We journeyed far and wide, across many an ocean to Iceland in search of their infamous Vikings.
There’s something about the urban myth of tall, manly, blonde, bearded men that makes a girl swoon.
Viking explorers were said to have settled in Iceland in the late 9th Century. But were they still lingering about?
And thus, two Kiwis quest to find Vikings begins – of course at a bar in Reykjavik. We eye the swarms of modern day bearded men with curiosity.
“Are you a Viking?” my friend Michaela asks the older bearded man seated beside us.
“Yes, of course” he slurs in a thick Icelandic accent emphasised by his drunkenness. So far, living up to the reputation.
He insists on buying us multiple shots of Icelandic Schnapps the true Viking liquor.
Michaela notices that our beautiful bearded barman is in fact pouring shots of Jim Bean and Vodka. Viking credibility is deteriorating rapidly.
We get one over him by convincing him I am in fact Keisha Castle Hughes New Zealand’s infamous Whale Rider. They eat whale in Iceland, so he has no issues with animal riding ethics.
We stealthily slip away to the other side of the bar to research the younger Norsemen.
They’re not overly tall, slim bordering on skinny, and don tight jeans, beards and lush long locks that give me hair envy.
These urban Vikings are surprisingly Hipster, straight out of a cool cafe that serves on point espresso.
We befriend a Norwegian Viking, he’s a brunette not a blonde but has the beard and hair down pact. We even convince him to get into costume for the cause.
He displays a natural talent for finding hot springs which seems like a useful Viking skill. We document our findings happily over champagne, but are determined there must be Icelandic Vikings lurking in the wilderness.
We enlist the help of another huntress, Nicki from Seattle who embarks with us on the Viking road trip quest.
We circumnavigate Iceland over five days. We drive the Southern coast, the Eastern Fjords, through the Snowy mountains and the Northern highlands. We leave no waterfall, beach, glacier or hot pool unturned.
We even scour an old Viking village.
And yet, there seems to be a severe shortage of not only Vikings but people in general. We are shocked to learn there are only 3.2 people per square kilometre. That’s even less than our beloved New Zealand deemed the Iceland of the South by locals.
Maybe we’d be better off searching for Huldufolk – the hidden people. Better known as Elves, it’s claimed 80% of the population believe in them.
The Huldufolk are known for their environmental lobbyist stance, they whisper in the ears of influential individuals and have been said to help drastically reduce construction in Iceland.
I’m not sure Elves are quite a sexy as Vikings. Although no doubt we could be swayed. Time to head to the local cafe in search of urban Hipster Elves.