Norway Part To (That’s Norwegian for Two)

On to Stavanger, 183 nautical miles from Ulvik. Norway’s 4th largest city, all 30 square miles of it. Hey, they have Boots here! Our first ramble took us off the ship and into the historic neighborhood of Gamle Stavanger, which we are told is the oldest (late 18th c.) surviving wooden house settlement in Northern Europe. What a pretty area – and just steps from the ship.

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Stavanger has cultural museums, and the Norwegian Petroleum Museum (oil is king here), and a statue commemorating Norwegian immigration to America. There’s also the Stavanger domkirke, the cathedral (Norway’s oldest!). And a nice old movie theater.

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The harbor’s always near. This tugboat has a good character name.

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Here’s the café we chose for locally-famous cinnamon buns, called kanelboller.

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We needed these.

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No fjord cruising here as we depart, but a nice pullaway from the big harbor.

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Finally, Kristiansand, our last stop in Norway, 186 nautical  miles from Stavanger.

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We strolled through the city’s charming old town, Posebyn, and took a break at the Mean Bean. R had another kanelboller, and E went for carrot cake.

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Mean Bean is part of the Sørlandet Art Museum. We looked inside and decided to return after we’d walked around and had lunch. The walk took us into the wonderful Baneheia recreational area, a big park that rises above town. Lakes decorate the area, and people were arriving for their mid-day swim – all very casual. Good place to lie down on a dock and enjoy the sun.

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We were liking Kristiansand even more when we saw their animal sculptures in the street. By now we were telling people how much the place reminded us of Ballard, the Scandihoovian neighborhood in Seattle.

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R looked at the handsome and woody Kristiansand Cathedral, and E checked out a street market. Now for some food, at a place recommended by the nice ladies on staff at the museum. At the Til Stede you dine on the upper floor. R had some cod taken right from the sea, E had a glorious salad. Superb!

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That’s a local beer there. The helpful waiter was trying to remember that it had a special flavor – like so many people we met, he spoke great English – and he wondered whether the special ingredient was…perhaps…cauliflower? We thought that didn’t sound right, so he went back to the kitchen to check. Elderflower. Yes, that’s better.

Feeling very good about Kristiansand now, we returned to the Sørlandet Art Museum to see their exhibition on regional art (learned a lot about that) and buy a T-shirt.

We pulled away, bound for Rotterdam, 433 nautical miles away.

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Farvel, Norway!

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