Stavanger Cathedral-school, Kongsgård

 

 

 

We were starting to have really nice weather this April, and it’s been a lot of nice weather pretty much since then. This picture was taken in late April 2018, in the city center of Stavanger.

The white buildings are Stavanger Katedralskole (Stavanger Cathedral-school) known as Kongsgård colloquial. Even if it is called the cathedral school and lies right beside the cathedral, it’s not a Christian school (at least not anymore). This is one of the public high schools in Stavanger, the buildings are in use every day, and it’s nice to have the city right outside the gates.

 

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Haugesund – the meeting place

To visit Haugesund if you’re staying in Stavanger, you’ll need to get on a bus or drive, and part of the trip will be by ferry. While it’s not that far in distance, it takes a bit of planning to get there. Until this year, I had never been to Haugesund, even as I’ve grown up in Stavanger, it’s just never been the first place we’ve planned to go.

But in late May 2018, I had the chance to visit Haugesund, and I have to admit, in sunny weather, the city was quite beautiful. We visited on a Sunday, so a lot of the places were closed (as they are on Sundays in Norway…). But there was a certain charm to it, a small city close to the sea with shopping streets just for walking.

The sign on the picture says Welcome to the meeting place Haugesund. Which feels like a way to market the city as a cozy meeting place, rather than a large city. Haugesund has several festivals and events during the summer months, so if you’re visiting Norway, a visit to Haugesund might not be the worst idea.

 

All the real and fake bikes

Sandnes has been known as a bike-city earlier, due to the production of bikes in the city. The production stopped, but people still bike (at least in good weather).

This is a bike-parking outside of building hosting the library and theater in Sandnes.  It’s bike-shapes to park your bikes, and in Stavanger, they have a car-shaped bike-parking, so this is quite fitting. The picture was taken in mid-June 2017.

A pidgeon party

In early February 2018, I went to Bergen for the first time in my life. It was cool to see some parts of Bergen, and some parts I felt like would look better in the summertime.

As we were walking to take the buss home on the last day, we walked past this and the pidgeons were hanging out. They just couldn’t be bothered to move early sunday morning, and if we didn’t need to catch a bus, neither would we have wanted to.

Delta works

This is a picture of the Delta works from the artificial island Neeltje Jans in South-western Netherlands in October 2009.

Last time I posted about Neeltje Jans, I wrote that it is a necessary part of the Zeeland province. For some reason, I didn’t write why… But I’ll write a bit more about it here.

Large parts of the Netherlands lie beneath sea levels, which means that whenever the sea rises more than the normal tide, it could be a huge problem. Earlier they had built dikes to keep the water out, but this had its pros and cons. In 1953 there was a huge flood coming in from the North Sea that ruined some of the dikes that were already in poor condition. After this, they worked hard to get a better system in place. The Delta works is a system that can shut water out, as well as letting some or all of it into the dams.

You can read about the Delta works here on the website of the museum on Neeltje Jans, or look up the North Sea flood of 1953, and how they worked to ensure a better chance of it not happening again. I recommend the Dutch movie De storm, a fictional story set in the historical context of the North Sea flood.

 

 

Nice weather

For a lot of May and early June this year, the weather in Western Norway have been extraordinary. It’s been sunny every day, over 20 degrees celsius (closer to 30 most of the time) and zero rain. For a while there was a large fire going on one of the islands in Boknafjorden, and the fire marshal laid out a ban against use of all fire outside, including barbecuing in your own yard.

After they put out the fire, you can barbecue again in your own yard, but there’s still a ban on outside of your own property. Even if a lot of people argue the bans, they’ll hopefully listen, and protest it with starting a small flame for a barbecue that turns into a big fire.

If you know anything about the weather in the Stavanger-area, you’ll know that droughts are not common, and we’re very used to rain, wind, or a combination thereof.

This picture was not taken this year, but in mid-July 2015, when the weather was pretty nice, and the local food festival made the area around the harbor in the city centre of Stavanger seem almost a bit claustrophobic. This picture is from Breiavatnet, a small lake in the city centre, not far from the harbor.

Punctuation

Slow you are in a sign

This picture was taken in June 2013, the first (and so far only) time I’ve been to Ireland. I remember reacting to the sign, mostly because I knew what it meant, but I doubt it would have been that hard inserting a comma, period or exclamation point.

I know, I know, I’m being picky. The sign is understandable and as it aims to the drivers, it needs to be a short message that is easy to read. And that really is the most important, I just find it kind of amusing.

 

A river in Sandnes

 Not entirely uncommon, rivers are built over, and suddenly they appear again. This is one example of that. The river you can see in the picture is Storånå as it reappears and right before it flows into Gandsfjorden.

Earlier the river was known as Gandeelven, but the name changed to Storånå in the mid-1800s for no apparent reason.  As the river flows into Gandsfjorden, the old name would be more logical, but the name changed, and it’s been sticking since.

This picture is taken in late June 2017.

The Church of Sandnes

Back in early October 2017, I visited the church in the city center of Sandnes. This is a church I’ve walked past a lot, but never actually been inside. It’s a pretty nice building – inside and outside – but I’m always caught slightly off guard when I realize the places I’m so used to, but that I’ve never actually been inside.

One of the perks, when you visit a city is that you can see what you want and what’s left, is the things you didn’t have time for. The problem when you live a place is that you never really have a timeframe to see all the places. There’s never a “go visit five museums and four other places on the must-see list”.

When I lived in Kristiansand, I made a list of things I wanted to do and see in the area, and I managed to do most things because I sat down and summarized it on a list. Then I could always return to the list to check if there was something I wanted to do. I should probably do the same for where I’m living now.

The 17th of May is approaching

The 17th of May is getting closer, and for those of you that don’t know, in Norway, we celebrate the Norwegian constitution on the 17th of May. The constitution was written in 1814 and signed around 17th of May, which has become a day of celebrations. Our parades mostly consist of children, music band (brass or wind), or other organizations.

This picture was taken early in the city centre of Stavanger in the morning on May 17th, 2016, waiting for the flags to be hoisted and the celebrations to start. I’ve written about the celebrations before here and here if you want to read more about it.

So this post is a preemptive “Gratulerer med dagen, Norge!” and I hope Thursday treats you well, both if you have something to celebrate and if you don’t.