After a day at sea, we arrived in Stavanger, Norway. It is the third largest urban zone and metropolitan area in Norway (through conurbation with neighbouring Sandnes) and the fourth most populous in Norway. It is located on the Stavanger Peninsula in southwestern Norway, and counts its official founding year as 1125, the year Stavanger cathedral was completed. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 18th and 19th century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city's cultural heritage. This has caused the town centre and inner city to retain a small town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses, and has contributed significantly to spreading the city's population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger.
Once a tranquil coastal market town and then later an important fishing port, the 1969 discovery of offshore oil forever changed the now bustling city's fortunes and landscape, causing
the city to become widely referred to as the Oil Capital of Norway. Domestic and international military installations are also located in Stavanger, among these is NATO’s Joint Warfare Center.

The weather was partly cloudy skies, with a gentle southerly breeze. The temperature was 16 C / 61 F.

Sleeping in was not an option this trip, so we would get up between 6:00 and 7:00am and spend time on the balcony drinking our morning coffee. This is the first view of Norway on the morning of the third day.
As the sun came up, more of the shoreline came into view.

Entering the bay area, where the ship will dock.

First views of Stavanger.

While we waited for the ship to clear customs, we took a few more shots of
the city from our balcony.

My guess is that this is a tour boat as opposed to a private yacht.


The majority of the homes in the bay area are single family dwellings, the majority
painted white with red slate roofs. However, as you may have noticed, there is one in every crowd.

An ancient wall now serves at the entrance to an underground parking garage.

The Queen Mary II entering the harbour.

Evidence of the modern North American passive invasion.

A private heritage home. Apparently single family homes in the Greater Stavanger
area are very expensive, and as a result they rarely come on the open market. Instead, ownership tends to be passed down from generation to generation.

Three enormous bronze swords stand monument to the battle of Hafrsfjord in the year 872, when Harald Harfagre  (Fairheaded Harald) united Norway into one kingdom. The monument was designed by Fritz Røed (1928 - 2002) from Bryne, just south of Stavanger. It was unveiled by Norway's King Olav in 1983.
The swords, which are about 10 meters tall, stand for peace and unification. One sword is larger than the others. This was Fairheaded Harald's sword. The swords are planted in solid rock -representing peace.

The park area near the swords


A closer look at the swords.

Afterwards, we went to
Ullandhaug to see the Iron Age Farm, which would
have existed sometime prior to 500 AD.
This young lady was our
greeter and guide.


The reconstructed Iron Age Farm consists of three wooden buildings with roofs made of peat and bark. The exterior walls were covered with stones to keep out the cold. The original buildings were believed to have burned down around 500 AD for some unknown reason - possibly due to a war.
Iron Age people at Jæren on the southern coast, utilizing the  rounded rocks strewn throughout the area along with sparsely available logs and sod, built long houses with room for animals on the one end and their owners on the other. The reconstructed buildings have been erected on their original site in 1972 and 1973.

The entrance door.

One of the "outer" buildings.

An outdoor workspace.


Getting ready to enter the house.
Better duck going in!

The interior. The
hearth is original and are still in use.

Inside the doorway was another worktable, a tartan (not sure what
it was doing there), and an elk's antler. Somehow I don't think the
electrical outlet was on the original site.


On the other side of the entrance way were several old shoes
other artifacts hung on antlers mounted to the wall, as well as
two children's toy hobby horses.

The next stop was the Archaeological Museum where several Viking
artifacts are kept.

A display representing vikings wearing authentic garb. Please note - no horns
on the helmets. Horned helmets are the thing on  movies and operas - real men didn't wear horns. Another myth is that all related men, women and children  were Vikings. Only the warriors were known as Vikings. Their wives, children and extended families (which could have been farmers) were not.

Another myth is that the women wore breastplates, again as seen in
movies and operas. They did wear small metal ornaments  on their
dresses, but not as iron age brassieres.

We had a little time between the museum tour and getting back on
the bus, so I took a couple of pictures of the surrounding streets.

Stavanger architecture - a hotel I believe.

The final stop was the Offshore Oil Museum. We didn't go in, choosing instead to wander around the surrounding area.

Docked down the street from the museum was the Queen Mary 2.

That object that looks like a cannon is actually a giant drill bit for undersea oil drilling.

Rich man's toy.

The children's playground.
Everything in the playground has been make from old oil platform and drilling rig parts. The graffiti completes the look.

One of the entrances to the Stavanger cathedral.

Leaving Stavanger.

The pilot boat following us out of the harbour, with the Queen
Mary 2 following behind in the distance.


Off into the sunset.

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