Of Gods and Wolves. Walking the world’s most northerly pilgrimage route. Day 8. #Sweden #Travel

Olaf may have brought Christianity to Norway but before he was baptised in Rouen , he was a believer in the Norse gods

I’m no expert but I’m told the Vikings who converted did so as much out of pragmatism as belief.  They were expanding their trade routes and it made sense to demonstrate a commitment to the God of their trading partners

For a while the two beliefs appear to have existed side by side.  Thor’s hammer amulets could easily be turned upside down to represent a crucifix.

Viking statues of Christ have him wearing a crown and staring defiantly at his executioners.  Fitting for a Viking chief.

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I’ve always thought Norse gods a fun bunch

Take Loki.

He made the giantess Skadi laugh by tying a rope to a goat’s beard and the other around his testicles….then they pulled each other  back and forth…

Apparently Skadi laughed..so did Loki.

Though I suspect it was more of a grimace really

Come to think of it didn’t Tom Hiddleston play Loki in the Thor films?

I’d pay good money to watch that scene re enacted.   Though probably not enough money for Tom

And then there’s Tyr from whom we get Tuesday.  It’s a long story but it involves the gods tricking a giant wolf into being leashed

. In order to demonstrate the Gods’  good faith Tyr puts his hand into the wolf’s mouth. When the wolf finds he’s been tricked and can’t break the leash all the Gods laugh.

Except for Tyr.

Though admittedly he had by now lost
his hand which explains why he didn’t get the joke.  

A short 14km stretch today.  And my lodgings are here tonight.   Which seems quite apt

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