Minimum Viable Viking

Back from a brilliant weekend in Oslo, where I managed to do more Scandowegian things in 72 hours than anyone would have dreamt possible.

Frozen lake

Saturday’s daylight hours were spent in the woods, yomping about in snow and Hildafolk trees to find this spot overlooking the frozen lake, where I drank what might have been the best-tasting whisky I’ve ever had.

Monday I hunkered down at AHO as an external examiner. I shouldn’t say much about that until I’ve pressed send on the formal feedback I’ve got in the next tab, but it was a really eye-opening experience and wonderful to see Mosse with her students in their native environment.

(I also popped in to see Voy‘s latest prototypes, and they’re working on some lovely stuff… obviously)

But it’s half an hour from Sunday that’s currently bubbling away in my head.

Viking Ship Museum

Jørn took Anne and I to the Viking Ship Museum, on Timo’s recommendation. It’s twenty minutes out of town, in a spartan church-like building. Three hulking shells of Viking longships sit inside, surrounded by plain white walls and the bare minimum of signage. Cabinets of smaller finds are kept to their own wing, dimly lit and with as little between the viewer and the artefact as the curators can get away with.

It was so serene. These thousand year-old vessells command the space, and visitors are asked to contemplate them more than they’re asked to learn about them. We joked that it was the minimum viable museum… and there’s something in that. There were no distractions, no ‘spooky-action-at-a-distance‘, just a terrific lump of timeshifted history.

Viking Ship Museum

Epic thanks to Jørn and Marie for making us feel so welcome, and to Mosse and Einar for having me over at AHO.

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