Monday, July 02, 2007

The Vikings Are Coming!

UPDATE: At the end of this post I wondered aloud how the Dubliners might yell “the crazy Danes are coming!” A kind reader from Eire sent the following answer:

Dymphna,

Re your query, the Gaelic-speaking Dublin matron would bawl: “Tá na Lochlannaigh craiceáilte ag teacht!”

Great blog.

Ború.

Meanwhile, Yorkshireminer mentions in the comments that genetic research in Iceland shows that their ancestry (and I’m parphrasing here) is mostly Viking men and Irish women. So now we know why Iceland has been rated the happiest country.

It’s certainly couldn’t be for the climate.


The Baron took this photo at the Viking Museum in RoskildeDublin is the destination for the replicated Viking ship that set sail yesterday from Denmark.

Since Dublin was founded by the Vikings in the ninth century, it is fitting that they come back in style:

A legendary Viking warship has been reconstructed and has set off to retrace the ancient voyage to the Irish capital Dublin, originally a Viking settlement.

Vikings once struck fear into the hearts of coastal communities across northern Europe, and now a group of Norse seamen are once again sailing straight for Dublin, Ireland. But this time the voyage is not about rape and pillage, but about scientific discovery.

It was Dublin’s harbor they liked - the “black pool” - according to my mother (a native). And Irish colleens, no doubt - there are many blonds and redheads in Ireland to attest to their Viking ancestry. It may account for the Jackeens’ fondness for beer, too.

So right now they’re somewhere at sea (with a GPS cheater):

Viking map
…The 65-person crew will only be able to use oars and sail power to make the 1,000 nautical mile journey to Ireland. The voyage is an attempt to better understand Viking ship building and travel.

The ship is a replica of the Havhingsten fra Glendalough (Sea Stallion of Glendalough), the largest Viking warship ever made. It was built in Ireland in 1042 and sank 30 years later in Roskilde harbour, south of the Danish capital Copenhagen…

Four thousand people gathered at Roskilde to cheer these crazy courageous Danes as they put out to sea:
- - - - - - - - - -
The present-day Nordic adventurers are a volunteer crew of sailing enthusiasts and history buffs. The hardy seafarers are facing a tough seven-week voyage that will take them across the North Sea and around the northern tip of Scotland. They will be braving the elements on the open deck, with little shelter, and each with only about a square meter of space.

Living as I do in an area quite fond of historic re-enactments, particularly of the Civil War variety, I can understand the desire to do this. Personally, I’d rather stand on the shore and wish them bon voyage myself. A square meter of living space requires the inner space of a very large mind. Back in the ninth century there was rape and pillage to look forward to, but these guys are just in it for the “adventure” - or so we’re told.

Dublin women had best be on guard: crazy Danes are coming.

I wonder how you say that in Gaelic?

7 comments:

Timbre said...

But this time around, they may have to dodge some oil wells in the North Sea!

Phanarath said...

The sailers are from many different countries, including such far away and exotic places as The US and Australia.

Dymphna said...

An oil well is no match for a mighty Viking ship so they don't have to worry.

Phan--

I'll bet they all have some Viking blood. Those Australians are all born adventurers anyway...heck, since both my parents came from Ireland, I'll bet *I* have Viking blood.

james higham said...

Happy July 4th tomorrow and come over our way for Viking ships.

falcon_01 said...

Ah, but will they keel haul mohammed on the trip? ;-)

Phanarath said...

Dymphna

Most likely yes. Most people originating from northern Europe or Russia would have some viking blood. I think there was even a viking settlement on Sicily before the Arabs came there.

Though I suppose other can be fascinated by the vikings as well, same as non-Japanese can be fascinated by the samurai.

I must be a really great get together for all those people.

Yorkshireminer said...

A little bit of interesting information. Iceland makes a nice profit because many firm specializing in Genetic research have labs there doing research. This is because the population is so homogeneous and there complete family trees going back hundreds of years. This makes it much easier to trace hereditary diseases. The research has shown that when Iceland was colonized at the beginning of the the second millennium it was colonized by mainly Norwegian males and Irish females. It seems that the Norwegian viking took a slight detour to pick up breeding stock. It would be interesting to know if they paid for them or acquired them by other means.