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.

Vikings 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 or notice.

Vikings 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 the Americas.



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