Tuesday 11 August Kristiansand

We woke to an overcast day and a wet balcony. We had an enjoyable breakfast with the Captain, chatting to him about where the ship is going over the next few months and also where he has been. We spent the morning at sea and enjoyed a session in the lounge about running a “hotel” on a ship. Wendy, the Hotel Manager, gave us some interesting information about how much food is used, how many bottles of wine consumed, garbage regulations etc. There are 75 crew members on board, of which, 43 are hotel staff. On this cruise, although there are 57 cabins with a maximum of 114 passengers, there are several people on their own, so we have 98 passengers.
Wendy told us a story about how last Christmas, the turkey hadn’t been delivered for Christmas lunch, so she managed to organise a seaplane to bring them and the zodiacs went and picked them up, all just in the nick of time at 9.00am on Christmas morning. The food for the ship comes from Germany and they get fresh fish daily from the local fishermen – sometimes the fishermen arrive at the stern of the ship to deliver fish while the ship is sailing along. There were lots of funny stories too and we all had a few laughs and learnt a lot.
By 11.00am, it had stopped raining and the sun was starting to shine with blue skies as well. There was a 1.5metre swell and the ship had a gentle roll.
We had lunch out in the Lido Outdoor Café as it was sunny and very pleasant.
This afternoon, we arrived in Kristiansand, a small urban city centre in southern Norway. Kristiansand, surrounded by water on three sides, has historically been a busy international shipping port. Many festivals are held throughout the year in Kristiansand. The three main industries, which are in the port area, are Nickel Refinery, Silica Production and building equipment for the oil industry. Our guide told us that the port is very important for their income.
We thoroughly enjoyed a guided walking tour through the charming town of Kristiansand – we think that other than Tromso, this town is our favourite so far! The townscape spans over 370 years and we saw: Kilden, the new performing arts centre down at the port area and then we crossed the canal to the island of Odrega, where there was a big fish market, which we walked through, as well as restaurants, a market place and lots of boats. We continued our walk to a well-used outdoor area where they had beautiful gardens, areas for the children to play, water features, sand sculptures left over from their festival and a private boat harbour, which is very important for Norwegians because of their long coastline. We saw a statue of Camilla Collett, the fore-mother of the area – the inscription read “You are faithful only when you are faithful to yourself”.
We saw the fortress, which was built in 1670; a statue of Bernet Balchen, a pioneer in flying and a statue of King Kristian IV, who was the original developer of the town. We were lucky enough to arrive at the Gothic style Cathedral just in time for a recital and we were welcomed in English and they said a prayer for us too. The music was organ, flute and one of the pieces had bells as well.
Then we walked to the quaint old town section, Posebyn, which has Northern Europe’s longest sequence of attached wooden buildings. We were interested to hear that the houses with the big front doors were to allow the horse to come into the inner courtyard. We asked why the houses were white and Wenche (pronounced Vanca) told us that white paint was more expensive and together with the stone steps and iron railings, it showed a certain status.
From there we walked to the shopping streets and along some of the Pedestrian Street, which is one kilometre long. We stopped for a Norwegain ice-cream before continuing back to the harbour area, where we saw a tall ship, the Sorlandet.
We boarded our ship after two and a half hours tour of Kristiansand, tired but delighted with this beautiful town – everywhere we went there were flowers and everything was so clean and neat. We were impressed with our guide who gave us lots of information about the area, without being boring and seemed to have an inbuilt radar that told her when we were all ready to move on.
We joined with Captain Henrik Karlsson and the crew for a Farewell Cocktail Party followed by a Farewell Dinner, as this part of the cruise finishes on Thursday morning and those people who are leaving the ship will be busy packing on Wednesday night. We had a wonderful evening with our usual group of friends, laughing and enjoying each other’s company after an awesome day in Kristiansand!

One Response to “Tuesday 11 August Kristiansand”

  1. Janet says:

    Poor Dad and Don with all those ladies at the table! lol
    Love the sunset photo too 🙂

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