One of my best chums is here for a visit. We both claim Scandinavian heritage and I wanted her to experience the National Nordic Museum in Seattle. It is a bit of a drive and there is no real direct route…..but, being Scandi, we were up for the journey.
The museum was founded in 1980 and moved into their fancy new digs in 2018.
The museum showcases the history of the Nordic countries and the history of the Scandinavian migration to the U.S., particularly to the Pacific Northwest.
The Scandinavians, similar to the Germans, immigrated because of economic depression, political corruption, and agricultural failure. Sweden experienced the problems of overpopulation. … Most of the Scandinavian countries lost around 10% of their population each to emigration.
My father’s family immigrated to the U.S. from Norway in the late 1800’s. My grandfather found a job working in the Butte, Montana copper mines. My chum’s family came from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark around the same time and homesteaded in Montana.
The blog photo is of a runestone. Women of the Viking era frequently erected runestones as commemorative markers honoring their deceased fathers, brothers and husbands.
We were well immersed in Nordic culture by the time we left the museum so decided to keep the Nordic theme going with a trip to Ikea. We found their cafeteria without any problem and had to sample some Swedish meatballs for a late lunch.
I haven’t been to Ikea in years and I must admit it was pretty overwhelming. It is like being trapped in the Hotel California and with no escape from the maze. We didn’t end up buying anything but boy, did we see a lot of stuff!
I am closing with a Norwegian quote:
Cattle die, kinsmen die, you yourself die;
I know one thing that never dies:
The judgement of a dead man’s life.
He is truly wise who’s traveled far and knows the ways of the world.From the Havamal – a collection of Old Norse poems from the Viking Age
I will be back on Monday!