Long day of travelling is done. We are in Oslo. – 5 degrees and rainy, lots of snow on the ground. We met up with Michel at the airport hotel. Dumped the bags and went into town.

We went to visit the Fram Museum – home of the Fram – a famous ship for a few reaons – it was the ship that Amundsen took to the Antarctic when he bested Scott in the quest to be the first to reach the south pole, but that was a different trip! The other reason it is a famous boat is that Fridtjof Nansen purposefully put it into the ice in 1893. He was hoping that the ice current would carry the boat locked in ice towards the North Pole.

However in 1895 he and Hjalmar Johansen left the ship in a desperate attempt to get to the north pole, as the ship wasn’t close enough. They took 27 dogs, 3 sledges and 2 kayaks. What followed is one of the greatest stories in Polar history. Nansen and Johansen didn’t achieve the pole, but they did spend 3 years trying to get home and finally in May 1896 they met Frederick Jackson a British explorer who returned them to Tromso.

In the meantime the Fram drifted in the ice current and reached Tromso just one day before Nansen did! Remember this is prior to any form of communication that we are used to- meaning that neither the Fram and her shipmates nor Nansen/Johansen knew the other party was safe. Ultimately all landed back in Norway 3 years after they left, via different routes, 1 day apart – safe and sound!.

Tomorrow off to Longyearbyen


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