Inland, on a hill at Borg, an old Viking Longhouse had been rediscovered and rebuilt into a living museum. This is one of the most interesting and alive concepts we have ever seen.
You walk around the Longhouse which contained the eating, and sleeping and working areas and talk with people who are doing the spinning, the weaving, leather work, cooking, carving, etc, and really get a feel for how the Vikings lived. Everything is authentic, and everyone involved is highly enthusiastic about the history of it all.
Mel tried on a warriors helmet (it was so heavy it made my head wobble), but could hardly lift a sword, or even lift a chain mail shirt! (am going to have to go back the gym soon!).
The really interesting thing that we learnt that was unlike other women in Medieval times, (or even now), the Viking woman could divorce her husband just by taking her possessions and her land (which was usually a dowry) and just leave! She was normally married off by 13, and had basically control of the keys, the money and the land from there. Way to go! Boys became men at 14, who went off to far flung countries and fought, raped, pillaged, then settled down and became farmers. And that is why the Vikings don't exist any more, they all became hippy farmer types.
Just down the hill from the Longhouse was a recreation of the Gokstad, which we had seen in the museum in Oslo. You could jump on board, grab an oar, and get a real feel as what it would have been like to sail on board in semi-arctic conditions (it was about 6 degrees, burrr).
Let's just say there was no cover, no comforts, no nothing, no wonder they were so determined to take over a country when they arrived, cause there was no bloody way they were getting on the boat to row all the way back!