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Tag Archives: Stavanger Norway

I’m finally at an end of my photos from our summer visit to Scandinavia. It only took 5 months to get through them. It was a great experience living in a country for a few months. It is something we would like to do again in the future.

One of the things we loved about Oslo was the great transportation system. I was clean, fast and frequent. With a pass we could ride any public transport. The one complaint we noticed was that some of the trams, buses and metro were not air conditioned. Norway was having one of its hottest summers on record and Norwegians are not used to hot weather.

The first photo is of a Ruter advertisement that was running as we ended our stay. I think it say something like “with the Ruter ticket in hand you can go anywhere”.

This is a photo of me standing at the Osteras station. As we neared the end of our stay in Oslo I realized that we had taken almost every metro train in Oslo. I then decided to try and ride every metro train. Osteras was the last station I had on my bucket list.

When we visited the Norwegian Petroleum Museum  in Stavanger I was impressed with a couple of things. First, that Norway is putting the North Sea oil revenue away for the future rather than spending it all at once. I was also impressed on how conflicted they are about their oil production and its impact of climate change.

It was nice to be able to take a hike within a short distance of a metro station. We were able to get out and enjoy nature and pick berries within a short walk form the station.

Oslo was celebrating LGBT month while we were there. I was impressed by the number of businesses and  churches that were decorated for the occasion.

This sign in the metro station reflects the changing nature of Norwegian society. Even in the smallest towns we saw people that were clearly from foreign lands. The suburb where our condo was located had residents from over 50 different countries.

It was very unusual to see police on the streets. It was so unusual that I usually took a photo of them.  We rarely saw police cars and the only time I recall seeing police walking the streets was during the gay pride parade and once a couple of them were riding bikes.

During our summer visit we frequently encountered children that were on field trips. In every case the ratio of adults to children was 4 to 1. Clearly child care is important and respected in Norway. We were amused when this child sat down by this young man who was apparently watching something on his phone. The child became very interested in the video.

We did not expect it to be hot and dry in Norway. The temperatures were in the 80’s most days. We arrived in mid June and there had been no rain since May. We only encountered rain twice. Once in the evening while visiting Stavanger and the day we left for the U.S.

Old Town is a historic area of the city of Stavanger. The area consists largely of restored wooden buildings which were built in the 18th century and in the beginning of the 19th century. It owes it’s existence to Einar Hedén City Architect of Stavanger. After WWII a new city plan was created that included razing most of the old wooden buildings and replacing them with modern structures. Hedén spoke up and in 1956 the city council voted to conserve part of the old city center.

The area selected for conservation was the one considered the least desirable, consisting of small rundown wooden buildings located on the western side of Vågen, the inner harbor area of Stavanger. This area has a selection of preserved wood houses dating from both the 19th and 20th century. Over the years the area has changed from seedy to trendy, and today is considered a choice location.

The harbor, Vågen, can be seen a block away.

At the end of the street there is a small park.

A little of the local flavor. We encountered several cats during our walk through Old Town.

We toured the Norwegian Canning Museum while in Old Town. It was a very interesting tour and worth the visit. My wife remembered this picture on the sardine cans.

 

This is perhaps the most colorful street in all of Norway, and is referred to locally as Fargegaten. The area experienced a renaissance in 2005 when hairdresser Tom Kjørsvik envisaged doing something totally unique with it. All the houses along the street were painted in different hues, in accordance with a color scheme suggested by the artist Craig Flannagan. As you wander along Øvre Holmegate, you will find several niche shops as well as charming cafes and pubs. Flannagan encountered a number of problems with the project. “The problems started with pink. Some of the house owners would not accept pinks at all, (guys) others (girls) who rented apartments in some of the houses asked specifically for maximum pink. Every time I had to change a color I had to rearrange the entire street.”

We visited the street several times during our visit to Stavanger. More photos from the colorful street can be found on my Website.

An indication that it was also a residential street all of the buildings had this sign posted in their windows.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

We picked a beautiful day to take the Pulpit Rock Boat Tour out of Stavanger, Norway. We talked about doing the hike to the top but my wife doesn’t like heights and we didn’t have a lot of time give all of the events surrounding The Tall Ship Races. There were a lot of people on board the ship. The girl with the red jacket apparently considered herself quite the model. She kept me entertained for a good part of the trip posing for photos all around the ship.

