrist. We never even stayed for the first part of their set. Anyway, back to the main feature. Mortiis apparently had the flu for the gig, but believe me, it wasn’t possible to tell.

 

The crowd was absolutely fucking lovely, and being at the front was as easy as cuddling a sleeping puppy. There were no arsewholes wanting the attention on them, it was awesome. It was also rather bizarre, but it a great way. The first time I saw Mortiis was in 2005 I think, back in the day with the mask. Then in 2007 with another different look, then 2011 with a completely new sound, appearance and ambience to the performance.

 

I have followed Mortiis from Era 1 back in the 90’s right to the present day, and hell, has it been a journey! Tom and I met a friend of Mortiis, this lovely fella called Javier, who also, unsurprisingly, has an impeccable taste in music.

We finished of an amazing evening with Harri and some of his lovely mates in Rock Inn. Perfect end to a perfect trip.

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