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We were in Stavanger for to view the Tall Ships when we received a text from my wife’s cousin suggesting that we tour Flor og Fjære.  We had never heard of it but decided to follow up on her suggestion. We stopped in at their office near the harbor. As it turned out all of the tours were booked but they had added a special late evening tour that still had some openings. After pondering it a bit we decided to book the trip. We met the tour boat at 6pm and had a Pleasant boat trip out to the island of Sør-Hidle. Flor og Fjære is a collection of man-made tropical gardens on what is normally a barren island. In 1965, the founders, Aasmund and Else Marie Bryn, bought a farmstead on the northern tip of the island Aasmund moved to the island due to poor health conditions. As his health improved, he started the gardens. Aasmund had been a florist in Stavanger so he had a background in creating floral landscapes. He planted pine trees around the property line of the garden to protect his plants from the wind common to the for the region. The island is currently run by Aasmund’s son, Olav Bryn, who opened the gardens for tours and plants and redesigns the garden every year. He continually tests new plants to see if they will adapt to the northern climate. Bryn also tests different arrangements. Gardens on the island range from roses to cacti and each garden contains exotic plants from all over the world. The tour package includes a boat trip to and from the island, a tour of the gardens and a dinner at the restaurant with a rotating buffet prepared by their chef, Andre Mulder.

More photos from our visit to Flor og Fjære can be found on my website.

It was late in the day when we arrived and we were met by the owners and given a tour of part of the grounds. The weather was great when we arrived but we could see clouds building. We took a break for a very nice buffet dinner.

It started to thunder and rain while we were eating. We decided to postpone desert so we could tour more of the grounds so we grabbed an umbrella and walked around between downpours.

This is definitely a place I would like to spend a lot more time at. Normally we would have been able to enjoy the grounds more but as it turned out this was the only time we had rain in the entire seven weeks we were in Scandinavia.

It was dark when we arrived back in Stavanger. When we walked along the harbor we noticed everyone looking up into the sky. We were puzzled as to what they were looking at when the fireworks started. We found out later another of my wife’s cousins was at the same location but at this time we had never met them.

 

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