Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vikings - Eric the Red - Leif the Lucky and the Breast Lady

Yesterday we went to the Saga Museum where incredibly life like mannequins representing Viking history are featured.

As a plus I  got to wear a real Viking helmet and play with a sword.

The mannequins are based on real people. In fact the creators applied latex to human models and then produce the faces, hands and skin based on the molds. They then painstakingly sew eyelashes, hair and beards onto the creations and paint and adorn them with astonishingly accurate skin colour, sweat and dirt.

The appearance is uncannily real.

In fact, they even put a motor in one model to make him appear to breathe heavily which completely freaked Catherine out as she was convinced it was an actor who was able to avoid blinking. She refused to believe me when I said that he was not alive, meaning I had to walk up to him, and like a terrified ape in "2001: A Space Odyssey"  touching the monolith, poke at his hands and face to prove he was rubber, jumping back in case he suddenly yelled "boo".

The other unsettling thing about the museum was the one young red headed tourist, with glasses and goatee, who sat watching the movie on the making of the mannequins gape mouthed and stock still wearing an Ipod. Catherine kept walking crouched down so as to not block his view when she left the film and came back in. Turned out he wasnt real either...

A rather bloody history of Iceland with numerous feuds, battles and ambushes.

My favourite story, realistically portrayed by mannequins, was that of a heroine of the Vikings, who when they were in North America, got into a tiff with some Aboriginal inhabitants who chased the Icelanders into the woods in during a pitched battle. She attempted to rally her Viking brethren to no use and as a last resort, picked up a sword from a slain comrade and pulled open her tunic and threatened the oncoming Native warriors, with the slicing off her own breast. That freaked them out so much they stopped in their tracks and fled saving the Viking men. I guess the lesson is: if your enemies women are that bats, discretion is the better part of valour. 

Suffice to say, after a few such incidents the Vikings decided Vinland wasnt all it was cracked up to be, despite featuring things like warmth, trees, grass and grapes and hot footed it back to snowy, dark, Greenland. 

Icelanders really are something else. I already mentioned the entire lack of light in the winter, but here it is summer and today barely reached 10 degrees celsius and featured a a fierce gale like wind which blasted the treeless city. Yet people still sit outside at cafe tables, drinking cokes, coffees and beer as if it was a hot day in May, albeit in winterish gear.

The one thing I am not able to understand after some review of Viking history, is where the image of the horned helmet came from.

I suspect Wagner but so far the answer eludes me.

Next up a tour featuring the homes of Icelandś hidden people: the elves which reside around town in large boulders scattered throughout the city.

As a postscript Dr. Don MacIntosh of Sault Ste. Marie informs us that the man we were told who composed the score for "Out of Africa" is indeed a fraud.

Therefore there is an older gay man who both resembles and talks like Russell Oliver, that weird gold selling guy from Toronto TV commercial fame, running around Iceland masquerading as the late John Barry. 

Another post script, the films on offer in the Hilton resemble the fare that Iceland Air was featuring. They are featuring "You ve Got Mail" and  a mid-franchise instalment of "Mission Impossible".

So this leaves a further tourist question, on what day is it most auspicious to visit Icelandŝ famed penis museum: The Phalleological Institute of Iceland. 

Now thats going to be a great coffee mug conversation piece...


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