 

I don’t recall having a smart phone when I was in a stroller. Oh, I forgot they hadn’t been invented yet.

 

We passed a cruise ship heading toward Stravanger.

Lots of summer cabins along the Fjord.

A ferry dropping off passengers and autos.

The rock faces along the Fjord were spectacular. Pulpit Rock was featured in the movie “Mission Impossible Fallout” There was a pre-premiere at Pulpit Rock. The odd thing was that Pulpit Rock was in India in the movie.

 

The tour boat pulled up to shore and with a blow of the horn attracted some goats.

There was even a waterfall even though it was late in the summer and there had been a long drought.

On the way back the tour boat stopped to let hikers to Pulpit Rock off.

We passed a fish farm on the way back.

We arrived back in Stravanger after a beautiful relaxing ride to Pulpit Rock.

 

 

 

We had planned a trip to Bergen, Norway and after we had finished planning it we noticed that the Tall Ships were going to be gathering in Stavanger so we decided to take the coastal bus to Stavanger from Bergen. We arrive mid afternoon and immediately headed down to the harbor to look at the tall ships. We spent the better part of three days looking at the tall ships. The best time was early in the morning. There were very few people around and the water in the harbor was very calm.

More photos from the Tall Ships Races in Stavanger can be found on my website.

While in the states we had visited the tall ships in Duluth, Minnesota. Typically they have 8 ships. The crowds are so large that it is almost impossible to tour the ships and it costs an arm and a leg. One of the ships that visited Duluth was also at Stavanger. In Duluth it was the largest ship in Stavanger it was parked by a ship that made it look like a rowboat. The best part of Stavanger was that almost all of the ships could be visited free and there was no fee to visit the docking area. Oh did I mention there were 67 ships. The Tall Ships Races will be visiting Bergen and  Fredrikstad Norway in 2019. Both would be great places to view the ships. Thinking of going back for the 2019 race.

It was a great place for photographers. One had an 8X10 view camera.

I took a few closeups of the Figureheads on the prows of the ships. I think the last item is intended to keep the rats off of the ships.

I love taking reflections shots and there plenty of opportunities at the Tall Ships Races.

There were plenty of opportunities to listen to music during the event. A number of the ships hosted musicians and there were music venues around the harbor.

 

Lots of things for the kids to do during the event. Various skills required in shipbuilding were featured.

One evening we returned from a tour and it was almost dark. As we were walking back to our hotel we noticed lots of people all looking at the sky. It took us a while to figure out that they were having evening fireworks. Somehow we had overlooked this on the schedule of events.

The great thing about the event was that almost everything was free. We have been to a number of ship events in the states and they charge an arm and a leg just to look at them. Almost all of the ships could be toured free of charge. The vessel from India was very popular and the crew was always up to something. Lots of fun.

 

Not all of the ships were large.

Portable shower and laundry facilities were provided.

Lots of food available along the harbor.

On the final day the ships were getting ready to leave port. Early in the morning the crews were being briefed and then they started to raise the sails. Unfortunately we had a plane to catch and missed the ships sailing out of the harbor.

We initially made reservations for Bergen but when we found out that Stavanger was having a Tall Ships Festival we decided to travel from Bergen to Stavanger. There were a variety of options but looking at reviews on the internet we decided to take the Coastal Bus. It turned out to be a good decision. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was outstanding on the five hour trip.

A few shots of small towns along the coast.

The highlights of the trip were two ferry rides. We lined up to catch the first ferry.

This individual was rowing along on the water next to the ferry terminal.

Leaving the ferry dock. This was the longer of the two ferry rides. It was very convenient. The bus drove on and we were able to get out a enjoy the ferry ride. We spent most of our time walking around on the outside deck.

There were a number of fish farms along the ferry ride.

The ferry had a nice cafe with a variety of foods.

This was the second ferry.  We encountered a number of coastal express ferry’s along the way.

The bus stopped at a number of small towns along the route.

We arrived in Stavanger early in the afternoon and checked into our hotel before heading down to see the tall ships.