Friday, 16 August 2013

Stavanger Old Town

Monday 5 August 2013. If you have been following our adventures on the Fjordland Wonders cruise (and if you haven't then you can catch up by checking out the last three entries) then you will know we have docked in Stavanger in Norway.

It had been a dull day. By the time we had finished our breakfast it was a very rainy day! This was taken from Deck 7 of the Thomson Spirit, looking along Skansegata. We decided that we hadn't come all this way though just to stay in because of rain! So we grabbed hoodies and went down to Deck 2 to the gangway.

Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) was almost wiped out with the rest of the old wooden buildings of the city after the Second World War, when it was proposed to rebuild the city using modern materials. The City Architect, Einar Hedén, protested and the area to the west of Vågen - perhaps the seediest area possible - was chosen. There were 173 wooden houses dating from the late 1700s to the early 1800s.

Set against the slope down to the harbour at Vågen, every time we looked downwards the side and distinctive red and black funnel of Cunard's Queen Victoria met our glance. There will be a chance to see her in a bit more detail tomorrow, as she followed us into Flam.

The rain seemed to be keeping most of her passengers away though so we weren't subjected to massive crowds in Gamle Stavanger and it was possible to get a feel for the place. Today the seedy image has gone and in fact is turned round so much that the area is now considered quite a trendy place to live. The number of buildings has also increased to around 250. Most buildings are now painted in a uniform whitewash, though originally they were many different colours. The area is reputed to contain the best preserved wooden houses in northern Europe.

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