Norway's capital is an intriguing blend of historic and contemporary – its striking new Opera House playing counterpoint to the charming old Damstredet, a narrow, well-preserved street of brightly painted and carved wooden houses. Norwegians are justly proud of their maritime heritage, dating back to the 9th century, when Viking long ships with distinctive curved bows left colonies in their wake across northern Europe, and later sailed on to Greenland and America almost 500 years before Columbus. Some of these intriguing craft can be found amidst the parks of the Bygdøy Peninsula, along with other historic vessels, including Amundsen’s polar ship Fram, and Heyerdahl’s raft, Kon Tiki.
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