Travel Log: Poulsbo, Washington


   I've been fascinated by the Vikings ever since my mother read aloud The Vikings by Elizabeth Janeway as part of our homeschool when I was a wee little lass. So I was excited to visit the town of Poulsbo, Washington, which is known as "Little Norway," and has a strong Viking theme present. 

   I was trying to decide what to do for a blog post this month, and asked Mama for ideas. This was one of her suggestions, and I quite liked it. I'm thinking this could be a new category for this blog--travel logs of historical sites I visit. So here you go--notes from my visit to Poulsbo, Washington. 

   Poulsbo was founded in the 1880s by Norwegian immigrants. It's situated on Liberty Bay, and the location reminded the Norwegians of their homeland. It officially became "Poulsbo" when one of those Norwegian immigrants grew tired of having to take a boat to Seattle to get his mail and decided to come up with an address on this side of the water. He used the name "Paulsbo" which is the Norwegian equivalent of "Paul's place," and is also a place in Norway. However, the postman misread the man's cursive handwriting, and registered the town as "Poulsbo," and thus it has been called ever since, the only "Poulsbo" in the world. 

   The town is proud of their Norwegian heritage, as is especially evidenced in the historic downtown area on the bay. You'll see lots of Norwegian flags, and a few flags from other Scandinavian countries, too. 

   We visited Sluys' Bakery, a historic bakery, famous for their "Viking Doughnuts," (which are quite large.) I ordered a "Viking Cup" which is basically the inside of a cinnamon roll which you can get filled with cream cheese icing. It was delicious! 

   There's also a huge mural on the side of a building of a Viking ship sailing in a fjord. 

   You can also buy Viking coffee, stickers with Viking ships on them, all manner of Norwegian flag souvenirs, and even the benches on the sidewalk have Viking ships on them! 

   You might think, "Weren't the Vikings basically pirates--plundering, capturing, and killing?" And yes, some of them were. They also took many Irish captives as slaves (and I have some Irish ancestry.) However, not all the Vikings were that way. Sometimes the word "Viking" is used simply to mean Norwegians who lived in the era of Viking ships and such. And many of them were peaceful merchants and farmers. And that book I mentioned earlier (The Vikings by Elizabeth Janeway) tells the story of Leif Erikson, who became a Christian and came to North America almost five hundred years before Christopher Columbus. Although, unfortunately, the Norwegians' encounters with the native peoples did not go very well, Leif Erikson's expedition to America is the first recorded instance of Christianity coming to the new world.  


    Well, there you have it! My visit to Poulsbo, Norway! And a little history on Poulsbo and the Vikings! I'm thankful to God for blessing me with a wonderful trip and thankful to my parents for taking my younger siblings and me! 

  What about you? Have you ever been to "Little Norway" in Washington or to real Norway in Europe? Are you interested in Norwegian history? Would you care to read more travel logs of historical places I visit? Leave a comment and let me know! 

   Always remember, "He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it," (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
All for Him,
Savannah Jane


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