Geiranger, Norway

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Geiranger is one of Norway’s most famous tourist sites. It is believed that the name “Geiranger” stems from the old norse words “Geirr” (spear) and “angr” (fjord). The Geiranger fjord is 15 kilometers long, and 600-1500 meters wide. Signs of settlement in the area can be dated back to as early as 10 000 years ago – and it is believed that most of those inhabitants were reindeer hunters. Findings that indicate settlements from the younger Bronze Age have also been found in the area around the fjord. Today, there are approximately 230 people living in Geiranger. Do not let this fool you, if you decide to visit Geiranger you will not be alone; there are SO many tourists there! I met a biker gang of over 30 Brazilians as I gazed upon the fjord this summer (lol.. not to worry -they were very friendly and goofy and I helped them take group photos) Anyways  – I am still amazed at how beautiful my country is. Don’t get me wrong – I love traveling to other countries, but there is just something extra about the “Troll energies” 😉

Sól, The Viking Queen. 

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Trollstigen, Norway

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I had the most spectacular road trips this summer, we were cruising on epic mountain roads like this.. *Sigh* … Behold Trollstigen, Norway! The majestic landscape is overwhelmingly beautiful, and one has to focus not to create dangerous situations. At some locations the road is carved into the mountain itself, and the mountains surrounding Trollstigen reach an altitude of over 1600 meters.  Indeed, this place is vibrating with troll energies, and I hope to take a long hike around the area next year. Simply driving through it isn’t enough for me – I want more.

– Sól, The Viking Queen

Lom Stave church

lom5lom12lom1lom6lom11lom9lom10lom3“Lom stave church was originally build around 1160. In the 17th century an extension onto the west transepts, a sacristy and the large central tower with a high steeple surrounded by four smaller towers were added. In the Middle Ages, Lom stave church was the most important church between Nidaros (Trondheim) and Hamar. Like today Lom was a busy crossroad between east and west. The church is decorated with acanthus baroque wood carvings. During the excavations in 1973, a lot of interesting things were found; the largest collection of old coins ever found in Norway, and a love letter written in runic characters.” – a tourist sign at the site. 

During our Norway sightseeing vacation, we stopped in Lom, Norway to behold this stave church. I have very mixed feelings about stave churches. Indeed, they are beautiful and what interests me about them is the architecture, -or rather- the norse wood carvings. But…they remind me of a time where christianity was violently forced upon the vikings. I think that says more than enough about how I feel, and I’ll leave it at that. *Just so it’s said: believe what you will, be kind and respectful to others. We are all allowed to have faith in whatever we have faith in. Peace out!*

Sól Geirsdóttir, The Viking Queen

 

Gudvangen Viking Market ‘2017’ (part one)

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Dear followers, it has been a while – but you have been in my thoughts. I have been doing so many exciting things lately, both here in my beloved country and in the US (which some of you might know a little something about already;) This viking Gal have been constantly on the move the past few months, and my feet have barely touched my own home since I moved in. Gudvangen Viking Market was the highlight of this summers Viking adventures. The last time I visited Gudvangen was four years ago (!) and what they have accomplished over there blew me away. I love the atmosphere, and people were including and warm. In a bit of a rush here – but I have so many pictures – stay tuned for much more from this place in the coming days.

– Sól Geirsdóttir, The Viking Queen

Viking/medieval Markets of Norway, 2017

 Here is a list of all the viking and medieval markets that I (and google + facebook) know of in Norway, 2017. I doubt that I will be able to make it to markets in other countries than my own this year (due to a -for now- secret project that will require a lot of time and some traveling). If you know of more markets, please let me know in the comments below:)

*Oh – The Sól rune ( ᛋ )  means that I shall attend that market/festival *
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May

19th-21st Vikingting at Tingvatn  (Tingvatn fornminnepark og besøkssenter, Vest-Agder)
26th-28th Oslo Medieval Festival (Akershus Festning, Oslo) ᛋ

