The Vikings

Viking means Viking in Norwegian. That’s what I learned yesterday. I thought it was pretty significant, so I am passing it on to you. Also yesterday, Paul and I had the opportunity to see some viking burial mounds up close as well as a real viking stone circle.

Krista, the American College of Norway Executive Director, picked us up in her car, and we drove to Carlsberg Gård, an old manor home with several large and renovated out-buildings on the expansive property. There was a 1.2 km nature walk, a pile of hay into which children could jump from encircled hay bales, a little cafe with outdoor tables, a couple of art galleries, and several little shops with various items for sale. There were 8 of us from the ACN altogether; Krista, Becky (the Int’l Student Advisor for ACN) with her two children, Hayley (Student Activities Director), Colin (the Resident Hall Manager), and Paul and I. We didn’t spend all afternoon there at the gård, but enough time was allowed for each of us to peruse the exhibits and sit altogether around an outside table and visit over coffee and waffles. It was one of those spring days that just calls out for you to enjoy some time outside. The ‘friluftliv’ (free air life) that Paul mentioned in a previous post, I believe.

Part of the largest out building on the property.

Part of the largest out building on the property.

This kept the children occupied for a long time.

This kept the children occupied for a long time.

The largest out building.

The largest out building.

Most of our group...

Most of our group…

Yes, farming is in my blood.

Yes, farming is in my blood.

So, then we drove to two relatively nearby sites where there were permanent historical markers describing the very old viking burial sites. The first was alongside a farmer’s field, in a small forest, and it consisted of 15 very large, non-indigenous stones set in a circle with one equally large stone set in the middle. Legend is that it may have been a ceremonial place from centuries ago. Other stone circles in Norway have been discovered, and there have always been an odd number of stones, between approximately 7-15 in number, with a stone in the middle. At this time during the season, the floor of this large forest was covered with small wild flowers.

The historical marker describing this site.

The historical marker describing this site.

The stones were of differing sizes.

The stones were of differing sizes.

Most were covered in moss.

Most were covered in moss.

The stone circle's diameter was about 30 meters.

The stone circle’s diameter was about 30 meters.

The next place we stopped at was, again, in a small forest alongside a farmer’s field. This one was on a hill, of a sort, with several additional smaller hills surrounding it. The centerpiece was a sizable stone obelisk which, at one time, probably had some rune markings on it, but they had worn away. This was standing in the center of a large mound, an old viking burial mound, on a hill. The contents of the grave had been viewed through the soil using modern technology, and there had been, perhaps, a horse, and other possessions originally buried there. No valuables were seen so it is thought that the grave had been ransacked in a much earlier time.

A marker showing the way to an historical site.

A marker showing the way to an historical site.

The permanent information marker for this site.

The permanent information marker for this site.

This obelisk stood approximately 7-9 feet high. This is the entrance side to the grave.

This obelisk stood approximately 7-9 feet high. This is the entrance side to the grave.

This site is within sight of the Østfoldfjord.

This site is within sight of the Østfoldfjord.

I really enjoyed seeing these historically significant sites within a few miles of where we are presently living. After leaving here, we went to a fabulous instrumental and vocal concert which I will talk about in a later post. 🙂

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