Welcome to Kristiansand, Norway

Once again beautiful morning skies greeted Paul (Bravo-Bravo) Hunter and I as we commenced our sail-in to Kristiansand.

We could always rely on Paul to bring one of his “toys”, in this case it was his GPS unit as he liked to check our speed and position.  The first evening we met Paul at our dinner table, I wasn’t so sure I would like this guy, but over time I would say that he, along with is wife Sharron were apart of what made this cruise special.

As usual, we always enjoyed watching the pilot boat speed in and depart.  There was also an early morning fishing boat heading out as we enter the approach to the harbor.

Our arrival this morning was scheduled for around 8:00 and true to his fashion our captain brought us in just a bit early and we were safely docked at 7:50 AM.  Since our one excursion for the day was not until afternoon, Barbara and I took the opportunity to go ashore and stroll the city.  It proved to be a great choice.  The skies were clearing up and the weather was promising.  Since we docked next to a construction zone, it took a few minutes to find the true beauty of this southern resort town.  The city has some of the finest summer weather in Norway, so it has become a mecca for Norwegians “seeking the sun”.

Heres Barbara in her traveling mode… and exiting the security area under the watchful eye of a stuffed moose.  The ships photographers on the HAL ships always seem to come up with a bit of local color to use as a companion to their passenger photos.

The city is aptly proud of it’s relationship to the sea and makes the most of the proximity to the sea in its waterfront development, as exhibited in the following pictures.

This complex contained restaurants, gift shops and fish markets, plus a place to tie up your boat on one of the canals.  A beautiful park and water feature provided the local condo dwellers a stunning area to enjoy.

A beautiful cobbled entrance invited us to an overlook of the marina and the gun emplacements of a restored fortress.

Leaving the waterfront, we strolled toward the center of the town and quite accidentally walked past the Baptist Church or “Kirken” as it is written in Norwegian.

Not quite as imposing as the city’s cathedral, but nonetheless, just as important to the community…..

The cathedral was obviously open so we entered and were greeted with one of those beautiful moments in time that can not be reproduced.  A rehearsal by the young symphony orchestra.  Had we had the time we could have spent the entire morning there enjoying the beautiful music, enhanced by he wonderful acoustics of the building.

We were “burning daylight”, and our energy was waning so we turned back toward the ship.  Along the way a curious incident happened at the McDonald’s Cafe, the facade of which  looked more like a museum…..

After I had photographed the menu, and Barbara was starting to do the same, the young lady came out from behind the counter and asked us not to take photographs.  Little did she know that I had already taken the one I wanted……

…..and it looks like a Big Mac meal would cost about $13 at today’s rate of exchange.

I couldn’t leave the city without another memento of this beautiful place……. I love Norway’s underground utility covers.

Next: I will continue an account of our visit …. Kristiansand – our excursion

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