Viking Itinerary - Days 13-17

Trelleborg – Ladby Ship – Odense – Jelling – Ribe Viking Centre – Tollund Man

 

Day Thirteen

We leave Copenhagen to drive to the Trelleborg, a Viking Age fortress with a graveyard containing both pagan and Christian graves.  Constructed as a military stronghold around AD980 probably by King Harold Bluetooth, the fortress was likely to have also been a centre for trade and administration.  The garrison numbered up to 500 people mostly young warrior men.  However, it has been shown that craftsmen, women and children also lived there.  The reason is unsure but the fortress was abandoned only ten years after it was built.  Perhaps because King Harold Bluetooth had done a deal with the King of Norway to stop raiding, it was no longer required.  Trelleborg has a small but very interesting museum and also boasts a reconstructed longhouse.

In the afternoon, we visit the Ladby Ship, the only Viking ship still situated in its burial mound where it was placed around 925AD.  The King of Ladby was buried in his ship and a burial mound was raised above it.  In the Visitor’s Centre you can see a recreation of the Viking king’s final trip to Valhalla and some of the grave goods found in the tomb.  

We leave Ladby and take the short drive to the town of Odense (Odin’s Sanctuary), our home for the next two nights.

 

Day Fourteen

We will have this day free in Odense, a 1,000 year old town and the third largest city in Denmark on the island of Funen.  You will have so many choices as to how to spend your free day.  Odense is the birthplace of the wonderful storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen and a visit to his birthplace and museum is recommended.  There are some very beautiful old parts of Odense town.  Visit the Funen Village with its 19th century timbered house, see St Canute’s 11th century cathedral or visit one of the many museums in Odense including the Montergarden cultural history museum.

 

Day Fifteen

After leaving Odense, we will spend the morning in the village of Jelling regarded by many Danes as their country’s most sacred site.  Situated between two massive pagan burial mounds and just opposite the church door, the stunning Jelling stones are massive carved runestones from the 10th century.  The older of the two stones was raised by King Gorm the Old and the larger stone was raised by King Gorm’s son Harald Bluetooth to celebrate his conquest of Denmark and his conversion of the Danes to Christianity.  You may also visit the Museum in Jelling.

We will then drive to Ribe and visit the Viking Centre that recreates Viking Age life with a reconstruction of a Viking estate complete with a 34m longhouse and skilled staff in costume working on all manner of tasks from weaving to the blacksmith.

We will then depart for our hotel in Ribe.

 

Day Sixteen

Ribe is Denmark’s oldest town, a delightful jumble of medieval streets and crooked wood-beamed houses.  It is from here that it is believed the 9th century Great Heathen Army led by Ivar the Boneless departed to begin its invasion of England.

In the morning we will visit the Viking Museum and then you will have the rest of the day free to explore Ribe.  Visit Ribe Cathedral, St Catherine’s church, the old Town Hall and the Ribe Art Museum.  Take part in a ghost walk of Ribe or join the Night Watchman on his evening walk.

In the evening we will have our farewell dinner.

Day Seventeen

We will leave Ribe and drive north to the Silkeborg Museum in particular to see the Tollund Man exhibition, arguably the best preserved bog body of all.  We will have lunch in Silkeborg followed by a drive to the coastal town of Aarhus from where we will take a ferry and then drive to Copenhagen. The tour ends with our arrival in Copenhagen.