Stavanger and Haugesund

A couple of weeks ago I was at a conference in Haugesund, Norway. The easiest way to get to it from Aberdeen is via Stavanger, so I decided to spend the weekend beforehand in Stavanger.
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Stavanger reminded me of Aberdeen actually: Harbour city and industry revolving around fishing, which then moved on to oil. Cobbled streets, lots of hill walking to be done (so I hear), and instead of the river Dee they have the Lysefjord…it was interesting exploring somewhere completely new that seemed rather like home as well.

The main part of town spreads out from the harbour – this side is where the tour boats and private little boats are; the big industrial harbour is all the way round the other side.
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I got in on the Saturday afternoon and just wandered around the harbour and the town centre. Here is a street with colourful buildings.
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And here is the Local Yarn Store! Bit graffitied on the outside, but lovely on the inside. I went looking for Norwegian yarn, and got myself some Dreamline Sky by Du Store Alpakka, and Mandarin Petit by Sandnes Garn for a friend. I also found the Dale of Norway flagship store, but didn’t get a chance to visit it.
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My wanders also took me through Old Stavanger, which is ye olde and cobbly, and has pretty gardens. Much like Old Aberdeen, but with lovely white clapboard houses instead of lovely granite houses.
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I was actually pretty thrilled at spotting lots of the same plants that we get in Aberdeen…it doesn’t sound like much, seeing as the climate must be pretty similar, but it charmed me anyway. These flowers, beside a pathway in Old Stavanger, also grow in my front garden (no idea what they’re called – anyone?).
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Also in Old Stavanger I came across a pottery studio run by three women. There were some really interesting pieces in there, but I showed restraint and came away with a lovely wee ceramic brooch, inspired by the houses on this street. Apparently the artist had also done little models of the houses for the residents.
Stavanger brooch

Later in the evening the lights around the harbour were pretty.
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The Stavanger domkirke is apparently the oldest cathedral in Norway. I was silly enough not to get a photo of the main building, but I did get one of it’s impressive back door lit up.
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The next morning there was a cruise ship in town, so lots of tourists on day release! I wandered around Old Stavanger some more, and visited the Norwegian Canning Museum. I really enjoyed it, and I shall leave it for another post.

Back down to the harbour again, and this time I spotted some footsteps – of Nobel Peace Laureates.
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Then in the afternoon I got on a boat and toured the Lysefjord. ‘Lys’ means light, and refers to the light coloured cliffs along the fjord. First we had to pass through Hogsfjord, which is where many people have summer houses. To me they looked like secret little houses in the woods, straight out of a Gothic fairytale.
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Doesn’t this rock look like some ancient warrior?
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Along the way there’s a bit where farmers graze their goats in the summer, and the tour boat stops to feed them. I don’t think the grass gets eaten much here, as the goats were expecting the boats and skipped up joyfully as it approached. And not long after, the next boat came along…
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And here is the famous Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock in English. It sticks out from the cliff, and is almost completely flat. If I go back to Stavanger I’d like to try the hike up to it, but for now it was pretty interesting from below as well.
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The next day I was leaving Stavanger but had the morning free, so I visited the Norwegian Oil Museum. It was a really interesting visit, with great information and amazing scale models! I also thought they presented both ‘sides’ of the oil story well – the need to sustain energy and economic needs, and the need for alternative energy sources and environmental protection.

Then I got my boat across to Haugesund, which also has a nice wee harbour.
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Stavanger and Haugesund have several interesting sculptures, but I particularly liked the ones in Haugesund, such as this ‘Fiskhandler’ (fishmonger I think).
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And Marilyn Monroe. Turns out her father grandfather (corrected – see comments) emigrated to the States from Haugesund.
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And just two days later the conference was over, I was on a bus and a ferry and a flight, and it was goodbye Scandinavia. I hope to return!

For more photos visit my Stavanger and Haugesund set on Flickr.

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10 thoughts on “Stavanger and Haugesund

    • Oh dear, after doing some digging I (and several others) seem to have been mistaken. According to an obscure Wikipedia page on her early life, citing a WW1 draft card, it is her grandfather who was from Norway, and her father was born in California.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_life_of_Marilyn_Monroe

      The Norwegian Wikipedia page for her states that her grandfather was from Stavanger
      http://nn.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe

      It appears there was uncertainty about her biological father, and whoever he was, she never knew him. At any rate, she is well loved and remembered in Haugesund.

      • Amazing story, it is a wonder Hollywood has not made something out of that. But then, it is not uncommon to have a grandfather from some part of Scandinavia, as the immigration numbers to US were huge in that era.

  1. Pingback: Norwegian Canning Museum | Time flies when you're having fun…

  2. Thank you for your post! I have been looking for the name and contact information of the pottery studio in Stavenger that makes the small brooch that you purchased! I would like to purchase more of the small houses that they make. Might you be able to provide me with their contact information? Thank you!

    • I’m sorry, I tried looking again, but I think I must’ve thrown out the business card when I was clearing out my bags after the trip. Sorry I can’t help, but if I come across their details again I will let you know.

      • Thank you. I knew that it was a long shot. I will simply have to go back some time!

  3. Pingback: 2013 roundup | Time flies when you're having fun…

    • Ooh interesting lead, thanks Mal! Searching for ‘green leaves, tall pink flower’ only got me so far! 😄A potential winner from the RHS website is persicaria affinis ‘superba’.

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