Laetitia moved on to Iceland. According to Medieval Icelandic historian Ari Thorgilsson (1067–1148 AD), Ingólfr Arnarson established the first Nordic settlement on Iceland around 870 AD, displacing Irish monks who left because they didn’t want to live amidst pagans. Thralls (slaves), mostly female captives from raids on the British Isles, often accompanied the early Norse settlers. Not surprisingly, recent DNA studies citing differences in genetic indicators on Y and X chromosomes indicate that 66 percent of Icelandic males are predominantly of Norse descent, and 60 percent of females have mostly Celtic ancestry.
Laetitia arranged an Iceland tour with a local guide and enjoyed seeing the hot springs and geysers of this geothermically active island along with its glaciers, abundant wildlife, and Icelandic ponies. In the afternoon, the group returned to Reykjavik, a bustling modern city of 120,000. They went to the Reykjavik Art Museum, the National Museum of Iceland, and the Reykjavik Settlement Museum.
It amused Laetitia that modern artistic depictions of Vikings wearing helmets with horns have no factual basis. Historic records don’t show them that way. There is a good reason for this. Horns would catch, rather than deflect blows from weapons. That thought was the source of the limerick of the day.
‘Tis an issue that some may find thorny
To say Viking helmets weren’t horny
Just artistic depictions
Of modern-day fictions
That turn out to be nothing but Blarney.