surrounding Stavanger was an active agricultural and maritime community. A drive out to the reconstructed farmhouses in Ullandhaug provides a fascinating introduction to life at the height of the Iron Age, centuries before the Viking king Harald I defeated the last of some 29 regional princes to create the Kingdom of Norway in 872. Near Trondheim fjord, you can journey to the small islet of Munkholmen. Not only is it a wonderful spot for a respite, but it also has a fascinating connection to the Viking Era. This remote land served as a prison during the Viking Age and later a monastery. A bit more inland, you can also witness the sacred site of Stiklestad. This was the location of the most famous battle in Norway where Viking king Olav Haraldsson was killed. In the northern coast of Norway, you’ll be amazed by the Lofoten Islands and the far reaches of Viking culture. There

they were able to defend against Viking raids. Two hundred and fifty years of history came to a halt in 1066 at the Battle of Stamford Bridge where a final attempt to reclaim a portion of land from England was met with a resounding defeat of the Norwegian Viking king. Yet, the era has become almost legendary and left a lasting legacy on the world. Mari de Armas is a travel writer specializing in luxury cruising. She is a regular contributor to the official blog of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Luxury Goes Exploring. Read more of her posts at RSSC.com/Blog.

is a captivating museum called Lofotr Viking that ošers insight into the role of a chieftain. It showcases the archaeological finds of a 272-foot longhouse — now the second largest of its kind after the recent discoveries at Gjellestad. THE LEGACY OF THE VIKING AGE During the height of the Viking Age, these warriors were a force to be reckoned with in Europe. Viking culture was unique because it was not tied to a country, there was no central government and they did not attempt to build a cohesive empire. What they had in common was that they hailed from the Scandinavian region in what is now Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. However, as European lands became controlled by centralized leaders and defended by trained, standing armies,


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