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THE very rough guide to Scotland offered the would-be traveller the following warning. Be very careful there, it says – the natives are dangerous, the language incomprehensible and the weather is awful.
HAGAR THE HORRIBLE and pals have a bad reputation. We picture them as seafaring, bloodthirsty warmongers plundering the North Atlantic and British Isles in longboats, red hair blazing underneath horned helmets, ready to rape and pillage - and that's on a good day.
SCOTLAND'S transport minister was yesterday among a horde of Vikings pillaging Lerwick as part of the annual Up-Helly-Aa celebrations.
A ROW has broken out in Norway over a decision to move three ancient Viking ships, which may not survive the journey.
VIKINGS from Lerwick's Up Helly Aa celebrations led the annual torchlit procession through the Capital's streets as the Hogmanay celebrations began in earnest.
WITH more than 15,000 people expected to take part, Edinburgh's annual torchlight procession kicks off the Capital's Hogmanay celebrations tonight with a march through the Old Town that will turn the city centre into a spectacular glowing river of flames.
AS HOBBIES go, dressing up as a Viking and setting fire to a longboat has to be one of the most bizarre on the MSPs' register of interests.
TERRIFYING Viking raids in medieval times gave Norsemen a reputation as bloodthirsty marauders, but new archaeological finds show they may also have been vain - caring as much for the "pretty" decoration of their teeth as for the bite of their swords.
WHEN A chilly, grey dawn broke, it revealed seals basking on the rocks right outside my hotel bedroom window. That's not something I see every day, but I resisted the temptation to rush outside and take a closer look. I had to remember that I wasn't in Shetland to watch the wildlife and, in truth, there really is only one reason to be in Lerwick, Shetland's capital, on the last Tuesday in January.
THE Viking influence on our native tongue elicited quite a response from readers.
A HISTORIC Celtic hero credited with driving the Vikings out of western Scotland was actually descended from a Norseman, according to research by a leading DNA expert.
FAR from their marauding, pillaging stereotypes, Viking warriors were homemakers who couldn’t wait to ship their wives over to settle the lands they had conquered, new research reveals.
ISLANDERS on Shetland are planning to ban Norwegian street names.
DURING the 11th century, Viking raiders seized many of the islands surrounding the Scottish mainland, where they settled alongside the Gaels. The Scots ceded dominion of the Outer and Inner Hebrides to Hakon Hakonson, King of Norway in a treaty, but the Gaels still regarded the isles as their own.
If you’re looking for a Burns Supper in Shetland this year, you can forget it. Whisky will be much in evidence as will the Bard’s sentiments on camaraderie and brotherhood, but Burns night this year happens to coincide with the last Tuesday in January, so there’s no contest. That’s the night Shetland firmly detaches itself from Scotland and goes Norse, big style.
A MAN out on the hunt for buried treasure with his metal detector has unearthed the first Viking burial ground ever to be found in the UK.
A FORMER Viking power base seen as one of the most important sites of its type in Scotland is under threat from new attackers, a plague of rabbits.
THEY came, they saw, and the rest carried thousands of burning torches through the historic streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town, as the city’s Hogmanay celebrations were ignited in spectacular fashion last night with the annual massive torchlight parade.