Visit the Vikings – Stockholm #4

27 Jun

Today we make a trip to the Vikings.

In ancient times, Birka on Björkö island has been the most important trading place of Scandinavia till it’s been abadonned around 970. The bad news: Thus the old Scandnavians built their houses from wood, nothing is left from Birka. The good news: The island is still beautiful.

I’m not much into landscape photography. I prefer to see it with my eyes, not with my lense. But I took some impressions from Björkö.

A landscape picture from Björkö island in Sweden

Viking tour over Björkö island where Birka has been till 970

(Almost) a real viking.

Viking attack on Björkö island in Sweden

An impression of Björkö island in Sweden

A wooden dragon a Björkö Island in Sweden

Some spiders in Birka, Björkö island in Sweden

We made a Viking tour over the island with our (almost) Viking guide. But thus I’m a) an historian and b) very interested in Scandinavia, I already knew most of what he told us. It still was very exciting and I can heartly recommend to take a trip to Birka!

If you don’t know so much about Vikings so far, here are some facts:

1. Vikings were not the old Scandinavians in general but just those who went on a “viking”, which means a journey with a boat.

2. Vikings were probably the best sailors ever. They travelled from America (yes, they’ve been there before Columbus) to Arabia. Their boats have been quite tiny compared to the big fleets but that made them very fast.

3. Vikings were no pirates. Yes, they were warriors (in disfortune for many poor English monks) but they prefered to trade whereever they could.

4. Vikings did not were helmets with horns. Romantic nonsense.

5. Dead vikings were not burned on their boats. But still, boats took an important role in their funerals. Viking grave hills often have the shape of boats and the dead got all impossible stuff (coins, food, combs, tools, everything) for their journey over the deathly river. Archaeologists even found two women who were burried on a real ship!

And today, I’ve again a restaurant advice for you: If you want to eat traditional Swedish I can recommend Blå Dörren (“Blue door”, anyway, it’s not blue) in Södermalm. It’s a bit touristic but very tasty and affordable (for Swedish rates).

Visit Blå Dörren here: Södermalmstorg 6, 116 46 Stockholm

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One Response to “Visit the Vikings – Stockholm #4”

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  1. Little frogs – Stockholm #6 « colin. the happy robot - 29. June 2012

    […] a great coincidence, it happend to be Midsommar! Our choice fell to a small island called Grinda (Björkö is at the inside of Sweden in the Mälaren lake, Grinda is in the ocean). But first, we had to spent […]

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