Every other year there is a very large gathering of viking craftsmen, iron age enthusiasts, early medieval merchants, elegant warriors and fluttering disir by the Borre Mounds in Vestfold.

This was in early July, at the beginning of a very rare heatwave courtesy of the Russian topography. Thanks guys. (No, I mean that sincerely!)

Nestled under the tall trees, you'll find a seemingly endless gathering of tents and encampments.... 

... one more fancy than the next!

A group shot of some of us, taken by the epic Rob Wildwood.
From left to tight (*draws breath*):  Maetharanel, Tathariel, Kristin, Branna, Sól, yours truly, Anita, Kama Sofie, Grethe and Ingrid.


Two disir catching up. One of the battlefield, and one dedicated to Frøy[a]

I didn't dare to wear anything but linen due to the warm weather, so I used my old rusty apron dress (with its fancy antique trimmings - only not that antique!). I love the color, but it is a great example of how impossibly unrealistic the old flappety-flapp interpretation of what women wore is or has to be. It slides off the shoulders, twists and turns, always looking for ways to embarrass the wearer. Maybe mine is extra impractical ... If I hadn't pinned it to my under-dress in every possible way, I'd probably have exposed myself half a dozen times. It only sits right if you hold very, very still... No, this is not something anyone could possibly have worn. Hooray for new research and interpretations! 

Why hellooooo0OOO0ooooo! 

There you go.

This gooey concoction is plant dye in the making! It transforms wool into this:

I just love plant dyes, they give the most gorgeous shades. Well, maybe except for hot pink, which can also be achieved through natural dyes. I have mixed feelings about hot pink.There aren't any real examples in these pictures, but imagine something straight-up 1980's.
I *really* want a depiction in popular culture of hot pink vikings....!
A girl can dream.

The lovely Branna. :)

Mandatory viking ships.

Kama Sofie and Silje. :)

We have our moments.

On or way back to the modern era, we spent some time amongst the burial mounds. It's a peacful place, well worth a visit.


Our secret neighbourhood forest

Very close to my apartment here in the middle of Old Oslo lies an urban forest of small, but charming stature.   

(Okay, it's more like a park, but let me have my forest illusion, okay?)

Just last year there were plans for cutting down a large number of  trees to make ... more ... parking lots .... Luckily, that madness was stopped in time. The long-term plans for the area is to re-open the stream that runs in pipes underground. I think it will be lovely when its done. If it gets done. :)

There are so many hidden gems out there, if you only look for them.

That oddly decorative castle-like wall in the background is actually our local prison!

I love that this half-dead cherry tree has been left alone. See all that green stuff behind the dead stuff? It's the same tree. Dead trees are so important to the local wildlife, and believe me, there's lots of wildlife in a city! 

I'll very soon be moving out of the city to a much more rural place with a lot bigger forests than this one. No wych elms there, though (I think). I try to make the most of my last two weeks before my big moving day!


Viking and Medieval plans!

No spring or summer is complete without a visit to at least a few viking and medieval fairs. This year will be quite eventfull for me. There's the big medieval festival in Oslo, which for once will be held on the medieval fortress in town. I assume it is because the Norwegian Armed Forces finally understood the coolness they were denying themselves and all of us ... but why is the army hogging one of the extremely few medieval buildings in Norway, anyway? That is the question! Then there's the jousting tournament St. Hallvards Turnering which is the same weekend at the same location. Then we have the viking fair in Trondheim, which I've never been to before. It's famous for striving towards historical accuracy on a much higher level than most other such events. They don't let just anyone sell their stuff there, quality matters. So it'll be interesting!
Then comes Borre, which is only held every other year, and is quite large and legendary. 
And finally, there's the Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum in Germany! Yikes. I have no idea what to expect from that one. Well, no, I expect a high level of fantasy. It's in the title after all.
I'll probably squeeze in a few more if I can. :-)
I have a secret sort-of-plan of going to Salzburg in December to see the Krampuslauf there, and/or go on some kind of medieval Christmas marked tour, but that's still so far into the future that I haven't given it all that much thought. Yet.

Here's a picture-spam from previous seasons!  
Do you ever go to any viking/medieval/etc fairs?

Myself, Sól and Branna

We have so precious few medieval buildings and ruins in Norway that we encase some in glass. 
This is Hamar.


Sól and Tathariel

Myself and Camilla Rose

Me, Branna and Vigdis

Branna and Ingrid 


The Game of Thrones Exhibition in Oslo

Last Saturday I did something slightly stupid: I went to the Game of Thrones Exhibition in Oslo, well aware of the fact that the rest of the city had the same idea. But I was going with good friends, and my main motivation was to hang out with them. And boy did we hang. The exhibition was free and in a fairly small location, and the queue stretched around the entire block, hundreds of hundreds of meters. We moved at an irregular pace, making it hard to predict just how long it would take. At some point you reach the point of no return, where you start thinking "I can't give up now, after 2 hours, I can see the entrance in the distance dammit!". After a while I think most of the thousands of us there wanted to cry. And pee. And drink the pee from dehydration-related reasons. It was an unseasonably warm day, amazing 21°C or so!
I was lucky enough to not be thirsty or in need of a toilet. But I felt like crying at the end.

From the left: Branna, Lise, Jan ToreSól and Eirik - the people who made this feat possible!

Now, I know I sound negative, but that is just because I'm so frustrated with myself. Having lived with CFS/ME since childhood I should know better than to queue for 4,5 hours. But my reasoning at the time was that I was after all having a jolly good time with my friends, at least I was outside in the sun and probably made a weeks worth of vitamin D, and after so much suffering I couldn't turn around now! Point of no return and all.

 Luckily for us a knight came buy and offered some support. 

And then we were inside! And all our troubles melted away! There was music and gorgeous costumes. We had our nerdgasms, we frolicked in the light and glitz and glam of the clothes, and some of us (not me) queued again for the Iron Throne (the thought of another queue made me queasy). Noen of us made it up the Oculus Rift trip to the Wall. 

From the far left: Tyrion, Sansa, Prince Oberyn 'The Red Viper', Margaery, Joffrey and Cersei

Details, details.

The lighting made it very difficult to take pictures, but the effect was nice and a bit otherworldly.

I loved the armour hip details on Sansa's dress, I never noticed those on the show!

 Me, Bran and Hodor.

The Red Rriestess of R'hllor

Yeah, so, why did they put Daenerys' outfits in such poor lighting? Blue light on blue clothes? From what I've heard, this was fixed after the first day. 

I'm very happy I went, even though the last few days have been dreadful. I just regret not going on a weekday. 3 houres would have been better after all. Oh, hindsight.

Here's a little video HBO Nordic has put together:

(Some of these pics were borrowed from Branna and Jan Tore)