May 17-18, 2023
Unfortunately, the weather situation went sour for a day; sour enough so that Viking deemed it too risky to attempt our scheduled day in Stavanger. Instead, we experienced a somewhat bumpy overnight ride beginning when we left the protection of Sognefjord and continuing during the next day until we tied up in Kristiansand that evening.
A particular disappointment was that May 17 is Norway’s Constitution Day, their equivalent to our Fourth of July. We’d expected to experience the big celebration in Stavanger. Instead, our late arrival in Kristiansand meant the only celebration we saw was a distant fireworks display.
We did manage a short walk to part the town near our ship before returning for dinner.
The next day we took a guided tour of the town. It began with a walk through the revitalized “Fish Market” area to the city’s downtown waterfront park, Nupenparken.
From there we preceded to walk the mostly residential part of downtown Kristiansand. Like every other place we’ve been to in Norway, it was modern, exceptionally clean and well maintained.
Kristiansand suffered a major fire in 1892 which destroyed most of this Norwegian town. Several blocks of wooden row houses survived. The neighborhood consists of a grid pattern of streets and cobblestone sidewalks. Soldiers who used to live in these modest, one-story homes called it Posebyen which, in French, means to rest or relax. It consists mostly of large, white, wooden houses and forms the largest continuous collection of old wooden houses in any city in Northern Europe.