June 20, 2018 / 4:31 PM / 4 months ago

Soccer: Iceland fans show their Viking spirit - in a Lada

VOLGOGRAD, Russia (Reuters) - Two Iceland fans have paid homage to the spirit of the Vikings by travelling 5,000km (3,107 miles) in a Russian-built Lada to support their team at the World Cup.

Postal service worker Kristbjorn Hilmir Kjartansson and his friend Gretar Jonsson, a film student, took 14 days to make the trip from Reykjavik to Volgograd.

“It’s the spirit of adventure,” Jonsson said as he showed off the car near the Volgograd Arena on Wednesday.

“You know the Vikings were great explorers, sailors and fighters, so we have a little bit of their desire to have an adventure... it’s crazy but it’s so much fun.”

A World Cup Trophy replica is seen on the bumper of Gretar Jonsson and Kristbjorn Hilmir Kjartansson's Lada, two Iceland supporters who made a journey from home to Russia to watch their team against Nigeria, in Volgograd, Russia June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

The pair, both 30, painted the car in the red, white and blue colours of their national team before taking a ferry from Iceland to Denmark.

They then drove south to Germany, crossed through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and finally reached Moscow, where they watched Iceland hold twice world champions Argentina to a 1-1 draw on Saturday. They then drove south to Volgograd ahead of their team’s second game against Nigeria on Friday.

Kjartansson dreamt up the idea of attending the World Cup after winning the Lada - which fittingly sports a logo depicting a Viking sailing ship - in a competition run by a travel agency.

There has only been one hiccup during the journey, when the car’s engine overheated in the middle of Moscow.

A group of locals, however, quickly helped fix the problem. The pair aim to drive to Rostov-on-Don for Iceland’s last Group D game against Croatia before heading home.

Slideshow (5 Images)

(This story has been refiled to correct to reflect trip to Volgograd, not Moscow, took 14 days.)

Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Tony Lawrence

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