Our Beautiful World
Leif Eiriksson, known as the one who discovered America, long before Columbus....
He once lived in Norway, and so it was a norwegian who discovered America - I thought.
How wrong I was.
On the westcoast of Iceland, in Eiriksstaðir in Haukadalur, we found the home of Leif.
In this building, which is a copy of the original one which was built in the 10th century,
lived his father and mother.
The northern side is straight, and seems to have been built up against material from a landslide.
The southern side is curved, as is customary in hall-buildings of this period.
(See the Viking-house in Lofotr, Lofoten, Norway)
Reconstructed to day an old instrument on which they could weave their own clothes. And they did.
This one was placed to the left, where also the slaves (servants) slept at night.
On the right side was the beds of the farmer's family.
And this is what the bed of Eirikur and his wife was like.
They slept on skins of horses, reindeer or seals.
Here is the place they believe the original house was built.
Here, Leif the Lucky was born. His parents, Eirikur rauði (Eirik the Red)
and Þjóðhildur (Thorhildur) did not stay long. After the birth of Eirik, they set off
and founded the first (?) viking settlement in Greenland.
But - at that time Eirikur had already discovered Greenland some years before.
So, in the summer of 986 AD they left Norway for good.
Neither Christopher Columbus or Leif Eiriksson were the ones to discover America.
As shown above, other Icelanders were over there at least 15 years before Leif,
and as the story tells: Leif went out to investigate a land which he had already heard of.
He is therefore also told of as being the first known European to set foot on North America.
Bjarni Herjólfsson is believed to be the first Norse to see North America.
When he was travelling to Greenland in 986, he was driven off course by a storm.
He saw a land with forests and low-lying hills that he knew was not Greenland.
Herjólfsson, an Icelandic trader, was on his way to meet his
father at the new colony in Greenland
Bjarni Herjólfsson returned from his trip to Norway, he sold
his ship to Leifr Eiriksson.
Herjólfsson was not an adventurer. He was first and foremost
a cautious merchant,
and his men decided to sail north, and came to another land, a few