Training Weekend!

Standard

The title says it all- an annual Training Weekend for the Vikings reenactment society, which I was able to attend this year, for the first time. WARNING- most of us did not bother with fully authentic gear, as there was no public, and event itself is very casual- jeans, shirts and sports shoes ahead!

10433106_881847678541681_5099880745310716730_n

On the Easter weekend this year, some 250, if not more society members gathered together, for 3 days of combat training, camping, lectures, workshops and, of course, deciding on some vital society matters.

11137145_881848128541636_10547203366840554_n

Having arrived on the evening before the first day, most of us set up camp on the grounds provided, and set out to the beer tent, for some much-needed refreshment! The night was windy and wet, but the morning found us in perfectly good mood and some improved weather has added on to the enjoyment.

11149537_881951541864628_6514019949605452211_n

First order of the day, was combat training- sessions were held for basic weapons, spears, two-handed spears, axes, advanced sword combat, bows, javelins and slings, as well as for display combat. Plenty of choice for everyone, and an opportunity to hone a skill, or learn how to use a new weapon.

In my case- I have decided to expand my weapon range, and learn to use a spear, which I did on a lengthy, well-organised training session led by a wonderful Training Thegn (not the man in combat trousers with a Dane axe, he was just an assistant, equally great to work with- Thegn is visible with glasses and no helmet on second photo).

11143534_881847978541651_1748355173338627474_n 17208_881847838541665_8821343742466204940_n 10985869_881847911874991_1746959988478020494_n

Once the spear training was over, it was time for lunch and a quick drink, before afternoon sessions began- lectures, workshops and some fighting in the woods- I attended a very interesting lecture on mead hall and its importance in the Anglo-Saxon culture, as a cornerstone of society. Much like the modern pub, but with added functions of a temple, feasting hall, centre of authority and way for a chieftain/king to show off his wealth and build networks.

20922_881933521866430_5365834620646561898_n 22382_881946138531835_7715423331500218035_n

Later that day I took part in what was called an Extreme Viking Event. A hike into the woods, with no modern equipment allowed, only the authentic stuff, and only what you could carry on your own back. The participants were split into two opposing groups, and set up two camps in the woods, where they stayed over night. We were supposed to fight each other, through the night and then perform a Dawn Attack. Sneaking through the woods at night, axe in hand, waiting to ambush another team, sneaking into their camp, defending yours, and sleeping rough for a night- all these things were the highlight of the weekend for me!

And, once we got back to the main camp after the Dawn Raid was finished, there was more combat training to be had, after quick breakfast- there was a lot of group training as well, and a tournament for best fighters, one champion for each type of weapon- all followed by a warband fighting competition, and more beer tent fun.

10003969_881956281864154_2421452706320927832_n 10420428_881956968530752_7267167004438241_n 10986884_881954981864284_2143908431416762882_n 11045414_881954481864334_3258797404234783336_n 11046571_881960085197107_8717070254897191051_n 11072591_881954328531016_3346355141569271273_n 11119872_881957941863988_5244101088806476438_n 11146207_881960891863693_1846185357298471931_n 11133791_881960428530406_2114756943018873601_n

As luck would have it, during axe competition, I have managed to hit an opponent in the neck (no injury just a light blow landed in wrong spot), which is a big no-no for safety reasons- if you are reading this, know, you have a pint on my next time I see you!

10628441_881857855207330_396434791066720636_n 11053465_881857978540651_313095008909032950_n 11088233_881941851865597_6111253927565510752_n 10408960_881943358532113_3960097993044792093_n 11128074_881938061865976_8399467766850939965_n 13917_881952035197912_5006546410840982420_n 10409439_881947365198379_4320729960642653762_n 10155779_881953091864473_1683919448488802923_n 11024611_881953255197790_6226745381864712928_n 10985451_881947571865025_2733898355500956319_n 11143394_881946975198418_3346528836204758728_n

And, on Easter Monday, our last day of training- much of the same, just cut short, as we were leaving by mid-afternoon. Last highlight of the event, was a 2 hour-long fight in the woods, with some 16-18 warriors o each side. Use of terrain, obstacles and the wide area of battle allowed for plenty of tricks to be used and made for some really fun combat conditions, which you do not normally get to experience.

So, all in all it was an amazing weekend, I learned lots, had massive amounts of fun, and cannot wat for the rest of season to come in! Bring on the summer!