June
2nd-4th Tønsberg Medieval Festival (Tønsberg, Vestfold) ᛋ
2nd-4th Bjørgvin Marknad (Hordnesvegen 24, Bergen, Hordaland)
3rd-4th Viking Market at Leikvin (Sunndal Bygdemuseum, Sunndal, Møre og Romsdal)
8th-11th Vikingfestivalen Avdalsnes (Avdalsnes, Rogaland)
9th-11th Hamar Medieval Festival (Strandvegen 100, Hamar, Hedmark)
16th-18th Hafrsfjordkaupangen (Møllebukta, Stavanger, Rogaland)

July
1st-2nd Midgard Viking Festival (Midgard Historiske senter, Horten, Vestfold) ᛋ
3rd-9th Bronseplassen Viking Market (Bronseplassen, Høvåg, Aust-Agder) ᛋ
18th-23rd Gudvangen Viking Market  (Gudvangen, Sogn og Fjordane) ᛋ
24th-30th Oslodagene at Stiklestad (Leksdalsveien 1, Verdalsøra, Nord-Trøndelag)

August
9th-13th Lofotr Viking Festival (Lofotr Viking Museum, Bøstad, Nordland)
12th-13th Viking Festival at Osen Gard (Bygstad, Sogn og Fjordane)
17th-19th Midgardsblot (Open-Air Festival (Borre, Vestfold) ᛋ
25th-27th Askøy Viking Market (Herdla Fort, Askøy, Hordaland)
27th-28th Viking Festival at Landa Park (Camping Landa Lysefjord Cafe, Kulturhus, Øvre Espedal, Rogaland)
26th-27th Hove Viking Market (Hove, Tromøya, Aust-Agder) ᛋ
28th Drafn Viking Market at Elvefestivalen (Drammen Elvefestival, Buskerud)

September
2nd-3rd Gjallarstadir Viking Market (Nebbursvollen Friluftsbad, Badeveien , Lillestrøm, Akershus) ᛋ
8th-10th Tønsberg Viking Festival (Tønsberg, Vestfold) ᛋ

– Sól, The Viking Queen 

 

Daydreaming about the upcoming market season

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My friends and I are currently planning the upcoming season – carefully choosing which markets to attend. Naturally, I would love to experience them all- but that is simply not possible. Though plans are still in the making – we do know one thing for sure; This summer shall be a celebration worthy of the gods and goddesses! I am really looking forward to the Medieval- and Viking Market season this year…So much that I find myself daydreaming about it on a daily basis. The smell of bonfire, late night shenanigans and mead drinking is so close that I can almost taste it. Sigh.. We’ll just have to wait a little longer. It shall be worth it, I can promise you that.

Which market(s) are you going to?

– Sól, The Viking Queen

The glorious Viking Ship Museum (part four) – The animal heads

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Five carved animal heads were found in the Oseberg grave. Four of them are displayed at the Viking Ship Museum for the public to behold. The fifth is in very poor condition, and the remains are therefore kept in the Museum’s depository. Because none of the animal heads are alike, researchers believe that the animal heads have been made by different woodcarvers. The heads are carved out of maple wood, and two of them are adorned with silver rivets. The making of the animal heads must have been quite the challenge. The woodcarver(s) had to find a naturally curved piece of wood from the lower part of a suitable tree trunk.

We do not know for certain what the animal heads have been used for. As with many of the mysteries of the Viking Age, one can only wonder. Four of the animal heads were found in the burial chamber, and one on the forward deck. They were all found with a rattle and a piece of rope. One of the ropes passed through the mouth of one of the animal heads, like reins. There was a shaft about half a meter long at the base of the neck of each of the heads. It is possible that the heads were carried using the shafts. They might also have been mounted on walls, or perhaps even on a throne (or anything, really). But most interessting of all is the theory that they had some sort of magical or religious significance. They might have played a significant part in offerings, and maybe the burial ritual of the Oseberg Queen herself.

Sources: Museum of Cultural History, UiO
Photos: Sól Geirsdóttir