Part 3: Circling Southern Norway: Kristiansand, Stavanger And Bergen

Intro: Circling Southern Norway With A Side Trip To Turkey
Part 1: Getting To Oslo Via ORD Seminars
Part 2: Exploring Oslo
Part 3: Circling Southern Norway: Kristiansand, Stavanger And Bergen
Part 4: Norway In A Nutshell With A Stopover In Flam
Part 5: Turkey – Exploring Istanbul
Part 6: Turkey – Magical Cappadocia
Part 7: Flying Home In Style

We headed back to the train station to pick up our rental car, a  newer model SUV with GPS, which we had specifically requested when making the reservation.  It was nice to have, though we didn’t use it much as the route was pretty straight forward and easy to navigate.  It looked something like this:


As expected the roads were perfectly maintained, and the scenery was beautiful.  It didn’t hurt that it was a clear and sunshiny fall day.

Nicely Maintained Roads
One Of Many Bridges We’d Cross

We were headed south, with the goal of reaching Skien by around noon.  The small family namesake town we were searching for was in this area.   Finding it required a couple stops for directions, and the local Norwegians were very supportive when we told them of our quest.  Eventually we made it to the place we were searching for, which pretty much  amounted to a small church.

Small Family Namesake Church

After a whole lot of pictures, and a couple chills, we were on our way, noting how much research we had left to do.  Norwegian Americans currently comprise the 10th largest ancestry group in the US, and have a lot of strange family naming conventions so finding out more about our ancestry wasn’t going to be an easy task.  We saved that work for later, climbed back in the car for the 3 hour ride onward to Kristiansand, and concentrated on enjoying the scenery while it was still light out.

The Beautiful Colors Of Fall

We arrived in Kristiansand at night, but awoke to another beautiful Norwegian waterfront city.  After breakfast, we wandered around a little before heading out to our next destination, Stavanger.

Local Farmer’s Market In Downtown Kristiansand
Kristiansand Waterfront Property

We had reserved two nights in central Stavanger, at the Radisson Blu Atlantic with the hopes of spending a day hiking Priekestolen, “Pulpit Rock,”  weather permitting.  The hotel looked a little old on the outside, but the rooms were modern and updated.  Our top floor location had an amazing view!

Room With A View

While  a popular recreation destination,  the oil industry has a large presence in the Stavanger region.  We settled in, did a little exploring, had the most amazing salmon I’d ever eaten, and made an early night of it in preparation for our big hike the following day.

The Ferry To Our Hike

After a short ferry ride and 15 minute drive, we found the trailhead.


We got a pretty early start so there wasn’t too much traffic on the trail.


Even though clouds were looming, the weather held for the entire day and we only encountered a bit of ice.  The views at the top were out of this world, and it was definitely worth the 1.5 hour uphill trek.

IMG_0940 IMG_0942 IMG_0952 IMG_0959

After an amazing day of hiking we headed back to the ferry and to our hotel.  There are a lot of beautiful hikes around Stavanger, and once again, I wished I’d had more time to explore.

The next day we headed out to Bergen.  It wasn’t too far, but we had to take several ferries to make it there.

Boarding Another Ferry

We arrived late afternoon, dropped off the rental car, and checked into the very centrally located Radisson Blu Norge.  There are two Radisson Blus in Bergen, the other one a little less central in Bryggen.  The weather had finally turned and it was mostly raining during our visit.  But that didn’t stop us from checking out the city.

Central Shopping Area In Bergen
Historic Bryggen

We also took the opportunity to gorge on the abundant and fresh seafood which you could purchase in the manywaterfront markets.

Fresh Seafood Everywhere

We turned in fat and happy, and prepared for the next leg of the journey, a cross country train ride back to Oslo.

NEXT – Part 4:  Norway In A Nutshell With A Stopover In Flam


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