I’ve been looking forward to attending the Hafnarfjörður Viking Festival since we arrived. So I must have built it up quite a bit in my mind. Not quite sure what I was expecting…something bigger, I guess. It was still cute, but the whole thing was basically a bunch of tents set up in a parking lot next to a Viking-themed restaurant.
And the atmosphere was kind of bizarre. There were people that were nice and friendly and happy to show you what they had set up in their tent. But there were also a few people that gave you the impression that you were trespassing on their role playing day.
I was hoping that A would participate in the kids’ Viking battle since he had no hesitation whatsoever running out into a field of strangers at Hever Castle when he was 3. But this time he refused and said he was shy. I don’t know if it’s an age thing…he’s just a little more self-aware now that he’s 5, or if it’s a direct result of being in groups of kids for the last year that only speak Icelandic.
We also missed the adult Viking battle if there was one. But it was fun to see all the great crafts. Lots of leather and furs and handmade jewelry, wood fires and animals cooking on spits. A participated in a couple fun games…fishing and archery. He acknowledged that archery was a lot harder in real life than on the Wii and never hit the target…but that also might have been because they wouldn’t let him get any closer than 30 feet.
Everyone working was dressed up and a few of the patrons were as well. I wore my winter boots with the faux fur trim, a long brown shirt, brown pants and a faux fur vest. So I felt slightly authentic. Got some weird looks from the locals though. So I wasn’t sure how to take that. Maybe you’re only supposed to dress up if you’re working. A wore his Thor costume from Halloween and got some attention for that as well.
I did get a really cool souvenir though. One guy was selling random things that he collected around Scandinavia, and one of them was a candleholder made from reindeer antler in Sweden in 1969. So I guess I’m continuing to add to my mid-century art collection.
The other thing that I really enjoyed was the Viking-themed restaurant. They’re actually open all year round. The menu wasn’t terribly authentic with hamburgers and fish and chips. But they were good! You could get a really small and really expensive cup of mead. And they did have rotten shark, sheep’s head and horse available.
They’re usually open for dinner throughout the year and supposedly have live entertainment most nights and a special buffet around Christmas time. So I might have to add that to my list of places to drag people when they come visit…if they’re into a bit of Viking kitsch. For a really authentic experience, you can arrange to be kidnapped by Vikings between 18:00 and 20:30.😉