Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jorvik Viking Festival 2014, York

We went to the very first day of the 2014 Jorvik Viking Festival in York, England. The town was in the past the Vikings' headquarters in England. The festival includes a lot of lectures and performances but on this day we saw the two main encampments from the Viking period: The Anglo-Saxon camp and the Viking camp.

The Anglo-Saxons were encamped right outside the York Castle Museum and, truth be known, they made a bit of a poor showing. I attribute that to the poor weather (rainy, cold, and windy), the very first day of the festival, and the fact that it's the Viking festival, not the Anglo-Saxon festival. They were still willing to pose for pictures.

Posing for someone else's camera!

Can you have an encampment with only one tent?

Further into the city at Coppergate was the Viking encampment, which was much larger and had a lot more going on.

Approaching the Viking encampment

Another view of the camp

As we approached we saw the armory of the Vikings, including some awesome-looking helmets. I wanted to try one on but the kids wanted to hurry on to the boat.

Headgear 'R Us

Viking boat

L poses

Inside the encampment, the children were too shy to engage the re-enactors. I talked to one fellow who was taking off his armor. He had a plate armor vest over a chain mail shirt. J and I both tried holding up the vest which was rather heavy. The fellow told us to wait as he bowed over and slipped the shirt off. He then handed it to me. I handed it to J who could barely hold it up. He handed it off to L who kept it off the ground long enough for me to take a picture.

J makes the hand off

L with a little off-stage help holds up the shirt that weighed almost as much as her

We also saw a child playing a board game with a Viking, though we were getting too hungry to hang around and find out more about it.

Viking board game

It was a fun visit in spite of the inhospitable weather.

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