11091302_881945118531937_7491565633383326955_n 11046414_881933188533130_6413427872290089152_n 10325181_881958985197217_8938782966474102750_n 11127562_881847768541672_1604846454256333837_n 10885189_881855785207537_4165725425083804155_n

Advertisements

Yorvik Viking Festival 2015

Standard

Hello and Welcome, to my account of the 31st annual Yorvik  Viking Festival which took place in York in February 2015.

This was the first reenactment show of this season, and will also be one of the biggest. In Yorvik, reenactors gather from across the UK and Europe, for w whole week of living history displays, markets, talks, lectures, workshops and battles.

16619457226_12c24aa3ac_z

The numbers of people attending were in the hundreds- and that is not counting the public.

The event itself is a great one, with plenty to see and do- I myself only arrived for the last day of the festival (drat you work!) when the culminating battles and events took place.

My first steps after arriving, were to the market, where I purchased myself some new shiny things (shoes, spearhead and a pouch). So many pretty things and never enough money to spend!

10th-Century-Traders

After the purchases, and a brief lunch, time came for the first battle of the day- a series of three competitive clashes, where the best side would win. Just look at the photo below, to give you the idea of the numbers of warriors involved:

1506562_913731175314407_1683879440329873646_n

But I am getting ahead of myself! Before the battle, there was the muster, and a parade through the York town centre, with scores of Vikings terrorising the innocent bystanders, and occasionally stopping to take a photo with the kids (large and small and even some actual kids!).

16459207399_9a6540e29c_z 16448527210_8a336504ce_z 11007731_829803077098923_3505403693574621885_n 16475385558_603360d32a_z

Only once we have all arrived at the battlefield, did the real fight begin. As you may be aware, an event of this size will draw many different groups, from different societies, or even countries. Each reenactment society will have it’s own rules and regulations- so the first order of the day was to agree upon a set of rules to be used (done of course well in advance of the festival by the organisers). As always with a large group of people, used to different sets of rules, problems will arise- I could go on for eternity about rules differences and attitude of warriors/groups. Instead I will have just a small grumble- mainly that the societies were not split evenly, leaving one side very outmatched, and that there were many safety, honesty and attitude problems from one side (which shall of course, remain nameless)- suffice to say, battle could have been organised better. Nevertheless, it was huge fun to be a part of and to see this many warriors clash and actually be in the thick of it was reward enough!

11016720_10206074596406960_3347695123750549088_n (1) 10917285_10206074595846946_9050561208885197848_n 11018871_10152798950459538_3320908377780902051_n 10990803_10152798950074538_1417484596414921300_n

After the competitive battles, came the time for a brief respite and a bite of food- before the main event of the day, a recreation of a mythical battle between the Vanir and the Aesir Gods from the Norse mythology, which focused on the events of the great war between these two factions.

Battle was played out at night, with torches and spot lights lighting the battlefield. It was fully scripted and purely for show, with warriors encouraged to make as much noise, clamour and be as “showy” as possible.

Result? The battle was amazing, lasted for a long time and with assistance of special effects, music, narration and many enthusiastic participants it turned out to be an incredible experience- easily the best show fight I ever took part in.

There is a series of videos on YouTube, showing highlights from the battle:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrJiSDIo3ts

All credit goes to the user Jonathon Cox, who kindly uploaded the videos.

Once the battle was over, we got to see the wonderful fireworks display, before picking ourselves up and preparing to celebrate the night away with ale, song and laughter. First show of the season done, and I am looking forward to the rest of it!

Credit for photos goes to Allan Harris, Gina Self and Trudie Jayne Blade.

Until next time!

10987766_10204242409555335_7652518252889189153_n

Raid on Lindisfarne!

Standard

The Vikings first arrived to Lindisfarne, also known as the Holy Island, in 793. Ever since Viking reenactment started up, they have been coming back, although now they are not pillagers, but performers.This year, on the first weekend of August I had the chance to take part in this fantastic show, held in one of Britain’s most beautiful corners.

