We spent this weekend with our good friends at the Vikingaleden group of Vikings. It was the perfect way to wrap up our short Swedish summer and prepare for the fall and winter.
A good portion of the time was spent on board the ship Glad that is a warship based on a wreck from Roskilde Fjord in Denmark. Glad is one of the names given to Odin’s divine horse, Sleipnir, and thus the ship comes with a horse-headed prow. Built wholly according to Viking age techniques and with hand-forged tools, it is 17.5 meters long, comes with 13 pairs of oars and a sail of 48 square meters. In other words – it’s the perfect size to hold a raiding party. We only counted 14 at the oars though, rather than the full crew of 26, which gave us a good workout. It’s a very special feeling being onboard an authentic Viking warship with a sizeable group of people. It suddenly becomes very easy to relate to the threat Vikings posed in their fast ships. Even when there’s not enough wind to sail, such as in a river, the rowing speed is considerable. The days were rounded off in the Viking village with cooking, eating and drinking, and Viking games, such as axe-throwing, archery and wrestling. Now we’re ready for round the clock darkness, cold winds, rain and snow.