Monday 10 August Lysefjorden, Pulpit Rock and Stavanger

This morning is overcast but not raining and it is also a little cool. We had breakfast in the Lido Outdoor Café and watched as 20 passengers plus 2 guides disembarked the ship via zodiacs to the shore at Tau, to be taken by bus to a point where they will walk/climb up to Pulpit rock over uneven, very steep terrain – 2 hours up and 2 hours back.
We continued on and the ship sailed into Lysefjord, which is 42 kilometres long, is the most southerly of the big fjords and is said to be one of the most famous and beautiful fjords in Norway. The glaciers formed the fjord landscape during the Ice Age and the mountains soar to over 1,000 metres above sea level.
We stopped to look up at the famous Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock or Preacher’s Rock), which rises 604 metres above the Lysefjorden and has a flat top of approximately 25 metres square, which hangs out over the fjord. Through our binoculars, we could see some of our group who climbed up to the Rock. Our tour director got some photos of them all waving to us and we waved to them and called out coooeeee – they looked like little stick figures because they were so high up. The crew served us hot chocolate as it was quite cool out on the deck. We could also see Kjerag Mountain towering above the fjord.

We continued sailing to Stavangar, arriving at 2.30pm. Stavangar was a little fishing village until the Cathedral was built in 1125 and was granted status as a market town in 1425. Stavanger was named the European Capital of Culture in 2008.
We disembarked the ship and went for a two hour walking tour of the charming winding streets and the well-preserved wooden houses. We enjoyed our walk through the cobbled streets of Gamle Stavanger, also known as Straen, which is the largest surviving wooden house settlement in northern Europe, with its whitewashed clapboard houses dating from 100 to 300 years old – some of the houses are now art studios. There are 8,000 wooden houses and we saw quite a few of them, including the largest of the old wooden houses. Many of the merchant houses in this area would have had their business at the front and the living area at the back.
We were taken to Hermerikkmuseet, the Canning Museum, which gave us an insight into the sardine industry. From the 19th century, an influx of herrings in the waters offshore gave the town their lucrative fishing and canning industry. We saw how they used to thread the fish onto frames, then they were smoked, then their heads were taken off, then they were canned – approximately 10 fish in a 3oz tin and the girls could often do 10-12 tins per minute! After that the lids were put on, originally by belting the lids on – 500 in a 16 hour shift; and then the seaming machines were invented and they could do 8-10,000 in a shift. After the lids were put on they went through a pressure cooker and then they were labeled. Herring/sardine canning was the first and only industry in Stavangar until oil was fund in the North Sea.
We continued our walking tour through the Market Square, past the Cathedral and into Church Street (which is the main street), then into White Street (all the houses were white) and then into Colour Street (the businesses were struggling, so they painted them bright colours and now it is the “in” place to be!) and then into Ostervag (the oldest street next to the harbour). We continued our walk around the harbour and back to our ship for showers ready for dinner – an interesting afternoon finding out about the wooden houses and the canning industry (something we knew nothing about).
We once again had a wonderful dinner with much laughter with our usual group.

4 Responses to “Monday 10 August Lysefjorden, Pulpit Rock and Stavanger”

  1. Maria Hughes says:

    Also love the White and Coloured Houses and don’t they have such beautiful hanging baskets, plantars and gardens too. xoxo

  2. sandy says:

    It really was a lovely town with the lovely white houses and beautiful flowers. xo

  3. Liana says:

    Hi travelers! Only got to reading you blog & looking at the absolutely beautiful pics now – went for a visit to my Mom & sisters “up north” (Pretoria).

    Enjoy this one – Thys & I love Scandinavia. He worked in Sweden way back & I joined him for 3 months; lived in a small village in central Sweden, Pautrask.

    Love & hugs x

  4. sandy says:

    Hi Liana, Lovely to hear from you. We are happy to hear that you are enjoying our blog and the pics and that you have been to see you family in Pretoria. We are going to Sweden but only to Stockholm. Love and hugs from us. xoxo

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