10245447_747555075304276_6190297535372976142_n OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The island is very spectacular. The historical and natural beauty are amazing. For me, the especially interesting bit was the tidal causeway, connecting the island with the Northumbrian coast. When the tide is down, the road is exposed, and island can be reached- but when the tide comes in, it floods the road, and the island is cut off. The natural environment of this place is truly unique.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But enough about the environment! Time to talk about the show itself. The Viking village was pitched in the ruins of the priory, where the fighting arena was also set up. It was there, that the spectators would see the Lindisfarne raids reenacted before their eyes, over Saturday and Sunday.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The usual Living History set up was put in place- craft demonstrations, authentic food, and reenactors talking about the life at is was at the turn on the 8th Century. The monks of Lindisfarne were also present, to tell the visitors about life in the priory:

10556360_747517925307991_1140680008453299576_n 10574277_747517871974663_5318349199719618269_n 10534714_747519171974533_6537816229008991799_n

The main part of the show, was the story of Lindisfarne, and the start of the Viking Age. The peaceful life of the monastery was ruined by the Vikings, who came over to plunder the riches of the priory. UNder the leadership of Ragnar Lothbrok, the Vikings came to Lindisfarne and, after killing the monks took all the treasure they could carry:

10345745_747547705305013_1603372999526963504_n 10557246_747547771971673_2885675705852577091_n

Historically, the Vikings returned home, and then came back for more, only to be faced by an army of Northumbrians. Some of the locals were taken as slaves, and the brave Northumbrians decided to free them as well as punish the Vikings for their raid on the Holy Island. This is where the history ends, and the show takes over. Great battle ensues, between the Vikings and the Northumbrian Saxons, which the Saxons manage to win, after a great struggle. The last surviving Viking is taken prisoner, and forcefully baptised, before being put to death:

10352747_747555275304256_9090086776349704727_n 10592661_747556041970846_2602633534054833139_n 10295789_747560551970395_3409896514828016633_n 1975134_747561251970325_2877127173922748956_n 13589_747571395302644_1253481049686999308_n

As a “show fight” or a “display battle”, this battle had a pre-determined result- the purpose here was to entertain the public and provide a jolly good bash for the reenactors. Such battles usually follow very similar scenario: first, the taunts and insults are exchanged, both sides make noise and try to intimidate each other. Than, the lines clash fiercely, usually two times, with plenty of big blows, noise, screams and impressive fighting. Lines then separate and prepare for a third clash, in which the loosing side will withdraw and loose men, as if they were loosing a battle. Sometimes, the two sides will separate one last time, and clash yet again, at which point the loosing side will be killed to a man, or routed of the field. THe trick here, is to make this all believable and entertaining. Also, the “loosing” side must remember not to fight too well and make their rout look believable. Conversely, the “winning” side must remember not to make the fight one-sided and that some casualties, or occasional setbacks are necessary.

10360445_747561168637000_2017425534950396583_n 10314509_747556158637501_251298771355586678_n 10424365_747557238637393_7033326098150259453_n 10464202_747573325302451_3034907956116115189_n 10577185_747561848636932_4957085470512357029_n

It is after the “Show Fight” is over, when both sides have a competitive re-fight, during which warriors fight only to kill and the best side emerges victorious.

Side note- it is essential for warrior to stay hydrated! No one realises how important water is for armies, until they take part in a half-hour battle themselves…

10337731_747570681969382_327104400149515016_n

That was the battle of Lindisfarne- there was of course the traditional Kiddie Vike, when the children were allowed to take on (and, quite rightly wipe out) the fearsome Viking Warriors, as well as individual combat competitions and weapon displays.

It was also during the Lindisfarne Festival, that two of my good friends have tied the knot, and were married during a traditional ritual of Handfasting- presided over by Konungr himself, the president of the Vikings Society. All the traditions were observed, the gods were invoked and the mead was shared between all those in attendance. It was a wonderful and touching ceremony, in which I had the privilege to be involved. Dear friends- live a long and happy life together, and may all your dreams come true!

10271485_747513408641776_5438813676057670799_n 10411741_747512458641871_4315757968120098605_n 10478573_747513498641767_5002483383582688062_n 10481149_747512605308523_2538993526227437410_n 10592816_747513548641762_3782023083394631759_n

And that is all from Lindisfarne Festival 2014- I shall be looking forward to coming back next year, and to buying more of the delicious mead they brew on the island!

Photo credit- whenever the photos were not taken by myself, they were taken by Y Ddraig’s keenest photographer, Baggsy. Thanks a ton Bags!

