Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hlödver the Tall 28.7.2000

There are many tall stories about the Vikings from the Scandinavian Islands. One is about Hlödver the Tall from Saltvik. According to Snorre Sturlusson’s Nordiska Kungasagor, Hlödver was a tall Ålander who was handpicked by Viking King Olav Tryggvason to form part of the crew on Ormen Långe. Tryggvason grew up in Estonia and had seen much of the Scandinavian Islands on his travels between his foster home and his real home in Trondheim. According to Sturlusson, Hlödver could not say no when Tryggvason asked him to accompany him as a helmsman on Ormen Långe, after all, it was the biggest and most beautiful ship that had been built. In AD 1000, Ormen Långe sailed to Poland with a number of other ships to collect Queen Tyra’s inheritance. Along the route Olav Skötkonung and his allies lay in wait, and Olav Tryggvason fell in battle side by side with Hlödver the Tall from Saltvik at the naval battle at Svolder. The end of the Viking Age is generally considered to be when the people converted from pagan beliefs to Christianity, sometime around AD 1100.
Åland has many traces of the Vikings. In Saltvik was a great Viking market held on 28th-29th July 2000 with Viking "Hlödver the Tall" as a protector. Whether it was Saltvik of Åland is not quite clear, but it is possible. Saltvik has apparently been a Viking port and trading center. The pretty stamps on the cover and the cover itself were issued on 28.7.2000. This nice FDC was given to me by Pia.

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