Norway: Fram, An Important Piece Of History
Finally getting some thoughts together on Fram Museum I visited in Oslo, located on Bygdøy peninsula. Information was very engaging and interesting so I didn’t mind that the museum stole decent hours of my day.
The building is adjusted to shape of the original ship called Fram which was built for polar research. It survived three expeditions more than hundred years ago. It met Artic Ocean with Nansen on board, Nunavut region of Canada with Sverdrup and Antarctica for Amundsen’s South Pole exploration.
After wandering around the deck and cabins I was surprised to see that the ship is made of wood which feels fragile for ice expeditions. Equipment for such extreme weather and inland iceberg travelling was scarce and primitive too. Maps were imprecise, with vague or missing land contours. Forget about GPS. The crew put their lives at risk and went into the unknown what makes me admire their passion for the matter. Loads of explorers stayed there and never returned.
I find the way how they determined location quite interesting. They had several items in their vintage GPS kit. Almanac, a schedule which shows where the sun, the moon and planets are going to be hour by hour. Chronometer and a sextant, an angle-measuring tool to locate celestial bodies. A method to reduce the data, establish coordinates and put the position on charts where they marked rocks and shoals too.
I was curious to find out more about these ironmen so I looked into the story of the oceanology establisher Fridtjof Nansen. He was professional in multiple areas which created a unique skillset. Polar explorer, diplomat, humanitarian and in his youth a champion in skiing and ice skating which helped him to develop good enough skies and other mobility means for crossing the Greenland for the first time in history.
Museum has a nice interactive part which gave some feeling on conditions of the expeditions. I attempted to move laden sledge in it’s original weight. That didn’t work. Then there was a room with temperature explorers had in their camps under the ice. Not sure how low it was, but it was pretty unbearable. I went in there and popped out like a toast so had no success on that either.
Hundred years dont’t seem so much, however we have achieved a lot in technology and sciences during this time. Future is here and I am curious to see what it will bring onwards.