Beaumaris- the show that (almost) didn’t happen

Standard

Image

So, the last weekend I was invited over to attend a minor show, organised by a University reenactment group in a beautiful castle called Beaumaris on the Welsh coast. I have managed to hitchhike a lift with one of my friends and we went off to the show nice and early.

The place was beautiful, the castle was amazing and the show itself- despite having barely any public and being only a minor event- was a mountain-sized heap of tremendous fun. And to think that it was almost cancelled… Before we begin- most of the photos included in this post were taken by Mr Gary Phillips, to whom I extend my deepest gratitude for making these available. You can easily reckognize which ones they were, as they are the quality ones!

So, on with the show! Here we are, after three hour drive, arriving at the castle gates, only to be told, that the show was cancelled, because there was no Risk Assessment send over… The panic, the anger, the frustration! Eventually the problem got sorted and as it turned out the Assessment was send over indeed, only it got lost somewhere… Phew! (and bravo castle, bravo…)

So, we could finally unload, gear up and enter the castle.

Image

Image

Image

All the equipment got put away, and we were ready to begin. There was an added bonus, as we had a medieval reenactment group attending the show, which would put up their display alongside our own. We were planning to get an inter-period battle going, but these plans were foiled by… RAIN!

Image

Image

Image

The rainfall was so heavy, that it made inter-period fight impossible, as it would have been simply too dangerous to do. At one point, we even considered calling the whole thing off, as we were wading in water up to our ankles. Fortunately, we got a bit of luck in, and the rain stopped. The Vikings were, of course, first out to do the fighting, and in the absence of public, we have fought just for the sheere fun of it. Duels between individual warriors, small warband competition and a few Combat Circles followed:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Once we were tired, and the ground dried up some more, the medieval group went on to the arena, and this time, since there was actually come public around, gave a proper display, showing their weapons, armour and giving a bit of a talk, as well as a drill and combat display.

Image

Image

Image

Image

And, once they were finished, it was time for us, the Vikings to make a display of our own. In a truly Viking style, we have stolen the show completely, and gave the public enough excitement to last them a fortnight (raise your horns and drink to the Vikings- hurray!).

Starting off with talk of weapons and armour, we then moved on to Viking military drill:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

After which, we had showed them how the weapons work in practice (by the way of display duels) and gave them a taste of shieldwall battle as well. We fought, we hacked, we screamed and charged, and the public (however small it was) cheered and enjoyed themselves to the point that only free beer would have made it better (ok, maybe it was not THAT amazing, but it was really good, I promise). Also- if you have spotted a guy wearing Norman/Crusader outfit, award yourself ten points- he will crop up more in the coming pictures, and yes, it is our show and we can include any kit we like! Obviously, we did point out to the public, that he was wearing Norman outfit and that Vikings DID NOT look like this.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

When our show was finally done, we have stayed on for a few more rounds of Combat Circles, both individual and as teams of two. I honestly cannot remeber how long it took us but it must have been an hour of clashing. About which none of us had any complaints at all, if anything, we wished we could stay on for longer!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The great thing about visiting places like this and being with people you have never met before, is that you get to learn a lot. In just one day, I have faced opponents, with vastly different fighting styles, some of which I have never faced before. As a warrior, it is incredibly important to fight against as many styles as possible. Only through this, one can gather the experince necessary to truly excel in combat. I for one, have learned quite a few new tricks and counter-measures, and seen some very interesting developments in fighting technique, especially in the stance and the way the shield is held in relation to one’s body. It was a very valuable experience, as is any show with this amount of fighting going on.

All in all, it was an amazing day, during which I got to meet some really great people, learned a lot of new thigns and had immense fun, not to mention the exercise! I thoroughly recommend for you visit the beautiful castle of Beaumaris if you can, and I will look forward to my next show!

Big thank you, to all the people who attended the show and made it happen- you gus deserve a medal. Until next time!

Image

Image

The Rhuddlan festival, part 2

Standard

As promised, here is part two of my story from the Rhuddlan festival- and this time, I will be talking about the fighting that took place over the two days of the event.

We have had immense fun, the battles were fierce and closely fought, each side’s warriors displaying great skill and showmanship, as well as wonderful team spirit! The castle would open to public at 10 a.m., then at 11.30 first fight of the day would commence. It was a skirmish between the Welsh and the Saxon troops, under the walls of the castle itself. The Saxon vanguard would first cross the bridge, that spanned the moat around the castle walls:

Image

The Saxons would fight over the bridge, and push the Welsh defenders back, as more and more men would cross.

