Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lady's Birthday Adventure - Part 10

Today is the final chapter in my Icelandic Adventure. I hope you have all enjoyed it. I have really enjoyed sharing it.

Today we are going back to the beginning, not the beginning of the trip but the beginning of Iceland and the Vikings. The Vikings were the first settlers to Iceland. There is some evidence to suggest some Irish monks spent some time in the country before the Vikings arrived, but they never stayed. The Vikings began arriving around 870 and for 60 years they settled Iceland.  The Vikings remained the 'rulers' of Iceland until around 1200 when other Scandinavian countries kings began to rule. Iceland only became an independent republic in 1944.

Interesting aside: When the Vikings came to Iceland they brought their Celtic slaves. Of all the Scandinavian countries today's Icelanders are the least genetically Scandinavian. They are a good mix of Scandinavian and Celtic.

Icelanders began to record the history of the early settlement period in the 10th and/or 11th century in what is called the Sagas. When listening to them at museums and reading about them, I could see  these stories are a mix  historical fact and "embellishments." I for one, have trouble believe a character in the Sagas grandfather was really a werewolf. It is my plan download the Sagas to my kindle and read them because they are so interesting!

One of our first stops was the Hotel Viking, home to the biggest Viking festival in the world. What is a Viking festival you ask? To us it seemed to be a place where people from all over the world dressed up as Vikings and had a market to sell Viking inspired arts and crafts.








Odin, the Norse God
As overly safety focused Canadians we were amused that at the festival children were given shields and swords and fought each other like Vikings. The kids loved it. The adults loved it and no one got hurt!


While we didn't dress up at the Viking festival, we did have fun at the national museum.



On my birthday, we took a pit stop to the Viking Cafe.


Here we indulged in $8 hot chocolate (the best I have ever had to be honest).

And we got to visit a movie set that was a replica Viking village.



The Norse mythology lives on, not only with 60% of Icelanders believing in fairies but in other ways, like your friendly street trolls!

The Vikings were the first Europeans to visit North America. Around 1004 Snorri Thorfinnsson became the first "white" person born in North America. His mother Gudrid was a great explore and gave birth in 'Vinland' (either Newfoundland or New England). Gudrid was an amazing woman who outlived several husbands, is credited with completing 22 voyages and apparently met the Pope. When Columbus was preparing for his trip to the new world, the legend says he went to Iceland to learn about the Vikings. He was shocked to find out that women had been exploring!

Snorri's grave

The Viking/Norse influence is everywhere in Iceland. This is just a sample of it. Thanks again for sharing my adventure! Please feel free to leave questions, I will answer them! 





14 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    Wow - go Snorri!!! Definitely enjoyed your trip with you - funny thing was, a quiz show we have here asked questions about Iceland yesterday - and we could only answer two of the five... didn't even recal that the money is Krona! The world has kinda forgotten the place - but then again, maybe Iceland likes it that way &*> Thank you again for sharing it so fully with us all. YAM xx

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  2. OMD that's just great! I would love to see such a festival and I probably couldn't resist to wear a vikings costume. I love the trolls and I have to admit that I believe in fairies and trolls ... just a little bit :o) Easy's grandparents visited such a festival on her northern cruise last year and they really bought a giant troll figure. His name is Snorre and he lives in their hallway now :o)

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  3. How absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your adventure and the history. I have really enjoyed it!

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  4. Thank you again for sharing pictures from your wonderful trip to Iceland! (We know who Snorri is.)

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  5. What wonderful history!! I have so enjoyed "traveling" to Iceland!! Thanks so very much for taking us with you!!

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  6. WOW! This has been so cool to read! I love the history and the photos too!!!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  7. We really had no clue about anything about Iceland so you have done a great service educating us! Mom said 40? Babies!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  8. $8 hot chocolate, huh? SHE once had a $24 tuna sandwich in Tokyo...just part of travelling. Loved all the Viking info. Recently found out that Dublin beginnings included the Viking slave market! We agree with Murphy and Stanley, you're still a baby.

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  9. NOW THAT WAS A FUN WAY TO CELEBRATE A SPECIAL BDAY. YOUR CHOICE OF PLACES TO GO WAS EXCELLENT.
    SO YOUR BDAY CAKE WAS IN A MUG OF HOT CHOCOLATE...SOUNDS GOOD TO ME.
    HUGS MADI AND MOM

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  10. Gosh this trip sounds so amazing! Hot chocolate is one of my favorite treats so sounds good to me even at $8.

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  11. Very interesting! I love history so would have loved that part of the trip too. What an awesome trip, I really enjoyed reading about it and living through you vicariously (since I know I'll never make a trip like that). :)
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  12. OMD, that looks like a fun time! Being from Minnesota our football team is the Vikings, so I like seeing great Viking status! :)

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  13. Dear Cousins' Lady,

    Vikings and trolls! Oh my! BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK!

    (Our person says she loves the photos, even though I think they are SCARY!)

    Licks,
    Cobi

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  14. I wish there were more places like this, because it was simply too amazing for words. I came here with my boyfriend the other night, and it was absolutely fabulous. The use of wood throughout New York venues adds a very warm and inviting feel to venue.

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