“We’re steeped in Viking history, with all its fantastic stories, and if you have a story you can sell more,” said Patricia Retson, Highland Park’s brand heritage manager, after we had toured the distillery’s dankly atmospheric cellar and sleek tasting room. “But we’re also trying to make a real connection, and if it’s going to work, it has to be authentic.” To that end, the distillery’s Loki gets its mischievousness from an aroma that is all sweet apples, but turns to smoke and wood on the palate. Its Leif Erikssonis aged in 100 percent American oak barrels.
“我们是浸透着维京历史的，有许许多多幻异故事，有了故事，东西就更好卖，”高原骑士品牌传承经理帕特莉西亚·雷特逊(Patricia Retson)说，她刚刚带着我们参观了阴冷潮湿的酒窖和装潢精美的品酒厅。“但是我们也在努力建立一种真正的联系，这种联系要想发挥作用，必须得纯正才行。”为此，酒厂出品的Loki（洛基）用甜苹果的芳香构成了一种调皮的气质，但尝起来却是烟熏和木味。而它的Leif Erikssonis（莱夫·埃里克松）是在百分之百的美国橡木桶里陈放的。
Yet in downtown Kirkwall, where the Romanesque cathedral, built of sandstone, houses the relics of St. Magnus Erlendsson, the Norse-descended Earl of Orkney who was martyred after an unsuccessful battle with a rival chieftain in the early 12th century, and where miniature Viking ships still cap the post office lintel, Donna Heddle had no doubt the connection went considerably deeper than mere marketing.
与此同时，在柯克沃尔市中心那座砂岩建造的罗马式大教堂里，存放着诺尔斯世袭的奥克尼伯爵圣·马格努斯·厄林德孙(St. Magnus Erlendsson)的遗物，他在12世纪初被一个敌对的高地领主击败，后被册封为圣人，在这里的邮局门楣上，至今还有维京人的船只造型。在唐娜·黑德尔(Donna Heddle)看来，跟维京的关联绝对不只是市场营销那么肤浅。
As the director of the Center for Nordic Studies, Dr. Heddle sees evidence of Norseness almost everywhere: in the Orkney dialect that puts its prepositions at the end of sentences; in a concept of social justice that emphasizes egalitarianism and spurns status or rank; in the fact, she said, that 66 percent of Orcadians’ DNA is Norwegian. And just as the Nordic presence helps explain the separate sense of identity that Scots feel from the English, so too does it explain the separate identity that Orcadians feel from mainland Scots. “Vikings are very sexy now,” she said. “But for us it’s more than that. You can see it in our knitting patterns and our sailing skills and in the can-do attitude. This is a living legacy.”
作为北欧研究中心(Center for Nordic Studies)主任，黑德尔博士能在每个角落找到诺尔斯文化的痕迹：将介词放在句子最后的奥克尼方言；强调平等主义、摒弃尊卑或等级的社会正义观念；还有，她说奥克尼人有66%的挪威人基因。北欧特征让苏格兰人对英格兰产生了身份认同上的隔阂，同样也让奥克尼人跟苏格兰大陆有了距离感。“维京人现在很时兴，”她说。“但对我们来说不是那么简单。在我们的编织图案、我们的航海技巧、我们的进取心里都能看到。这是一份鲜活的遗产。”
Living, but also dead. After Kirkwall, we drove across windswept hills and muddy farmlands, before arriving at Orphir and the archaeological remains of Earl’s Bu. According to the medieval Orkneyinga saga, the nearly 1,000-year-old site was home not only to a round church built by Magnus’s murderous cousin Hakon, but also to a grand drinking hall, or bu. Like most Viking drinking halls, it was the scene of quite a lot of violence (proximity to a church came in handy; the brawlers could slip next door to repent of their drunken behavior, and, consciences cleansed, get back to guzzling mead). Maybe it was the film in the modest visitor center that recounted how one drunken slight had unleashed a massacre at the hall, or perhaps we had watched too much of “Game of Thrones,” but as David and I walked about the lonely ruins of the stone church (a third of its curved walls still standing), I suddenly found myself charging him with an imaginary battle ax. After a brief but virtual bloody fight, we collapsed on the grass in giggles.
