Monday, September 1, 2008

Vik, Flam & Stavanger, Norway

After a very early, brief stop in Vik, Norway, we docked a day in scenic Flam, Western Norway, on the Sognefjord. This reminded me of a "camping area" with lots of areas for tents & small cabin-type motels. Not much to see or do here, but the scenery was gorgeous as you can see from the photo above.
The following day we headed south again to the larger city of Stavanger, Norway. Stavanger became a large city after oil was discovered off its shore. We took a tour for a few hours & were treated to a 360 degree view from a telecommunications tower. A great view of the entire city:

Sweden way off in the distance:

Next we visited Stavanger Cathedral--the oldest Cathedral in Norway. It is named for Saint Swithun. I remember as a child my mother telling me the "legend" that if it rained on St. Swithun's day, it would rain for 40 days & 40 nights. Anyway, it was a beautiful cathedral with lots of figures and heads of bishops, etc. on the outside. Inside was the most beautiful pulpit, on which was carved & painted the entire bible story. See Adam & Eve at the top of the steps?

One of our last stops in this beautiful city was a stroll thru the oldest part of the city. The streets were narrow, cobblestoned and there were 160 preserved wooden homes, all with beautiful gardens, plants & flowers.

I must say that the Norwegian people as a whole are friendly and very helpful. Previously, in Alesund, we stopped in a bike repair shop to ask directions to a little shopping mall. The 20-something man who worked there actually left the shop and walked us a block to point us in the right direction! Our guide in Stavanger was very knowledgeable, extremely nice & had an endearing way of speaking. It seems they pronounce the letter "V" as "W", to vegetables, became wegetables with a long "a" sound and perhaps the cutest was when he talked about vikings/wikings.
After this, we set sail for our port of call in England...Newcastle Upon Tyne.

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