Northern Europe Trip Page... (including photos)
Chris' Daily Journal September 5, 2010, Stavenger, Norway
When we awakened this morning (after another night of extremely calm seas), we were heartened to see clear skies and sparkling sun.
As soon as the ship was cleared by the local officials, we were off.
What an absolutely incredible day regarding the weather. It's as if Mother Nature had decided since today was our last day in
Norway, it would be one we wouldn't forget. The skies were a rich blue, the sun was shining, the temperatures were very mild.
Stavenger is the third largest city and the Petroleum Capital of
Old Stavenger (Gamle) is in the western section of the city, near the pier where we docked. This area has some of Northern
Europe's best preserved wooden homes lining cobble stoned streets. All total, there are more than 250 historic buildings and homes, carefully restored.
The neightborhood was very quiet, but today is Sunday.
Most of the houses and buildings are painted white. However, each structure is constructed differently and it's very obvious the residents take great pride in their gardens and front entries. The flowers and plants were beautiful, and arranged in well planned plots. Gas street lights added a nice touch.
The focal point of the city seems to be the 11th-century Domkirke - the cathedral. In 1272, part of the structure was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in a Gothic style between 1271 and 1303. The interior is quite ornate. Figures that appear in the motif are said to have been designed to frighten anyone who might contemplate straying away from the religious laws.
The area where the cathedral sits is next to Lake Breiavatnet and today, there were many people walking, visiting while sitting on benches and kids feeding the swans and ducks.
In the city centre is a delightful shopping district, featuring many specialty shops. That's the good news. The bad news is that stores, other than gas stations and convenience stores, are closed on Sundays, by law. However, we enjoyed our walk through the area, peeking into the various windows.
We don't have much occasion to wear the Norwegian sweaters and scarves, so although we admire their quality, we're not buyers. And, as I've said before - Norway is expensive. The U.S. dollar remains at about .16 cents to 1 Norwegian Krone.
We stopped for a coffee and because it was the only one open within many blocks, they were doing a pretty brisk business.
Unfortunately, most of the museums and attractions were closed today. The Norsk Hermetikkmuseet (Canning Museum) sounded very interesting. It's in a restored canning factory. In the window of the museum are antique sardine cans, such as the King Oscar Sardines. One of the buildings that is included in the museum is preserved as it was over a century ago, showing the living and working conditions of the workers.
Since it was our last time to enjoy the Norwegian food, we found a restaurant right on the waterfront. We were able to sit in the upstairs of the restaurant by a large window which gave us great viewing of the boats in the harbor and of course, people-watching.
The restaurant was very busy and not prepared for the number of people in town. There was only one person to wait tables inside and out. However, within a short period of time, one more staff member arrived and we ordered. John wanted mussels, but they were out. And, they were out of greens for salad. So, he finally settled on the fish of the day - a halibut and cod dish, which he enjoyed. My entree of catfish and steamed potatoes and vegetables was good - especially the spicy sauce that was used.
While eating, we noticed quite a few classic cars driving by - Chevy Impalas, an old Cadillac convertible, a couple Mustangs - all American cars. We decided there must be a classic car show nearby.
After lunch, we lingered around the harbor area as it was fun to watch the different types of boats coming in while others were leaving.
Stavenger is another great Norwegian city to visit. One of the things we learned that of special interest to us is that Stavenger is a sister city to both
I did a bit of research to find out exactly what is a sister city? A sister city can also be referred to as a twin town or city. Basically, it's a cooperative agreement between towns and cities that are in geographically and politically distinct areas that promote cultural and commercial ties.
Tomorrow is a day at sea as we travel back to our disembarkation port of
Another great adventure comes to an end. We shall look forward to the next one! Thanks for coming along with us.
Northern Europe Trip Page... (including photos)
Note that there are two trip maps, as this journey include two (back-to-back) 12 day cruises. The map of the UK is found below the Norway map.