The hills were cloaked in a veil of mist that reflected exquisitely on the waters of Loch Fyne. A pair of swans glided, seamlessly, through the silky smooth waters as the sea birds swooped down to catch their breakfast. The town of Inveraray itself was quiet, perhaps too quiet for a day in early July but all of a sudden that quietness was shattered as a thunderous roar was heard from the shore and an army of blood thirsty Viking warriors leaped from their longboats. They came charging through the streets of Inveraray, angrily brandishing their weapons and surprising the unsuspecting residents of the town…
But don’t worry,
Inveraray was not captured and its residents were not butchered by an army of Viking
warriors, this was just the dramatic start of the annual Loch Fyne Viking Festival.
This festival is held to commemorate the Viking heritage of this part of Scotland
and as a re-enactment of Magnus Barefoot's, King of Norway, successfully landing in Argyll at the end of the 11th century.
After the initial
invasion there was many different activities and performances for the public to
enjoy. Unfortunately, I was working so I couldn’t watch the whole spectacle but
I could hear the musical performances and the commentary of the events from the
office and the occasional roars which were often quickly accompanied by the
screams of children.
I did managed to
sneak out of the office for a wee while. I watched a re-enactment of a battle by the ‘Glasgow
Vikings’ which was highly entertaining, this was played out on the Front Green
in Inveraray. The misty hills and Loch really did make a spectacular and very appropriate
Later on in the
afternoon there was an archery demonstration by the ‘Causeway Archers’ from
This was great as afterwards the spectators were given the opportunity
to participate and my inner child was desperate for a go. Aiming was a lot more
difficult than it looked and with lots of people watching I felt a bit intimidated
therefor my first attempt was a bit, well, unimpressive to say the least! But I
eventually did hit the target!! And left feeling quite content.
The Festival continued
in the hours that followed until eventually the Vikings cleared up and
retreated back to their longboats where they sailed back into the mist and down Loch Fyne ready to ‘capture’ the villages
of Lochgilphead, Ardrishaig, Tarbert and Portavadie in the following days.