Monday, January 19, 2015

The answer to yesterday's post is.....

Roald Amundsen, born in Borge near Oslo in 1872, the man who discovered the South Pole in December 1911, and was the first expedition leader to reach the North Pole in 1926.  He is also known as the first to traverse the Northwest Passage (1903-06).  

Amundsen in fur skins.jpg

My photo above came from Wikipedia, link at the bottom of this post.  

Years ago I remember seeing a movie, Scott of the Antarctic,  on British television starring John Mills as the English Explorer Robin Falcon Scott.  It was a wonderful movie and as I grew to enjoy these wonderful actors, had all my old favorites, James Robertson Justice, Kenneth Moore, Christopher Lee to name a few.  The movie was made in 1948 but I didn't actually see it until I was 12 years of age.  It resonated with me and I remember crying at the ending as our heroes perished. It was the first time I learned of Roald Amundsen who was the first to reach the South Pole a month earlier.

When we were in Oslo last summer we took a trip to the Norwegian Maritime Museum in Bygdøy.  This was my second visit, the first was when our son and I visited my sister and brother-in-law when they lived in Norway back in the 80's but I don't remember this beautiful sculpture of Mr. Amundsen and his fellow explorers.  Gregg tells me it is a relatively new addition.

From left to right, life-sized statues of Olav Bjaaland, Oscar Wisting, Roald Amundsen, Sverre Hassel and Helmer Hanssen.  They are all wearing their Antarctic clothing.  Unfortunately I couldn't find any information about the artist who created this marvelous sculpture, near the statues or on line.  

(If you want to take a more detailed look you can enlarge all my photos.)

In June 1910 these brave Norwegian explorers sailed for Antarctica, where other brave English explorers, Scott and his team were also headed, with the aim of being the first to reach the South Pole.  Scott made the decision to use Siberian motor sledges, Siberian ponies and sleigh dogs, while Amundsen used only sleigh dogs.  Amundsen felt they were the most efficient method of Arctic transport and was determined to recruit the most skillful dog drivers.  Scott's reluctance to use only dogs was because in a previous expedition in 1904, his dogs had died of disease, while another British polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton, had almost reached the South Pole using ponies.

On December 14th, 1911, Amundsen's exhibition reached the Pole first and returned to base camp safely in late January.  Scott's exhibition had several misfortunes in that the motor sleds broke down, the poor ponies didn't make it either and the dog teams were sent back as Scott continued on foot, along with four companions.  

On January 8th, 1912, Scott and his team reached the Pole only to find that Amundsen had been there five weeks previously.  Scott and his fellow explorers subsequently perished 11 miles away from their base camp. 

Amundsen himself disappeared never to be seen again in June 1928 while taking part in a rescue mission on another exploration.  

You can read more on Amundsen here and Scott here.

The following collage was taken inside the museum.  I will have another post with more photos soon.  

I am linking with Judith's Mosaic Monday.  Thank you for hosting Judith.