Searching for Vikings in Norway

by Judith Fein

I wish I could climb into a time machine and be catapulted back to the Viking period between 793 and 1066 A.D. I don’t care for the raiding and pillaging but I have been to L’Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland twice (the only authenticated Viking site in North America), I have held my breath as I read the Iceland sagas, and I know these hunting and planting people were resilient, artistic and resourceful; the women had power and prestige, and their governance was of the democratic variety. They wrote on rune stones, were brilliant ship builders and goldsmiths. They drank mead from horns, braved the cold and produced mighty sorcerers.

Photo Slide Show by Paul Ross

Last month, I went to Norway on the trail of the Vikings; actually, I felt as though I were in Viking school.  At the archeological museum in Stavanger, I learned that the Vikings probably practiced a form of yoga and that diverse elements in nature like swimming birds and halibut were thought to help the sun on its daily journey. They believed in night ships that went into the water and the dark earth at night, and day ships that came up again in daytime.

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