|Indian vikings in Tau!|
|Tau as seen from ferry|
The name “Tau” comes from the Norsk word Taufr meaning witchcraft, and one believes there was a sacrificial field here in the Iron age. In the viking age, and maybe even earlier, it was a cultic centre. It was so important that they even tried to change the name of the place. They tried to change the name of the area to Sevarbakke, but had to give up after some 3 centuries.
Legend has it that Erik Bloodaxe had a royal estate in Tau, on Liland. His wife, Gunnhild, was said to be a powerful sorceress. Erik was overthrown by his brother, Haakon the Good, after only 5 years reign. He then went over to England, and became the last independent viking king in Northumberland. He fell in a battle in Southern England some years later.
In the middle ages, Tau was a centre for flour mills and saw mills. There was also a lot of timber being shipped out from Tau, to the UK, the Netherlands and France. In 1855, they built an industrial flour mill and a brewery in Tau. This became a corner stone of the local community, and led to new growth. Today, most people in Tau work in Stavanger and commute by ferry. Though we didn’t find witches swishing away on the harbor on their broom sticks, we did have a eerie feeling once we landed at Tau. There was absolutely no one in the pier in 10 minutes after
the ferry stopped, it was a deserted island as all cars and the people escaped onto thin air. 10 exotic Indians, one beautiful island and the curiosity got the better of us. We saw a hill around, which later we got to know was called “Taurafjellet” It is apparently the most scenic viewpoint over Tau and some part of rural Stavanger.
We took a calf path, which looked to be leading to someone’s home or to a dead end. Either ways…though some of us were circumspect…the others barged ahead and the rest followed. The surroundings gave absolutely no sound of human existence, though there were plenty of houses around. What broke the serenity was the barkings of an enthusiastic dog. The dog never saw so many people this entire winter – especially Indians, who are exotic dishes in Tau! After barking out a yelp or two in chorus, we surged ahead and continued climbing in totally under prepared trekking gears, boots, very little food and no clue of a path to the top but with loads of enthusiasm.
Making climbing sticks out of dry wood and by placing our feet on the marshy and slippery hills with the same calculations like that of a move in the game of chess, we overcame boulders, marshy and damp land and climbed further up. After a pit stop, we finally found the actual trekking path and then had a smooth climb up hill. Overall, with a combination of unconventional calf path + actual trekking path, it wouldn’t have taken us more than 30 -45 minutes (including breaks) to trek up.
|View atop Taurafjellet|
After walking on the street in no direction and nowhere in particular, we turned around and ran, fast walked to the pier to catch the next ferry back to Stavanger. All in all…an amazing trip and adventure. The ones you have grown reading about in “Secret Seven”, “Famous Five” but secretly wishing you were a part of. And this time…we were! Hats off to the 10 Indian Vikings from Stavanger with the never say die enthusiasm who did that!
|Ferry that swallows cars and people|
|Enthusiasm never dies with age!|
|Paths of glory?|
|View during descent|
|Musafir hoon yaaron..na ghar hai na thikana|