Ships, Planes, Trains and River boats taking us through Asia, Middle East, Africa, Baltic, England, Paris and Amsterdam through to Budapest...

Friday, May 16, 2014

42 Stavanger ..... My favourite Port.

How pretty is this place.... As we sailed in here you could not help but noticed how densely populated it seemed around the harbour.   It looks like every house has water views.
This is the first port we have had to share with another ship. It was called Aida Sol with very interesting art work on the bow of the ship.  Docked in the centre of town made it easy to walk into and around the city.
First stop was the Valberg Tower, as from the deck you could see it right next to the ship.  We followed the cobbled walkways up to the tower where you could also get great views looking back to the ship.
The area below this tower is all pedestrian and a tourist’s delight as there is shop after shop after cafe after restaurant, especially if you were prepared to part with a lot of money for little return....  I did see a jumper (sweater) I really liked but with a price tag of over $700, I decided I didn’t quite need it after all....
As it was early we decided to head on over to the Domkirken (cathedral),  which unfortunately the front was under restoration and covered with scaffolding.  But the back of the church with its stain glass windows made for good pictures...  Next to the church is a park with a very large lake in the middle.  We walked around the lake to absorb the beautiful vistas from all sides.   On the other side of the church was a large square and several market stall holders were starting to set up.
Back down toward the waterfront, which reminded me a little of our Circular Quay, we walked around to the opposite side to where we were berthed and climbed the steps up to the old town , Gamle Stavanger.  The largest surviving wooden house settlement in northern Europe.  Unlike the houses in Kristiansand some of these little homes actually had little yards next to them...  It was evident that people had taken great care in adding to the beauty of the area, as they had landscaped and planted their gardens beautifully. Each one very inviting and you just wanted to go and sit on the garden chairs and take it all in.
Once again the white houses are just the back drop to the splash of colour of the doors and the flowers around them....  Something very cheery on days when the weather can be so drab.
I forgot to also mention that down around the waterfront the warehouses stand tall, now converted into restaurants and shops.  We found McDonalds... a place that we have frequented a lot whilst in Norway, if only to get a more reasonably priced Coffee ($ 4 each) and also to make use of their free wifi  regardless of how slow it is...  Oh and maybe I shouldn’t mentioned it, but we have also become “those people” who have smuggled food off the ship to sustain us till we reboard.
We wandered up and down each lane coming across the international corner with its Irish pub, Greek restaurant and Tapas bar, and then another street that reminded us of the Malay houses in Cape Town where each shop were painted bright way-out colours...  Here it was where we decided to treat ourselves to our $10 local coffee and we sat on the side walk and watched the people go by.
Back on board, and the sun was still shining so that made for a beautiful sail away...  We snuck out some bread from the Lido Buffet and just as we did in Bergen in 2011 we fed the Sea Gulls as we sailed out.

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