Image

After the initial push, there was a brief parley, during which Saxons explained, that they are raiding the place in retaliation for the local Welsh king’s breaking the peace and burning of an English town. They demanded the king’s head, but were refused by his commander, and battle followed.

Image

Image

Image

Notice, how tight is the Welsh shieldwall. Our counterparts worked wonderfully as a unit, and it was very difficult to break through, or push them back. The whole fight however was scripted, with a pre-determined outcome, and so, for now we concentrated on fighting for a good show, rather than competition. In the course of the skirmish, the Welsh were pushed further and further back, and it looked is if they might be overcome, until timely reinforcements arrived, and the day was won. First victory of the day for the defenders of Rhuddlan!

Image

Image

Image

And, after the scripted battle, we had a competitive re-fight, where the best side won. This time, our forces stayed on the offensive all the time, and kept pushing the Welsh shieldwall back. It was a short but brutal fight, and our side has emerged victorious, inviting some rightly earned Boo!! and Hiss!! form the onlooking local audience, for beating their Welsh kinsmen:

Image

Image

Image

Then, there was a weapons display, warband competition, and a chance for the children in the audience to face the ferocious Vikings in battle, and show them they way back to their boats. Finally, at 3 p.m., there was time for the main battle of the day- the recreation of the historical battle from the year 1062. It was a scripted battle also, followed by a free-fight. In the scripted battle, it would be the Saxon invaders who would emerge victorious, as per actual events. And in the re-fight, as always, the victory would go to the better side.

The scripted battle started with a brief skirmish, when light Saxon troops would clear the field and chase the Welsh defenders behind their defensive palisade:

Image

Image

This would be followed by another parley, during which treats, insults and urgings to leave the field would be exchanged. From the Saxon side earl Harold Godwinson and his trusted Huscarls, and form the Welsh side, the castle garrison commander and his bodyguard took part. After the parley broke off, it was time to storm the palisade, which the Saxon force did two times, and were repulsed:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

After the third storm on the palisade, there was yet another brief parley, and another opportunity to hurl insults at one another, in true Viking fashion. Then, the gates opened, and the Welsh went forth from their position, confident in their abilities. They pushed our men back at the start, but once the initial momentum was lost, they were put on the defensive, and the Saxons pushed back, with all the ferocity they could muster. The Welsh defenders, as per the scenario were defeated and cut down, after a long and brave fight:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

And then, of course, there was the re-fight, where the outcome would be determined by skill, discipline and quality of warriors as well as some decent luck!

This time, both sides faced each other off on the field straight away, and marched onwards without parley. Both groups had decided to split into two separate flanks, mostly due to the fact that the trees interfered with our shieldwalls. The Welsh side was strong on the offensive again, and pushed hard, killing some of our men instantly and forcing us on desperate defensive. Our line held however, as they did not push their advantage to the full and hung back, losing some men in the process. Things looked pretty bleak for our side at the time, but we did not give up hope and fought hard to stay alive.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Our opponents pushed us hard, but our line held, and we did not break. After the initial losses we have managed to avoid further deaths, and slowly  brought the result back. It did not seem like it from our perspective, but we were almost even by that time. We were however, very close to loosing, and if only few more warriors would fall, all would be lost. Battle descended slowly into chaos, as men fell and gaps in the line became bigger. It was only when we killed some most senior warriors of the opposing side, we have been able to go on to the offensive, and started gaining an advantage.

Image

Image

Image

Our side has defended itself ferociously and fought fiercely. Thanks to great discipline and some skill, as well as few lucky strokes, we have now gained the upper hand over our opponents. We now pushed on, killing more warriors, until only a couple remained. By then, even though there was only very few of us left, we could secure a victory.

Image

Image

Image

And so, we have managed a win in the free-fight, but it was very close to a loss, and we have only averted disaster by the skin of out teeth. The Welsh reenactors fought well, they were skilled and disciplined. They did not manage to break our line, and lost a few too many men by holding back, instead of rolling over us while they had the clear advantage, which enabled us to turn the battle around. It was an amazing fight, and great show for the public too. Well done to everyone involved, and congratulations to my fellow members of Y Ddraig, for being on the winning side each time over two days.

