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  • Day16

    Kristiansund: Grip Welcome Committee

    July 20, 2019 in Norway ⋅ ☁️ 59 °F

    Our delightful day on Gripholmen began with an unexpected welcome committee.

    As the Grip Ruta boat approached the pier we were so entranced by the colorful buildings lining the shore that we almost didn’t see the kittiwakes nesting in the bumper tires. Had we been on the upper deck, we definitely would have missed them.

    In North America, these birds, which belong to the gull family, are known as black-legged kittiwakes to distinguish them from the red-legged species. In Europe, there is only the one species so no “color coding” is required.

    The best part of our kittiwake encounter? The birds — be they adults, fledglings, or chicks — were so used to the twice-daily arrival of the boat that they showed no fear of humans. Thus, they were excellent photography subjects as we slowly made our way from the lower deck to the upper deck to disembark the boat.
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  • Day16

    Kristiansund: A-Wander in Grip

    July 20, 2019 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    Grip, which is located on Gripholmen, the largest of the 80+ islands and skerries, was first settled in the 9th century so that fishermen could be close to the best cod fishing grounds. For centuries, it was considered the smallest municipality in Norway. That changed in 1964 when the residents of the island were forced to relocate to the mainland because providing services to the small fishing community became prohibitively expensive.

    The idyllic island, with its colorful buildings, has a stark landscape, with little vegetation except for private gardens. Apparently, the fishermen stripped what vegetation there used to be so as to have plenty of rocks on which to air-dry their catch.

    We had about 1½ hours to wander around delightful Grip. The boat fare included a guided tour, which we took advantage of first, leaving us with about an hour to explore on our own before the boat’s whistle called us back for the return trip to Kristiansund.
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