Vikings sailing back to the Lands of Colchis
For the last several years, a group of Swedish modern day Viking enthusiasts have been building a boat and making plans to retrace the probable river routes that they think were followed. Their aim is to carry out historical research, as well as to develop international relations and goodwill with those they meet along the route. The expedition is scheduled for late spring of 2004 with hopes of reaching Baku by August.
In 1036, Ingvar den Vittfarne (Ingvar, The One Who Travelled Far) a Viking chief, led a fleet from what is now known as Sweden to the Caspian Sea . He navigated the Russian waterways to the Black Sea and from there, most probably continued down the Georgian river Rioni. After hauling his boats across land, he is believed to have continued his journey via the Mtkvari River in Georgia, which is known as Kur in Azerbaijan south eastward to the Caspian. It is believed that Vittfarne even reached as far as Gara Bugaz located in present-day Turkmenistan.
However, on his return voyage, Ingvar and many of the men who accompanied him are believed to have become ill and died. Only a few men survived to tell the story. This fated expedition is mentioned on at least 26 of the 1,000 runic stones known to exist in Sweden. The tragedy is also referred to in an Icelandic saga.
Tentative sailing plan:
Zmievka (Kherson) - Yevpatoria 30/4 - 15/5 2004
Yevpatoria - Novorossijsk 16/5 - 29/5
Novorossijsk - Poti 30/5 - 14/6
Poti - Kwichkhethi 15/6 - 28/6
Kwichkhethi - Kirzan 29/6 - 13/7
Kirzan - Schuschun 14/7 - 27/7
Schuschun - Baku 28/7 - 12/8