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2004 — Vittfarne expedition

The Vikings go to the East

Date: June 2004
Route: Yalta (Ukr) — Kerch (Ukr) — Novorossisk (Rus) — Sochi (Rus)

In spring of the year 2004 the Swedish association Vittfarne organized the research expedition by the Himingläva boat, the replica of the Gokstad boat through Ukraine, Russia and Caucasus up to the Caspian Sea. One representative of the Viking-Nevo club — Olga Titova — took part in the expedition on one of the stages.

Himingläva boat specification:

Håkan Altrock, the captain and the leader of the Vittfarne expedition:

“We in the Vittfarne association intend to test the possible route of Ingvar the Far-travelled through Transcaucasia with a Viking ship replica suitable for the purpose. The aim is historical research as well as creating international contacts between people. This expedition can be seen as a continuation of the earlier expedition with the Viking boat Aifur 1994 and 1996. The ‘Aifur expedition’ started in Sigtuna in Sweden and made its way to the mouth of the Dnieper river through the river system of the former Soviet Union.”

The journey started out from the Dnieper river, passed the Crimean peninsula and along the Russian and Abkhazian coast to the mouth of the Rioni river at the Georgian port of Poti. Via Rioni and its tributaries it proceeded to the village of Zuare where the traverse over the water divider took place. Then the boat was launched in the Kura river that flows out into the Caspian Sea at the coast of Azerbaijan. The final destination was Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

The background of the Vittfarne Expedition is one of Swedish first known historical events, the big Viking expedition to the East lead by Ingvar the far-travelled. The event is mentioned on at least 26 rune stones in Sweden and in a fanciful Icelandic saga. In the beginning of the 1040s an armed force with Varangians, i.e. Scandinavians, came to the small place Bashi, situated by the river Rioni in Georgia. In the old Georgian chronicle it is stated that they were 3000 men and presumably they had been rowing up the river after sailing eastwards on the Black Sea, most likely from the estuary of the Dnieper river.

After an agreement with Bagrat, the king of Georgia, 700 of them continued to travel further into the country where they took part in a battle against the king’s enemies on the wooded shores of Sasirethi, a few miles west of Tbilisi. Despite their help, the king lost the battle and fled. After reaching an agreement with the hostile army, the Scandinavian force returned westwards, after witch they disappear from history.

More information about the Vittfarne Expedition see on the site www.vittfarne.com

Black Sea
Sailing in the Black Sea
Olga Titova
Olga Titova,
the Viking-Nevo club
Himinglava boat
Himingläva boat
Launching the boat
Launching the boat
Viking camp
Viking camp
Crimean coast
Crimean coast
Crimean mountains
Crimean mountains
Expedition in Sochi

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