About 800 years ago the Vikings began their journeys from their homes in
Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Denmark). The Vikings were farmers and when
the farm owner died, the farm was passed on to the eldest son. The other
children had to choose between working on their brother's farm or going
overseas in search of fame, fortune and a new land. Stories about how easy
it was to get rich on such expeditions spread rapidly throughout Scandinavia,
so the Vikings began to explore, attack and trade both to the east and west.
were expert navigators and knew the coast of Europe very well. This allowed
them to plan attacks ahead of time. Using the fastest ships of their time
the Vikings completely surprised any unfortunate target all ready for battle.
If needed, the Vikings could row their ships up river. If the church or
village of their choice was far from the river they could anchor and gather
local horses to attack. The Vikings had superior weapons and were well trained.
They usually got what they came for and left on their ships. For anyone
attacked it would be of great difficulty to gather defenses due to the speed
and stealth of the Vikings. Organizing defenses would be like protecting
the twin towers from kamikaze 767's on September 11th with no prior warning
living on the coast of Norway mostly went westward to Bretland (England),
Ireland, the Faroe Islands, shetland, and eventually
Vikings got as far as Iceland and even