鲜活的，但同时也是死的。离开柯克沃尔，我们驶过呼啸的山间和泥泞的田野，来到奥弗尔以及“伯爵酒廊”(Earl's Bu)考古遗址。据中世纪的《奥克尼伯爵萨迦》(Orkneyinga saga)记载，这个有将近一千年历史的遗址，不仅包括马格努斯的那个残暴的堂兄弟哈孔(Hakon)所建的一座圆形教堂，还有一座宏伟的酒廊，也就是bu。和大多数维京酒廊一样，这里发生过不少暴力事件（离教堂这么近还是有好处的；斗殴者可以溜到隔壁去忏悔他们的酒后行为，涤净灵魂后，回去继续痛饮蜂蜜酒）。可能是因为我们在简朴的游客中心看了一部电影，讲到一句酒后的恶语导致一场酒廊大屠杀的事，或者就是我们看了太多的《权力的游戏》，总之当戴维和我来到一片萧瑟的石头教堂废墟（它的弧形墙壁尚存三分之一）时，我突然提起一把空想的战斧朝他冲了过去。经过一场短暂但按设想应该相当血腥的打斗，我们咯咯笑着瘫倒在草地上。
All that Viking history will do that to you. There are similar archaeological sites all over Orkney, so we had plenty of opportunities to perfect our re-enactment skills. At Maeshowe, a grass-covered mound that encases a Neolithic tomb marked up with 12th-century Norse Runes, the sheep that stood between us and the burial chamber fell to our raiding swords. At the Brough of Birsay, accessible only by foot during the few hours when the tides recede, we sweated in the chamber marked the Viking sauna. But there was no fantasy involved at the nearby Barony Mill, where Brian Johnston, the miller, grinds bere, a landrace barley, with a flavor more pronounced than wheat. “Many people think the Vikings brought it here,” Mr. Johnston said as he showed us around the 19th-century mill, which is powered by a water wheel. “And the only other place it grows is in Norway.”
这么多的维京历史是会有这种影响的。奥克尼到处都是类似的考古遗址，所以我们有的是机会完善我们的历史重现演技。在绿草遍野的梅肖韦(Maeshowe)地下有一座用12世纪的卢恩文字标出的新石器时代古墓，夹在我们和墓穴之间的那只羊，成为我们两个劫匪的刀下鬼。在只有趁着每天退潮那几个小时步行前往的博赛镇(Brough of Birsay)，我们在一个标着维京桑拿浴场的洞穴里出了点汗。然而附近的男爵磨坊(Barony Mill)是个没什么幻想的地方，磨坊主布莱恩·约翰斯顿(Brian Johnston)在那里磨bere，一种味道比小麦还要鲜明的地方品种大麦。“很多人认为它是维京人带来的，”带我们参观这座19世纪水车磨坊的约翰斯顿说。“除了这里之外，只有挪威能种这种麦子。”
There would be more culinary connections on the Shetland Islands. We landed early in the morning on the main island after an overnight ferry. Waiting for a cafe to open, we prowled the industrial-looking buildings and still-closed sweater shops in Lerwick, the capital and Shetland’s only real town. Once suitably caffeinated, we returned to Jurgen and headed south. Shetland is almost entirely treeless, with a terrain that veers mainly between the barren and the bleak, but is adorably dotted with the tiny ponies that take their name from the place. Rocky soil and near constant wind explain why the local diet is almost entirely lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables. But even that lack can only partly explain the peculiar dish known as reestit mutton.
“No, you wouldn’t expect to find this in a restaurant,” said Marian Armitage, the author of “Shetland Food and Cooking,” as she sawed off a few rocklike chunks of a fossilized slab of meat in her kitchen, where we had come to learn about the local cuisine. “Unless they were trying to do something quirky.” Through the windows of her enclosed porch, I could just make out the ruined walls of Jarlshof, another Norse settlement, in the distance. Ms. Armitage fried a bit of the mutton in a pan, and explained the process for making it: Raw meat was salted in brine, then hung from the rafters of the house, preferably over a peat fire, so that the smoke seasoned the meat. I put a bite in my mouth: Quirky was definitely one word for it. The mutton was fatty, salty and tasted, well, rotten. “Just what you want,” David said, “after a long day at sea.”
“这东西在餐馆里吃不到的，”《设得兰食物与烹饪》(Shetland Food and Cooking)作者玛丽安·阿尔米塔奇(Marian Armitage)一边跟我说，一边在一块化石般的肉上切下几个硬梆梆的肉块，我们到她的厨房来是要学做当地的美食。“除非他们是有了什么离奇的想法。”从她家的包窗门廊往外看，隐约能看到远处的一些断壁残垣，那是雅尔邵夫(Jarlshof)，另一座诺尔斯殖民地。阿尔米塔奇把一些羊肉放到锅里煎，并跟我们介绍这种肉的制作工艺：生肉放在海水里腌一下，然后挂在屋内的木椽上，最好下面用泥煤烧火，这样可以给肉加入烟熏味。我吃了一口：说离奇绝对是合适的。肉味肥肥的，很咸，像是……呃……腐烂的味道。“嗯，在海上辛苦了一整天，”戴维说。“回来当然就想吃这个。”
Still, I was thrilled to eat it. A couple of years earlier, I had tried something similar in the Faroe Islands, an archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between Norway and Iceland, where they make raest, which is raw mutton hung to air-dry in open huts for months, without the benefit of smoke or salt. Surely, I asked Armitage, raest and reestit were versions of the same dish, and evidence of a Nordic connection? “Ah no,” she said. “For that you’d be wanting vivda.” It turns out that Shetlanders once ate the exact same preparation — and called it by the Norse word for leg meat— until salt became more widespread in the islands.
