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  • Day26

    Rain rain rain

    July 24, 2018 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    It started to rain Sunday night just as we started packing our stuff up to drive to Haugesund which is located half way between Bergen and Stavanger on the west coast. We really have been blessed with marvellous weather during the trip. It has been warm and sunny the majority of the time. Unlike Vancourvites, Norwegians on the West coast of Norway actually readily volunteer that it rains a lot here. It rained off and on for much of our trip. We took a ferry for part of the trip. The rain ceased so we could hang out on deck. The ferry seemed brand new compared to the BC ferries I am use to. Loading the ferries was a model of efficiency. We were away before I could get out on deck. The ferry was also very fast. BC ferries should check out. When we got to Haugesund, Cheryl stayed at the BnB while the kids and I went to the Viking museum. The Viking museum was at a site of prehistoric and Viking settlements from 3000 BC to 1300 AD. From this site the inhabitants had been able to control north south trade and had thus been very powerful. There was a good documentary movie about the site. There was a point and click English audio tour but I sensed all was not covered. Lots of old prehistoric and Viking nicnacs. After the museum we wandered through a sheep farm to a Recreation of a Viking farm. It was getting on in the day and all the historical actors were on there cellphones counting down the last 30 minutes before going home. One of them was good enough to break away from her phone to chat with us. Many people have unanswered questions about the Vikings such as how did they navigate such large distances without compasses. They didn't need compasses, they had cellphones.

    When I planned stopping in Haugesund it was mainly to break our drive down to Stavanger. As it turned out afterwards, I had a connection to Stavanger.Back in the winter when I was showing one of my neighbours what Air BnBs I had booked for my holiday he commented that his brother happened to live in Haugesund. Now my neighbour Bjorn is from Norway so if anyone I knew had a brother there it would have been him. I got in touch with Stein and he invited our family to their summer cottage for a barbecue at his summer home on a fjord. It was 25 minutes east of Haugesund and away from the coast so it was less cloudy. The rain held off and there were some glimpses of the sun. We had a delightful meal of hot dogs. Norwegians love hot dogs but not sausages.In their grocery stores there are lots of hot dogs on the shelves, far more than Canada. I kid you not. Their cabin was on this beautiful fjord. After supper we went swimming off of rocks just by their cabin. The swimming was even more exciting as there were these white jellyfish one had to avoid. I swam across the fjord and when I got back, I had a skin irritation in my antecubital fossa. I had probably been stung by a jellyfish. Fortunately they are pretty harmless. After washing my arm off with salt water and about an hour of time the itch went away.

    We returned to Haugesund and it rained hard all night. I am sure the local were happy as there has been a drought here. We had hoped to go to some beautiful beaches today but when we woke up it was still pouring hard. My wife who has a penchant for military museums as many of you know from my previous blogs insisted on going to the military museum. As military museums go, it was excellent. Norway was occupied by the Germans in WW2. They hid there submarine bases in the fjords and built coastal defences all along Germany's west coast. When they lost the war, they left all of their weaponry in Norway. There was a lot of German armaments, submarine material, information about the resistance and life in Norway during the war. My favourite item were shoes that were made from fish skins rather then leather during WW2 and a wedding dress made by a female resistance fighter after the war from an allied parachute drop. I think Cheryl read every word of the English booklet that described 90 different displays in the museum. I was happy to get out of the museum in 2 hours.

    We drove on to Stavanger. Another ferry ride and multiple bridges and long long underground tunnels connecting islands. The Norwegians infrastructure is pretty impressive. I thought the Swiss do tunnels well but the Norwegians seem to do them better and longer.
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