Jorvik Viking weekend, February 2010

After enjoying last year’s event my girlfriend and I decided that we”d head up to York again this year for the Viking festival. The festival runs over the entire week, but due to work we only went up for a long weekend (Friday to Sunday).

Friday we went for a poke around the Trader’s tent. Always fun this with lots of traders travelling quite some distance to show there wares. A lot of it is specialist re-enactor equipment (period buttons or needles?), but there’s also a good range of jewelery and other items that appeal to everyone (we got a nice drinking bowl, and I was (as always) tempted by a sword or spear for the wall).

We also went to 2 lectures held in the Council hall (very nicely decorated, lovely carved wood panels and everything. Just a shame that York councillors seem to be shorter than me, the back rests did nothing). The first was on the Scar Viking Boat Burial presented by Anne Brundle of the Orkney Museum. This was a fascinating description of a dig on an accidentally found viking boat burial. Anne was a marvellous speaker, making the talk very informative and passionate with plenty of humour injected. Some of the pictures just increased my wishes to vist Orkney at some point.

Next up was Barry Ager of the British Museum talking about the Vale of York Hoard (Pictures). We were lucky enough to have seen the Hoard at the Yorkshire Museum when we came up for the festival in 2009. This was a much drier factual talk (not that Anne’s wasn’t full of facts) but still interesting to hear the possible history of the individual pieces.

The rest of Saturday was taken up by dinner and a couple of pints in the Last Drop Inn

On Saturday we went to watch the re-enactors in the Museum park and also watch an impressive Birds of Prey display (all the more impressive due to the small area they shoehorned it into, though thankfully they’d stopped the archery during the display). Had a poke around the Minster and paid the extra to go down into the Undercroft. Very impressive down there, nicely laid out to show the growth/change in the building over the years. And a good use of the space created by the shoring up of the foundations. Followed by more mooching around the trader’s tent.

Also spent the weekend playing around with the new camera, they seem to have come out alright. Though with the standard Boots processing comment.

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