Help wanted: Vikings. Must be friendly, tourist-oriented and interested in ancient Norse traditions. Crazed, bloodthirsty pillagers need not apply. In a rare employment opportunity for Vikings, whose job market peaked about 1,000 years ago when they terrorized Europe in their longboats, southern Norway's Vestfold county wants to fill slots at its local historical park. The ad, to appear in local media Saturday, will be simple: "Jobs available. Vikings in Vestfold," with a link to the center's Internet home page, said Lars Kobro, self-described chieftain of the Midgard Historical Center. "More and more we see that tourists are interested in Vikings," Kobro said Tuesday. "They don't want just exhibits, but face-to-face encounters. But the center is seeking to play down the Scandinavian Vikings' reputation as wild, murderous looters who pillaged and burned through much of Europe, a claim Kobro said was largely exaggerated in texts left by ancient English monks. "They were really more traders and merchants," said Kobro. He said they are seeking a corps of about 50 part-time Vikings, ready to turn out at the center when needed.
Norwegians recruit cuddly Vikings