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TooB Eidfjord 1018

Page history last edited by Michael 12 years, 1 month ago















The website of a rental home in Eidfjord -- many good pictures and a panorama.

A tourism website for Eidfjord.

Upstream, beyond the lake behind the town, are a series of waterfalls.



11th Century Eidfjord is a town of a couple thousand people (including the outlying farmsteads). A couple of furnaces and smithies are located along the river; tall fish-drying racks line the shore. There is one large trading-boat (a knarr), and a couple of "viking" draken boats; several dozen lifeboat-sized fishing vessels, and some even smaller boats (faerings, about rowboat-sized) conduct the fishing and fjord-crossing parts of the economy.


Apple and pear orchards stand on the flat land; fields of beans and root vegetables stand barren in late September. Cows, swine, goats, chickens, ducks, sheep, and reindeer form the domestic herds. A few horses, oxen and shaggy ponies help to pull loads or carry people; the local buhund herds the various herdable animals. There are lots of beehives in the orchards.  The residents are busily about their agricultural business ... cutting and bringing in firewood, butchering animals, and storing away the harvested foods are important in September.


The local diet is heavy on domestic and hunted meat, fish, dairy (milk, cheese, eggs, etc.), oatcakes, wild nuts and berries, honey, carrots, peas, beets, cabbage, and field beans. For sea voyages, they dry, salt or smoke various meats and fish.


Most of the houses are one or two stories tall, built log-cabin style -- though a few have their ground floors built of fieldstone masonry. The upper floor (of the two-story buildings) overhangs the lower floor by a foot or two all around; there's a front door on the upper floor for some reason. The ground floor is where animals stay during the winter, and usually has no windows. The smoke from the open hearths finds its way out through doors, shutterable windows on the second floor, or a hole in the middle of the roof. The roofs are covered in living green sod, sometimes with a bush or tree growing also. The better homes will have flower-boxes outside the windows.


The clan hall, and a couple of the largest houses, are "longhouses" built with steep shingled roofs; the clan hall is about 40' high at the ridge.


There are kitchen gardens and such around the homes; further up towards the lake there are granaries, a really large barn, and hay fields.



Hunting, wrestling, rough-and-tumble games, and board games seem to keep the young men busy when they don't have chores. Practising with weapons (swords, axes, spears and bows) also absorbs some time and energy. Singing, dancing, and listening to verse are popular evening activities.


The locals bathe every Saturday, and use saunas regularly.


There are about 30 or 40 thralls (slaves) who don't seem entirely happy.


Everyone here is nominally a Christian ... a priest comes by every Sunday to lead worship. However it's clear that many of the old ways are still followed, just not so openly.


Compasses are known of by the Norsemen (though nobody in Eidfjord has one). They have horseshoes (but only on the horses), blast furnaces, proper horse and ox collars; they don't have (or recognize, anyhow) windmills, liquor stronger than hard cider, or guns. Nobody here is literate in any Latin-character languages; several people can write using the futhark.



Eyvind Eriksson is thane, or chieftain, of Eidfjord. He's about 60 years old.


He reports to Erling Swensson, Jarl of Hordaland; who in turns owes allegiance to King Olaf Haraldson, "the Thick".  Olaf has ruled Noregr for aobut three years, and is busily and ruthlessly converting the Norwegians to Christianity. Burning down the houses of stubborn pagans -- with the pagans inside -- is one of his favorite methods.




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