Bluetooth was a viking and his ships were viking ships. A major part
of the fleet rode at anchor or had moorage in Vejle Fjord (inlet) and
one can almost imagine King Harald Bluetooth heading the housecarls as
they ride along the old royal road from Jelling to Vejle to inspect
the ships, workshops, depots and barracks situated there.
We do not know
exatly how King Haralds ship looked but it must have been both huge
and beautiful, the longest and most beautiful viking ship in Denmark
at that time. However, the Jelling shipbuilders of 1985 dared not
build the longest copy of a viking ship but decided to build an amply
ornamented viking ship instead. As it shows up today, the Jelling
viking ship is only fifteen metres by three, but then its wonderful
shape, its sparkling colours and decorations meet the eye of the
spectator. Lying on the lake its two sea horse like sternfigures in
blue and silver rise four metres above the surface of the water. The
stern triangles with the snake and the bull from the runic stone
emphasize the swing and the gunwale frieze (with subjects from the
small Jelling jug) combine the two sterns. To young as well as old the
ships golden larch tree planks, the individually decorated shields,
the tholes and the 36 square metres striped sail make the incarnation
of the old dream: the snake, the dragon, the giant and the King in one.
No one knows the
name of King Haralds ship, but if one combines Olav Tryggvessons ship,
Ormen Lange ( the long snake), with the snake on the runic stone, it
may well be that Harald named his ship Jelling Orm
( the Jelling Snake).
In Fårup Sø (lake)
in which no viking ship has ever sailed, lies the Jelling Orm. It
rides easy at the shore and can be watched and photographed when it
isn´t on expedition in other waters.
Kilde: Knud Terkelsen
Henri Houben, Holland, Nederland.