Location: Birka

 

The crew woke up stoked for the adventurous day touring around the great island of Birka. We all ate a scrumptious meal and made sandwiches for our long, eventful day. At the docks, we met up with Trevor, a maritime archaeologist from the Swedish national maritime museums archeology unit. All of us hopped on the ferry for a ride through the Baltic Sea. After arriving, we headed straight for the open meadows where Trevor took us up to the highest point of the island. He explained the remains of the walls of the fortress. From that area, we can see across to the next island where Hovgarden was. This was where the Lord of Birka would have ruled the island. Next, we walked and witnessed the mounds the Vikings buried people in. This island has over three thousand of these burials, so the landscape is covered in these mounds. The five of us headed to a beautiful grassy area for lunch. My favorite part of the day was learning about how the Vikings lived and what routines had to be done. For instance, we set foot on what was an example of a small village. They had tiny little wooden houses, some displaying things like hand made beads or yarn. From that area, we walked on the dock to witness the most gorgeous view of the day. It was the water with a perfect reflection of the trees, sun, and green grass. And I have to say; it was one of the most gorgeous sights I’ve ever seen! If I had to pick another highlight of the day, it would be noticing we had been surrounded in wild blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry bushes! We picked as many as we could find, and they were true, the most delicious food I have ever tasted. We liked to call them nature’s candy. After looking at fascinating artifacts in the museum, it was time to head back and cook an awesome dinner using authentic Viking recipes that are supported by archaeological findings. John and I took three hours to cook them, but this was worth it. Jon roasted lamb topped with garlic, mint, and bread crumbs, while I handled the fried carrots, leek and other mystery veggies (Swede). Dessert was very delicious (also gluten-free). It was a mixture of hazelnuts, dried apple, egg, and a super amount of honey all baked.

All in all, I had an extremely awesome day, and I am definitely ready for another adventure early tomorrow!

Tulip aka Wilks Chaplin