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.

22 comments:

  1. Interesting post, Denise! the life-sized statues are cool. we have learned a lot from these previous heroes and brave explorers.. Thanks for sharing, have a happy Monday!

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  2. Denise, great history lesson today. I had no idea, so am enlightened by your story. Such great adventurers, I can't even imagine their struggle and discovery.

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  3. I wonder where the civilised world would be if these great men had sat in a chair every day watching the world go by. Great post, Denise.

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  4. Many years ago I read a few books about the Arctic, at least one about Amundsen. Fascinating. I would very much like to visit that museum myself.

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  5. Both Amundsen and Scott (and their respective teams) were amazing men. I get the impression that Amundsen was more focussed - but I don't know. I first learned of Scott via a Ladybird book - Series 561 - my main source of knowledge :-). Just off to check on the ponies...

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  6. The life sized statues are amazing. You have to feel for Scott and his party, having had missed making it first, and to die not really that far away from safety.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this bit of history Denise. The life size sculptures are nice tribute to these men.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

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  8. interesting history on these daring, crazy? adventurous souls. cannot imagine the harshness of those journeys. loved the sculptures, though!

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  9. I think I saw that film when I was younger, too. Amazing statues of these very brave explorers, your mosiac featuring the ships is great.

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  10. Those statues are wonderfully lifelike and really send shivers down my spine because they remind me that these were real people, not just names in a history book.

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  11. Oh my goodness, what a hard thing. I have never heard of him, and now I have learned something.

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  12. I don't think I ever heard of Admundsen. Shakeleton and Scott yes.

    Am using one of your recipes today for our big meal.

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  13. Amundsen was also bright enough to wear proper skin clothing. The loss of the sir John Franklin expedition is one that interests me.

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  14. Learned something new here. And oh, those statues still carry the air of dignity of those historical people, don't they?

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  15. I love the photos of the statues, they are amazing. i am ashamed to say i have never heard of him. History was not my thing in school.

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  16. Those statues are fantastic, Denise. Fascinating post, thank you so much for sharing.

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  17. I love learning about the history of places when I travel and this looks like a wonderful spot to do that.

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  18. I actually cheated and googled Norwegian explorers. I'm surprised he did this at 34. So very interesting. Tragic for Scott though.

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  19. Very informative post and love those sculptures.

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  20. A vogue of the times, like wing-walking and flagpole sitting in their day




    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    <3

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  21. Oh, my...hated to read that ending. Just so sad. All of it was interesting to read though...

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