Sunday, August 07, 2005

Roskilde, Viking Town

Back in the old days (aka around 800-1000 AD), Roskilde was a major Viking town because of its protected harbor. From Roskilde, the Vikings would sail in the summer to coastal towns off the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, or major rivers like the Rhine. After a summer full of raiding these towns, they'd return to Roskilde with their loot and slaves.

We arrived early in the morning and set off on foot through town. The streets of Roskilde were small and many were blocked off for pedestians, so it was a pleasant town to walk through. We were disappointed that we couldn't go inside Roskilde Domkirke (big church) because weddings were going on that day. Instead, we walked down to the harbor to the Viking Ship Museum.

Back in the 60's, someone found several sunken Viking ships at the entrance to the Roskilde Fjord, so they dredged them up and put them on display. The ships were likely scuttled to block the port from an attack that never came. In addition to telling us about Viking ships, the museum also described the looting and pillaging that the Vikings were fond of. The Ship Museum was next to the harbor and also had lots of children's activities and some real ships that they'd built modeled after the ruined ships that they'd dug up.

We also stopped at the Roskilde Museum for a little taste of town history. Our last stop in Roskilde was a cafe where I had tomato soup and Emily had another open-faced shrimp sandwich.

The sky was blue with many puffy white clouds, which occasionally dumped rain around us, but usually did it while we were indoors, so we didn't mind.


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