USA 2016: Minnesota Hjemkomst Center

Scott and his mum brought me to the Hjemkomst Center to check out this really cool handmade Viking ship replica that a crazy guy built back in the late 70’s to early 80’s, in an attempt to replicate the entire process the Vikings underwent for their journey across the sea to land on US soil; only this time he would be heading in the opposite direction, back to Norway. The word ‘hjemkomst’ means ‘homecoming’ in Norwegian apparently, which was pretty poetic. Then again, anyone willing to dedicate the last years of his life working his way towards this epic journey – even through his terminal disease – has got to at least have some shred of romance in his blood, no? Sadly, Robert Asp didn’t live to see the homecoming journey, but his children and other adventurers were inspired to make that journey in his memory a few years later.

The ship now sits permanently in the museum.
We had a comprehensive guided tour of the ship and the odyssey. Apparently they had a very bad time crossing Lake Superior. As a city girl, I couldn’t fathom that something classified as a lake could be anything other than calm and placid… but boy was I wrong, judging from the terrifying experience the Hjemkomst literally weathered during that stretch. In fact, Wikipedia offers up more shipwreck instances in the lake, which is more than what could be said of the unfortunate bodies that drowned in her body.
Housed outside the centre was another handmade replica by another crazy guy. I don’t know what spurs these huge undertakings, but for sure I’d like to find the time and space for any such endeavors which may come to possess me if ever. This replica of the Hopperstad Stavkirke was built by Guy Paulson in the late 90’s. The unique architecture, tiles, and motifs would have been great to explore if only the replica wasn’t closed to visitors on that day, so we had to contend with bits and pieces of what went into the construction inside the center.
Our final stop was an exhibit about the Prohibition in the US during the 20’s and 30’s.
Mmm how to make Moonshine.
1920s outfit.