July 30th, 2009

Musical Peril

Today I learned about the perils of opera. Brent and I visited the Foteviken Viking Reserve, where our authentic Viking tour leader exposed the horned helmet thing as entirely a creation of Wagner. No Viking, apparently, would be caught dead in such a silly and impractical form of headgear. An enemy could come up and thwack down on one of the horns and break the Viking’s neck, interfering with the Viking’s attempt to cut the attacker’s legs out from under him. Which is to say, a Viking would end up dead if he chose to wear a horned helmet. Our guide says that we can leave horned helmets to drunken sports fans (hello, Minnesota!).

Rain interfered with my enthusiasm for playing in the various Viking houses, but I did climb the watch tower and take pictures of things T.R. would like (a trebuchet, the archery and sword practice range, the target for axe throwing with the bishop’s head painted on it, etc.). I also persuaded Brent to try on a (hornless) helmet and hold the long-handled battle axe long enough for me to save the pose for posterity. I am not sure he’s clear on the Viking concept, because when I asked him to make his scary Viking face, he just stuck out his tongue at me.

Then we drove through yet more gorgeous Swedish countryside to arrive in Kalmar. Because I learned about the perils of accordions last night while not sleeping (I prayed: Dear God, please let this man down on the corner learn another song. The theme from The Godfather is pretty, but not worth the 30-minute extended version.), I am officially pooped. I expect to make an early night of it.