July 9, 2010

Sigtuna and Lake Mälaren

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:26 pm by Costume Girl

Friday, July 09, 2010

Today, we had no classes, as the long weekend has begun.  Those of us in the UISS who did not go to Finland boarded a bus this morning to go to Skokloster Castle and Sigtuna.

It was an amazing day!  Skokloster Castle was pretty much the same as last time I went, with just a little more in-depth tour.  Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos, so that was sad.  Oh well, I have photos from there anyway!

Next stop was the town of Sigtuna, founded in 970 by Olaf, son of Erik the Victorious.  We went on a tour of the town, but it was very slow-paced and quite boring, actually.  An hour into the tour we had barely left the town square.  It wasn’t that the information on the tour was boring, it was that the guy giving the tour could barely speak English, so it was all very slow.

Right before the tour, we had a bit of free time, so I wandered about the town, and came upon this sign:

<--  Vikings That Way

<-- Vikings That Way

Of course, I had to go check it out.  Turns out there was only one tent there, as the large camp and market was last weekend, but there was a guy there by the name of Åke, who had a tent, some Viking items for sale, things to make Viking Flatbread, and a boat there.  I talked to him for a bit, and when he found out I was a Viking Reenactor, he gave me some awesome Viking bread!

So, of course, after the tour, I and some of the others from the Study Abroad Program had to come have a ride on the boat.  I was the only girl who volunteered to row, and somehow ended up with the “lead oar”, the oar nearest the ‘steer-board’ on the starboard side.  This meant I got to set the pace.

We rowed halfway across Lake Mälaren, and rested just a bit in the middle to take a couple pictures:

Åke and Jill

Åke and Jill

Resting on My Oar

Resting on My Oar

Then we headed back to his camp, where we safely disembarked.  (And somehow I got recruited to be the one to pole the boat up close to the dock.  That was fun, trying to avoid dripping lake water on everyone’s heads while I turned my oar around.  I succeeded, though.)  This will probably be one of the most memorable events of the summer.

After the boat ride was over, some of us hung out at the camp for a while, and I bought quite a few necklace pendants and things for friends back home and talked with Åke for a while.  He was very knowledgeable about the Viking Age in Sweden, especially about boating.  Turns out, he and some friends took a boat almost exactly like the one we rowed across the lake all the way to Finland last summer!

Åke's Boat

Åke's Boat

Lake Mälaren

Lake Mälaren

All too soon, it was time to leave, and those of us from the Study Abroad Program got on the bus and rode back to Uppsala.

Tomorrow, I plan to go up to Gamla Uppsala, finally, and see the museum there!  Many of the students here have told me that it is an amazing museum, so I am excited!  Sunday, Jill and I are going to Birka as well.

Until tomorrow evening!




  1. Lars Walker said,

    Very nice. But you need to give us a full picture of the boat.

    • Costume Girl said,

      Check now– I’ve got a full one up!

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