This festival was a great and fun event, I have learned lots, discovered how much more there is left to learn, and I have seen some truly inspiring battles. All in all it was a show to remember, and I am so very looking forward to the rest of the season!

Image

The Rhuddlan festival, part 1

Standard

So, this weekend I have (finally!) been able to attend a reenactment show- a two-day medium event in a beautiful castle in Rhuddlan, Wales.

As the place is not far from where our reenactment group is based, we always turn up in big numbers, and bring along all of our camp equipment, something we are not able to do as often as we would like. Rhuddlan is an amazing place, the castle and the grounds are just fantastic. The event in the castle is commemorating the battle that took place in the same spot, in the eyar 1062. In this battle, earl Harold Godwinson (future king of England) has defeated the forces of a Welsh king Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, in a retaliation for burning of a Saxon town by the Welsh.

I myself arrived at the castle in a van our group hired to transport our “viking village”, a sizeable collection of four tents, one huge sail tent, intended to look like we arrived here by boat and used it to create an encampment, as well as all the assorted camping, cooking and history display equipment.

Image

Getting closer and closer to the castle, we felt the anticipation of the coming event. And looked forward SO MUCH to pitching our camp in the pouring rain…

Image

Image

Image

We started by bringing all of our equipment up into the castle, where the entire Living History would be placed. As there were several other groups attending the event, timing was crucial. Knowing rain and storms were forecasted, we were quick to grab the most sheltered and raised up part of the castle grounds, spreading our camp as far as we could, claiming the “dry patch” in the name of Y Ddraig.

ImageAs soon, as all our Living History was unloaded, we set about raising our tents and setting up camp. Rain was starting to pour, so no time to loose! First to put up, was of course our great sail tent, the very center of our Living History display and a surprisingly comfy place to sleep in. As you can see, two pairs of oars support what would have been a mast from a longboat. Over this mast, the sail will be thrown over, creating a tent.

Image

Image

Image

At the front of the tent, additional poles were added, to create an open tent. Just a little more time, and some shelter will be available!

Image

Once the first tent was up, it was time to unpack the equipment and put up the four smaller tents. For this task, we were divided into two teams, myself assigned to the tent-raising group. And so, the Geteld tents were raised up in short order:

Image

As soon as we were done, we laid out our fire boxes, and started a nice and warm, of somewhat smokey fire (damn you, moist wood, we felt like hams hung for smoking, but hell, at least we were dry-ish and sort of warm!)

Image

Image

Image

As it is evident, unpacking is not finished yet, and modern stuff still lies around- we were much more concerned with fire by that point to be honest, plus, the show itself did not start until the next morning, so we had plenty of time left to get authentic and sorted, which (eventually) we did.

ImageImage

These are the photos from the next morning. A bit of sun for a change, and the show has opened officially. First, a few photos from around the camp and Living History display, before we go onto the main events of the day:

Image

ImageThe Y Ddraig quarters, seen from the castle walls.

ImageThe view at 6.45am, three hours before the show starts. why was I up this early again?

Image

Image

Image

ImageThe Y Ddraig banner raised proudly over our sail tent.

Image

ImageMy humble self, in the “civilian” set of clothes, before getting kitted out for battle. Believe it or not, but I travelled all the way to the festival and back wearing these as well. Who needs to burden themselves with modern clothing?

Image

Image

There were sadly no traders at the festival, so no wares to buy or photograph- hope for better luck next time! Living History was a great success nonetheless, and there is not much I can say to describe it besides: I was a Viking for two days. We spend our day, ate and drank as they would. We played their games, we had fire and authentic food and the best company you can ask for. We stayed up late into the night too, but since there is no photographic evidence, that means there was no excessive drinking, late night chatting/discussions/singing and merryment of any kind.. No, really, there wasn’t…

And then, the game of Knattleikr, or “The viking Ball Game”, which we have managed to play in the rain. Four players a side- each with a stick, two goals and a ball (there is no actual limit on players, but eight is what we could muster). sadly, no pictures there, but do have a look at an online article, to tell you more of the fantastic game that is Knattleikr: http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/daily_living/text/knattleikr.htm

But! A reenactment festival is more than just the living history! In my next post, I will write about all the fighting that took place, and how well my comrades of Y Ddraig ( as well as all the other participants) have done. Look forward to see some Viking ( well, Saxon-Welsh for this particular show) combat!

Image

Image