Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Road trip-- day 4

Tuesday started with some coffee, breakfast and a little exploring around Veslebu (our "little red cabin") near Preikestolen/Stavanger. This cabin was AMAZING. We were secluded, in the forest, and had our own private beach on the water! If you ever are planning on hiking Preikestolen...I would definitely recommend staying here.
Stavanger was on the agenda for today, so we made our way to the car (about a 10 minute walk from the cabin) to drive to the ferry in Tau, that would eventually get us to Stavanger. (It was a little windy and cold...don't you think, Diane?!)
Once in Stavanger, we visited the Oil museum--where Alex and I decided to pretend we were part of the oil rig crew and got many stares...

Gave our opinion about climate change and drilling for oil...

and played on the emergency escape slide, and other fun oil-related toys!

After making our way through some cute gågater, visiting some stores, eating lunch and checking out the fish market...
...we made our way towards Old Stavanger and the Sardine Canning Museum (really cool!)
This place also sold sardines, and my dad was in sardine heaven!
 A few other things we found in Stavanger included....

Escher inspired cobblestone (or so we thought), that freaked out your eyes...
The place were immigrants waited before boarding their boat to America...

And probably one of the cutest/funkiest gågater of all time.
After finally making our way back to our cabin via ferry and car, we ate a very Norwegian meal of fiskekaker (fish cakes) and pølser i lompe (hot dogs in a tortilla...I guess) and øl (beer). We also used Engangsgrill (one time grill) to cook our food, which is VERY popular in Norway. Probably because it only costs about 15 Kroner.

 That's all for Tuesday...Wednesday is going to be an early one!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Road trip-- day 3

We set off on the open (Norwegian) road!

Kristiansand-Preikestolen Fjellstue
About a 6 hour car ride, without stops. However, we stopped. We were on the road from about 10am to 7pm.
                                             Map courtesy of homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Our first stop was Mandal. Our stop in Mandal consisted of our first (of many) troll sighting, bunad sightings, cute Norwegian baby clothes for V, beaches, playing with dead fish, the ocean, woods and a cute gågate

Back on the road.

Tunnels, tunnels and more tunnels!
 Arrived at Fjekkefjord!

After back on the road for some time...we started getting hungry. We decided to pull over at the next place to eat...which ended up to be not the most relaxing and quiet place to eat...
 ...unless you enjoy eating next to the highway! Oh, and my dad discovered (and loves!) Nugatti!
Pit stop at one of the most beautiful towns in Norway (so says the guide book), however, it probably doesn't even warrant any pictures! Not the prettiest in our book. 

Here are some nice pictures of Norwegian scenery though.
 And, our first Norwegian car ferry ride! (fem voksne!)

Finally! We made it to our "Little Red Cabin". Relaxation was in order--food and cards!
 So long, day 3!

Road trip--day 2

After a slow morning of sleeping off the jet-lag and eating a hearty Norwegian breakfast (which consisted of smørbrød (open-faced sandwich) and every single sandwich topping known to man), we finally were off on our excursion around Kristiansand.

Here we are hopping into one of the family vehicles--which they so generously let me borrow even though I have an expired MN license...
Deciding what to do/see for the day was difficult; how does one pick?! I decided I would show them one of the boy's barnehage (pre-school) and the piece of fjord that we walked across in the middle of winter (refer to "A walk on the frozen fjord" blog!).
Next up, Ravnedalen. Funny enough, I had never even been to Ravnedalen in my 6+ months of living in Kristiansand. However, I will surely go back.
Now, before coming, my parents had taken a few Norwegian classes to prepare themselves and to help out in reading signs, etc. while in Norway. Today, was the first of many Norwegian lessons for them.
Another glimpse of Ravnedalen
And Mom, the nature expert...holding one of the many nasty slugs we came across in Norway (and a good part of our animal sightings! So sad...).
Next, we drove past the zoo, the university and the big shopping center. I gave some lessons in driving in roundabouts (for our upcoming road trip in which others would be driving) and tried our hand at rock climbing.
We then checked out Baneheia, Kristiansand's gågate (walking street) and my favorite, the fish market area. This is where my family got their first taste of Norwegian ice cream, and where my dad realized how much he loves pære is (pear ice cream).
We then continue on a coastal walk...where my dad tried out his Norwegian in ordering coffee (he did a great job!), checked out the fortress, beaches, and played on some interesting (and fun!) Norwegian playgrounds.
We continued on a walk through posebyen, the old part of Kristiansand that was not burned down (this is where Diane fell in love with the idea of brightly colored doors...and subsequently led to a "Doors of Bergen" poster and much talk about painting her front door in Yuma, AZ) and then onto a mansion-- where Alex and I tried to recreate some of Norway's famous plays....and 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (only the greatest musical of all time). Okay, well I was doing most of the acting, Alex was just my prop!
This was a piece from "A Doll's House" -- Nora (played by me) was just telling Tolvald (played by Alex) off and was leaving. Who knew an impromptu, disjointed play in the park could be so entertaining!

That concludes day 2! Day 3-15 on the way!