Day 16 – 9/11 – Kristiansand, Norway
When I saw this port on the itinerary, grouped with Oslo, Stockholm, Glasgow, etc – I thought, “what is this place”? The only port which I had never heard of, turned out to be a charming little town, with lots of art work, a beautiful park on the seaside and a striking absence of shops selling plastic Viking helmets and gnomes. It was not just because it was Sunday morning and they would have been closed – there weren’t any.
Originally a Viking military stronghold, Danish king Christian IV founded the town and named it after himself, with the “sand” being added because of the sandy beaches in the area. For many years Kristiansand prospered as an exporter of timber and dried fish. In 1940 the town was almost destroyed when German naval forces attacked and occupied the city.
There was a small shack that contained information about the area.
It appears to me that Kristiansand is enthusiastically working to attract the cruise ship trade – they are tearing down a warehouse on the pier, surely to be replaced by a cruise terminal. There is a large, modern performance theater near the pier. The harbor area has been completely renovated, turning maritime and fishing facilities into office space, small hotels and restaurants.
Just past this charming seafront area, was a park, adjoining a marina – the park was filled sculpture, flowers, and fountains.
The creative theme even carried over to the playground equipment.
As has been the norm everywhere in Scandinavia, not all of the sculpture is immediately understandable. These were made of sand.
At the end of the park was this fort – with its cannons still pointed to sea – the information stated that the cannons were fired in anger only once, during a British blockade.
Leaving the waterfront area, we explored the small town area. Father and daughter explore the cobblestone streets.
Kristiansand is quite different from the normal cruise port of call – but thoroughly enjoyable and quite picturesque.
The night before we landed here Dad went to bed at an early hour after discovering that I was not indeed in jail in Oslo. Getting up early, we went into Kristiansand. I loved this little picturesque town and quite enjoyed jaunting around in it. I had no idea this is not the normal port. Future ports taught me that this little town is unique in it’s quaintness and in it’s quietness. We had the place to ourselves for most of the morning and then when the ship’s crowds started showing up we went back on board and watched everyone from up top. My favorite thing about this place turned out to not be true but I will always remember Kristiansand for it’s spa-like smell. Mom and I were amazed at the Juniper, Pine and spicy smell we found when we went outside on our deck. It was amazing and the wind blowing in the trees made us think that we were in a little heaven-scented spot. We found out later it was a vent from the Spa below us but for the afternoon that smell was in our noses.