Viking Travel Journal—Day 10

Mulafossur waterfall, Isle of Vágar, Foroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are located halfway between Norway and Iceland in the Norwegian Sea.

The islands were first discovered, according the locals, in the early 6th century by an Irish monk known as Brendan the Navigator.

Brendan set out on a voyage to discover the Garden of Eden, and instead he discovered the Faroe Islands.

Brendan is not fictional character. He is one of the most significant early Irish Christians.  His discovery of the Faroes was not without consequence; he got the islands off to a good start.

After the original Irish settlement died out, the Faroe Islands were settled by the Vikings—the pagan version. Then, when our hero, Olaf Tryggvason, became a Christian, he summoned a local leader, Sigmundur Brestisson (961-1005 A.D.), from the Faroe Islands back to Norway. Olaf preached the gospel to Sigmundur and he became Christian. Olaf then sent Sigmundur back to the Faroe Islands as a missionary.

Sigmundur’s evangelistic methods were crude in keeping with the Viking way but ultimately successful, although not necessarily to be commended. One has to appreciate the aggressiveness of the Vikings in spreading the gospel but not their methods. It is one of the greats ironies of the Great Commission that one must be bold enough to share the gospel but gentle enough to be willing to die before harming another in the effort. It’s a combination only found in proper balance by the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading “Viking Travel Journal—Day 10”

Viking Travel Journal––Day 9

The vastness of the sea

It’s hard to appreciate the vastness and loneliness of the sea unless you have been out on it.

Today was a day at sea.

It didn’t matter which part of the ship I was on, in whatever direction I looked I saw nothing but water.

In seeing this it is hard to believe the Vikings set out into this vast watery wilderness in their ships, yet it was the advancement of their shipbuilding skills that enabled them to travel such long distances and successfully raid and pillage across such a broad geographical area. If it wasn’t for their shipbuilding skills, the Vikings would have been just another lost, angry group of pagans.

The Vikings even travelled so far as Constantinople and attempted to attack an undefended city (the fleet was away), but the Christians used Greek fire, which saved the day—not for the first time—for the Christians. However, it was the gospel, not Greek fire, which finally conquered the Vikings—“civilized” them, as our RIB boat guide suggested back in Flam.  Continue reading “Viking Travel Journal––Day 9”

Viking Travel Journal––Day 8

The Wife looking toward Geiranger

Geiranger was much like Flam.

It’s a town of 250 people whose economy depends almost entirely of tourism.

Geiranger sits on the plain between the shore of the fjord in front and mountains behind.

My pics don’t do the place credit; it’s better to look at the pic on Wikipedia here.

Teri had gone on the RIB boat excursion again in Ålesun to see birds. She said it was the third worst experience in her life. She said it was it two hours of white knuckles as she held on to the seat in front of her to keep from getting tossed out of the boat as it skipped across the waves, all to get to a place and watch birds for 20 minutes.
Continue reading “Viking Travel Journal––Day 8”

Viking Travel Journal—Day 2

Site of Omar the Norwegian’s assault

Day 2 started in the same place day 1 ended––in the Lufthansa Lounge in the airport in Frankfurt, Germany.

Day 2 ended with our arrival at the the hotel in Oslo, around 11 p.m.

What happened in between is already firmly cemented in GSB travel tour lore and likely will be talked about around camp fires for years to come.

Our flight from Frankfurt to Düsseldorf was uneventful, which is the way I like flights.

As we waited to board our flight from Düsseldorf to Oslo we learned Ann had arrived in Oslo, sans luggage.

Even worse, because she had changed airlines in Amsterdam, the luggage was not just late but lost.

When we finally landed in Oslo, we were pushing 33 hours since we had awakened the previous day mostly without sleep. We were looking forward to getting to the hotel and getting in bed. Unfortunately, our car service did not show up, so, we got into the first taxi in line, which is what one does at an airport. Continue reading “Viking Travel Journal—Day 2”

Viking Travel Journal – Day 1

The Lufthansa Lounge, Frankfurt

Well, the GSB Viking Study Tour is underway.

The Plan?

Fly to Oslo, Norway where we will spend a few days before boarding our cruise ship.

After a few days of cruising around the coast of Norway we will head west toward the Faroe Islands, where we will make a stop before heading on to our final destination, Iceland.

What, you might ask, has any of this to do with the kingdom of God, its history, and the other things this blog is about?

The answer: The Vikings.

We discussed the Vikings in last years Scotch-Irish Cruise Journal and their prominent role in English, Scottish, and Irish history. This time we will study their conversion to Christianity, how Christianity spread to Iceland, and beyond that we will just have to wait and see what develops. Continue reading “Viking Travel Journal – Day 1”