A few posts now have mentioned exhibits hubs and I have seen while (click it. It’s a video! —–>>>) Walking around Reykjavik, Iceland concerning Vikings and their prominent heritage and settlement in Iceland. We have seen the Reykjavik 871 +/- 2 heritage museum, as mentioned in my post on Viking heritage that talked about the long house as being the main building type the Vikings lived in when they came to Iceland. On our last few days in Iceland we decided to delve further into the Vikings. Because, let’s face it, even today, Viking references are everywhere around Reykjavik. From the last names of Icelanders to the tales they tell to the runic writing that is still in influence on street and business signs. One of the two prominent buildings in Reykjavik’s skyline is The Perlan. Set on a hill to the south of the city center, the glass domed building is fairly nondescript of the great saga that is inside. From day 1 hubs and I were wondering, “What the heck is that building”? Boy we are glad we found out.
Inside was a great local artists exhibit featuring a wood sculptor, an oil painter, and hand-blown glass jewelry maker. However, the main reason The Perlan is so spectacular is the Viking Saga Museum. This is a fantastic rendition of the Icelandic Viking heritage and history and how they came to populate the land of Fire and Ice. The audio guide gives you a wonderful rendition – in the language you choose – of the account of Ari “the learned” from 1122 – 33 AD. The sculpted wax figures at each station as you go through the documented history are very detailed and realistic and make you feel as if you were truly there with them.
Important in following the history after 1550 AD is the National Museum of Iceland. This museum shows you what happens in the history after the “heathen” vikings, who were following the Norse Gods and Pagan beliefs, were forced into Christianity. It is very interesting to see how civilization was thrust into modernism and how the citizens of Iceland adjusted to their new belief system and hierarchy.
To top off the Icelandic viking heritage we had dinner at the Viking Village. The authentic decor and dress of the staff were a great treat. We started the meal of with a beer and a shot of The Black Death (<<<—— Click it. Its a video) – a traditional Icelandic shot made with poppy seeds a strong vodka that tastes like black licorice. The menu looked like a newspaper, which depicted the events of the recent Viking festival in June. Along with the great food a special treat was the singing viking, (<<<—- Another video). Oh and of course the blueberry skyrcake or cheesecake in English!