The Moss-Horten car ferry connects Østfold (east mainland of the Oslo fjord) and Vestfold (west mainland of the Oslo fjord) in just under an hour. And there you have it – the Viking Vestfold in Norway.
Highlights in Horten
The Naval Museum at Horten, home port of the Royal Norwegian Navy, bulges with maritime history.
Horten has also the Preus Museum of Photography.
Home to the Vikings …
To the south of Horten lies the heart of eastern Viking country, and Borre National Park en route to Tønsberg, contains large turf-crossed mounds concealing the graves of Viking kings, keeping to the coastline along Route 311.
… and a world famous painter
Edvard Munch’s house at Åsgårdstrand is where the artist lived most of the time when in Norway. It was the setting for many of his paintings.
Between Åsgårdstrand and Tønsberg is a burial mound, Oseberghaugen, the most important Viking site yet discovered. Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum contains the finds, including the 20-meter (65ft) arch-ended wooden ship.
Norway’s oldest town
Just south is Norway’s oldest town, Tønsberg, established in the 9th century. On the 65-meter (200ft) high Slottsfjellet (Castke mountain) are the fortress remains, and tower. The main street, Storgata, is flanked by Viking graves. These were excavated and incorporated under glass, into the ground floor of the new library.
The most renowned king to hold court in Tønsberg was Harald Håkonsson IV (1204-63). The ruins of his court can be seen on Nordbyen, a street with historic houses.
Polar explorer Roald Amundsen
A more recent native person is Roald Amundsen, the polar explorer. The steamship Kysten I (built 1903), moored on Byfjord near the old custom house, operates a three-hour islands tour, but in July only, out to the skerries and it is a great way to see Norway.
Viking Vestfold in Norway, compiled by Tor Kjolberg