Vikings are truly history’s badasses – the wolf fur wearing, Sleipnir-taming conquerors that have left their incredible mark all over the world. And though one might think of them as mountain-sized savages, the truth is that Vikings cared about their appearances as much as they cared about Odin. Not only they were known for their love for sauna and general cleanliness, but also their red or blond meticulously well-kept manes, that have led the Viking men to be regarded as wife-stealers and maid charmers. Continue reading »
Few have heard of it, let alone been. Our destination is Shetland in the far north of Scotland, where one of the most incredible festivals in Europe is held. On the last Tuesday of January, the town of Lerwick goes more than a little mad. Up Helly Aa is a lot more than a sub-arctic bonfire and booze-up. It’s a superb spectacle, a celebration of Shetland’s history and a triumphant demonstration of the islanders’ skills and spirit. Fifty helmeted Vikings and a burning Norse galley. Unmissable! Continue reading »
Up Helly Aa celebrates the influence of the Scandinavian Vikings in the Shetland Islands and culminates with up to 1,000 ‘guizers’ (men in costume) throwing flaming torches into a longboat.
Vikings take to the streets of Lerwick. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images) Continue reading »