Leif Erikson 960-1020
The truth about the Americas
Leif was born in Iceland in about 960 AD, son of Eric the Red.
As was tradition with the Vikings, Leif did not grow up with his family. Thyrker (He was from Germany where Eric the Red had captured him) taught Leif everything he needed to know, including reading and writing runes, the Celtic and Russian tongue, and the ways of trade. Leif was also taught the old sagas, plant studies, and the use of weapons. At 12, Leif was considered a man and traveled back to his father's house.
Eric, not being able to go to Norway decided to investigate rumours of lands to the west. That´s how Greenland was discovered. For years Eric spent on Greenland his banishment, he explored the new land and taught Leif many things. After three years, Eric traveled back to Iceland and told the people about Greenland.
At the age of 24, Leif was asked to captain his first voyage. This was to bring gifts to King Olaf in Norway. Many preparations were made and Leif was very excited. He took along a crew of 14 and Thyrker (Germany).
The crew wanted to go ashore but Leif would not let them, so they kept sailing. They sailed for many days and Leif thought they would run out of food. Finally they sighted some small islands, the Hebrides, they realised they had sailed farther south than they had intended.
The Discovery of the new world
Columbus didn't reach the New World until 1492, 500 years after Leif Erikson's arrival in 1001 AD. He was the first European to set foot in the New World, opening a new land rich with resources for the Vikings to explore.
Sometime after Leif had returned to Greenland, he became restless. He decided to find the lands to the west. They landed, but were disappointed because the land seemed to be one huge slab of rock. Because of this he named it Helluland (Slab Land or Flat Rock Land), which is now believed to be Baffin Island. Then he sailed south and found another land. he went ashore he found it to be flat with white beaches and some trees. He named this land Markland (Woodland) which today is believed to be the eastern coast of Canada.
He traveled through all the coasts of what is now Central America and islands Like Cuba and all of the Caribbean. The only references to it are in the Norse sagas where most of the information concerning Leif Erikson is recorded.