October 22, 2021

Valhalla on Lake Baikal


Valhalla on Lake Baikal
While the Vikings did interact with Kievan Rus, their ships were too large to navigate the rivers into Siberia, and so this really is the first time a "Viking" has ever set sail on Lake Baikal.  Photo via Pxfuel

For the past three and a half years, Irkutsk resident Vladimir Tomilov has been working on the construction and development of his own Viking longship, which he intends to sail across Lake Baikal next year. Ever since he was young, Tomilov has had a passion for Norse mythology. 

Tomilov did the main woodwork for the ship primarily by himself, with no help other than from the benevolent Norse gods and his long-suffering wife, who dealt with wood shavings in the house for many years to support her husband's dream. For the finishing touches, such as the metalwork and the bright red sail, Tomilov was able to hire extra help eager to be a part of an authentic Viking experience. 

At this point, the ship is being tested for a new rudder, as the previous one was broken on some rocks. When running with a full crew, the ship requires twelve rowers to pull twelve heavy iron oars.

The ship is still looking for more crew members to join them on their expedition across Baikal, so if you are looking for Valhalla and are ready for a challenge, this could be the gig for you. For now, you can also just take the easier route and watch videos of Lake Baikal too.

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