Earlier this year in May I went for a road trip up to Sweden. The aim was to hang out with friends for a bit, explore parts of Sweden I hadn’t seen for a long time and some I never visited before. Another goal was to pick up my last remaining belongings from my childhood home. I guess it was about time after 10 years abroad. 😉
My first idea was to write a single blog post about the whole trip, but once I started editing the photos I realized that there were too many captions that I wanted to share with you. I decided to split it up and will create a few different posts about parts of the trip. First out is this spontaneous visit to Hedeby or Haithabu as it’s also called.
Driving in Germany is a bit of a chance game. It might take the time suggested by your navigation system or it might take twice as long due to traffic jams on the highways. You never know which it will be. For that reason I didn’t book any camping sites for my mini camper in advance but decided to just see how far I would get before it was too late in the evening. Turned out that I ended up very close to Hedeby the first evening and decided to stay at the “Wikinger-Campingplatz“. Not that I found many Vikings there (besides myself 😉 ) but it was a good choice located next to the water, calm, clean and with a lot of trees.
Remnants from the Viking ages
Hedeby is a place most known for having been a large trading point and settlement during the Viking ages, first mentioned in year 804 and remained so until year 1066 when it was burnt down. It was rediscovered again in the late 19th century and during the archaeological excavations a huge number of Viking artifacts, houses and a ship wreck were found. Some of those are on display at the Hedeby museum and excavations continue to this day.
Unfortunately the Hedeby Viking museum is currently being renovated (should open again in 2018) so I didn’t have a chance to visit it. It was too late in the evening anyway and I needed to leave early the next morning, so I just went for a hike down to the place where a few Viking houses have been reconstructed, making up part of the museum. During summer this place is being revived by reenactors showing various crafts and how Viking life may have appeared. This evening it was just me, an old lady collecting rocks along the road, sheep, cows, birds and nature. And wonderful evening light.
Four legged landscape caretakers
One thing I found nice about this place was that they have integrated animals of older-looking breeds in the maintenance of the landscape. The breed of sheep you see in my photos is similar to the type of sheep kept during the Viking and Middle Ages. Also the cows are of a smaller type similar to older breeds. I loved it that they were so unafraid. I was able to come really close, even if the sheep had young lambs with them.
It was just so peaceful to sit down in the sunset together with the sheep, watch the water and the beautiful landscape. I definitely intend to go here again with some more time at hand to be able to visit the museum and the surroundings. There are lots of activities at the museum during summer so I might try to time it in for next year when they open up the whole place fully again.
Coordinates to visit Hedeby
If you’re interested in going to the Viking museum yourself you can find the coordinates and map below. The camping site is nearby next to the main road.
Google coordinates: 54.497096, 9.569634