Well rested and committed to following our itinerary, we left behind Grindavik and its natural marvels. After making use of our now well-developed hitchhiking skills, we met up with the family who would share their home with us and secured our belongings. We then directed ourselves toward the Viking World, a museum bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
There, we viewed the numerous expositions that retrace the story of the famous conquerors of the North. We learned more about the Vikings’ travels and the range of their expansion. Directly linked to this first exhibit was another one explaining the beginnings of Iceland with the help of displays of local artifacts.
Aside from the colonial history of these people whose stories have traveled around the world, we were also introduced to the Viking culture and beliefs. Norse mythology and myths were presented to us through set ups depicting life thousands of years ago. We especially enjoyed this exhibition as it gave us the chance to truly learn about the Scandinavian culture and not only base our Nordic knowledge on the bits and pieces we collected from a Marvel comic book (Thor).
We finished off our visit by going in the Icelander, an exact replica of the Gokstad ship, a Viking boat that was excavated in 1882 in Norway. It offered us a great view over the water and physically represented everything we had read about inside the museum.
Our brains filled with new knowledge, we spent the rest of the day walking near the ocean bank picturing Vikings around us. During our stroll, we were stopped by a group of travelers. They were looking for the museum we had visited that morning and didn’t seem to find anyone who spoke English. We showed them the way telling them they wouldn’t regret it. Wanting to thank us properly, they asked us if it was possible to meet again the next day. We happily agreed and set up a rendezvous point at the spot where they had approached us.
We continued our walk and, that night, slept with a new insight on Norse history and the knowledge we had made new friends.