After lunch, we turned around (“Snu rundt,” Jurgen said) and headed back north. We passed helpful signs that translated the islands’ Old Norse geographic names into English (“Tingwall, Field of the Parliament”) and stopped, incongruously enough, at a fjord-side food truck for pulled pork sandwiches. It required two more ferries, but we finally arrived in Unst, the northernmost of the Shetland Islands, and hence, the northernmost in Scotland.
Unst has a higher density of rural Viking sites than any place else in the world, including Scandinavia, with 60 longhouses on a 46-square-mile island. For our first stop, at Hamar, we skirted some curious sheep and a watchful bull to walk among the low, grass-carpeted walls of one (David was saved from another re-enacted vanquishing only because the preponderance of dung at our feet made things especially messy.) From what would have been the front door, I gazed down the length of the shimmering fjord, before I looked down to find the fragments of a broken beer bottle. The idea that local teenagers might use this ancient home as a hangout for drinking, flirting and communing with their Viking past pleased me.
But at the Skidbladner, a reconstructed Viking ship up the road, the volunteer who showed visitors around had a much more prosaic explanation for how past and present came together: economic necessity. Clad in a woolen dress fastened with brooches that approximated what a Viking woman would have worn once she was back on dry land, the volunteer divided her time between welcoming visitors to the site and doing a bit of nalebinding, a Nordic form of needlework that predates knitting. As she showed us around the Skidbladner, a full-size replica of a ship found in a Norwegian Viking burial mound in the 19th century, she told us about the Royal Air Force base that once formed the basis of Unst’s economy. “But they shut that down some years back, and that left a terrible hole,” she said. “Viking tourism is meant to fill it.”
We were back to the same question, with little of Scottish territory left. Luckily, just as we neared Shetland’s northern edge, we spied Valhalla. It looked more like a warehouse than the Norse god Odin’s grand hall for fallen warriors, but that may have been because on Unst at least, Valhalla is a craft brewery. The name wasn’t the founder Sonny Priest’s idea. “The Viking thing has been done to death, so I was dead against it,” he said, but more prescient minds on the regional council prevailed. These days, Mr. Priest sells his Old Scatness (named after a Shetland Viking settlement) and Simmer Din (from the Shetland phrase for summer’s long twilight) ales as far as Glasgow and Oslo.
眼看已经快到苏格兰国土的尽头，我们又回到了最初的问题上。幸运的是，就在我们即将到达设得兰北端时，我们发现了瓦尔哈拉(Valhalla)。它看上去更像个仓库，而不是诺尔斯神奥丁为阵亡将士准备的灵堂，不过那可能是因为，至少在安斯特，瓦尔哈拉是一家精酿酒厂。这个名字不是创始人桑尼·普利斯特(Sonny Priest)想出来的。“维京那一套已经被用滥了，所以我是很反对的，”他说，但他输给了地区委员会里的一些比他更有远见的人物。如今普利斯特的Old Scatness（因设得兰一处维京殖民地遗址而得名）和Simmer Din（设得兰人用这个短语形容漫长的夏日暮光）牌爱尔啤酒远销至格拉斯哥和奥斯陆。
He wasn’t sure what to make of his ancestors’ past. “When I was a kid, the ties to the Norse felt stronger,” he said as he stopped to stick his nose in a bag of hops. “There were all these words we used, and the whalers would take our men because they knew our seafaring skills went back to them. Now sometimes I think it’s just for the tourists. But everybody in Shetland is still proud of their Viking heritage.”
In the end, neither its Viking past nor its imagined Nordic future would be strong enough to sever Scotland from England. But at our final stop, David and I could see why it came close. After hiking through the heather at Saxa Vord, we arrived at the northernmost cliff on Shetland’s most northerly inhabited island. To the east, some 200 miles in the distance, was Norway; to the north, past the rocky outcrop of Muckle Flugga, was the Arctic. We watched the sun set, then got back in the car. “Reisen slutt,” Jurgen said. It was, as he said, journey’s end.
到头来，无论是那段维京岁月，还是想象中的北欧未来，都不足以让苏格兰跟英格兰一刀两断。但是在我们的最后一站，戴维和我终于看到，为什么分裂差一点就成功了。在设得兰群岛中最北的一个有人烟的岛上，我们徒步走过萨克撒-沃德(Saxa Vord)的石楠花丛，来到北边的海崖。往东200英里是挪威；往北越过马克尔-弗拉加(Muckle Flugga)就是北极。我们看了日落，回到车中。“Reisen slutt，”于尔根说。没错，这就是此行的尽头。