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Smiles, Seals & cute Houses in Stavanger

by Véronique and Mike

22 September 2014First stop: Stavanger. Known as the oil capital in Norway it is also a nice city to wander around with a relaxed atmosphere and it has some interesting museums. To name one, the Norsk Oljemuseum on the waterfront. 

We woke up at six. The golden sun slowly rising above the sea made that in no time we were up and on the sundeck to see the sunrise and the Norwegian Coast. 

Worth getting up early, right?There comes the pilotOur first Norwegian pilot climbs on board

A must-do trip when in Stavanger is the Lysefjord so we gladly joined the excursion. On board a Rodne Fjord Cruise ship we were ready to discover the 42 km-long fjord. The captain and his crew spared no effort to show us natural beauties such as the Jettegrytene pothole (created by erosion) or the Hengjane waterfall where the crew filled a bucket with the fresh water to distribute between the passengers afterwards. The whole trip our guide Ana - a very dynamic and enthusiastic woman from Portugal gave abundant information about the scenery and life in Norway.

Fresh water from the waterfall

I was mostly happy to discover the seals, chilling on the rocks, and the photogenic goats at ease on the hill, totally uninterested in our presence. The ship twisted around the subjects as it was a ballerina giving everybody the possibility to take a picture. Thank you captain Kora. 

Apparently nothing can disturb these seals

The absolute attraction of the excursion is one of the most iconic sights of Norway: the “Preikestolen” or Pulpit Rock. The mountain plateau is only 25 by 25 metres, sharply soaring 604 metres above Lysefjord. It looked rather tiny and insignificant from our viewpoint on sea level. But even from the boat we could see people standing near the cliff.

In 2012 Mike climbed the whole way up to the Pulpit Rock. I will have to do the long walk up and enjoy the view from up there another time. 

Once back ashore most of our fellow passengers returned to the ship to have lunch. We were happy to taste some local fare in NB Sorensen’s Damskibsexpedition along the waterfront. A warm welcome and yummy food comes with the cosy interior with vintage maritime objects. We had the lunch special: salmon trout. Highly recommended. 

Other places we liked:

- Ecologic design stuff and coffee: Fair Play

- Cute coffee bar filled with books and colour: Bøker & Børst

- The address for original, flower power happy clothes and accessories: Syvende Himmel

Bøker & Børst: front terrace (they have another terrace in the back)Lady of the house @ Syvende Himmel & the sweater I fell in love with A creative way to communicate "no parking"

Do have a stroll in Gamle Stavanger, the old city centre with its whitewashed wooden houses and cobble stones. It feels a bit as Bruges but so much prettier. The many flowers and beautiful Norwegian flags make for perfect picture opportunities. 

Kids will love this city too, because of the many museums with special activities for children. Outside the Oil Museum there is a playground made from old oil-exploration material. Local kids where intrigued and happily hopping on and of the enormous red balls. The present Asian tourists could not stop snapping pictures from the blond heads on the colourful site.

Back on board we were surprised by a beautiful rainbow. You see rainy weather is not that bad after all, especially when it is followed by sun. 

Text: Véronique

Photos: Mike & Véronique

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