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Kristiansand + Haugesund Norway 🤩

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Norway, thus far, has been everything I had hoped it would be. Sitting here in a Kafe (@vanias.kafe) in Haugesund, Norway on stop 2 of the 7 night Norwegian Fjords cruise on the Celebrity Apex...and I think this is the right time, place and space for right now.

Norge life is simple in all the right ways. "Northern Life" feels right. They have mastered the art of using white and monochromatic schemes with a pop of color. Obviously this isn't new news, but when you see it in person, seemingly around every corner against the contrast of natural building materials, it brings a peace and happiness an American town couldn't ever achieve in the same way.

Now don't get me wrong, I have seen plenty of beautiful American towns and cities and this isn't meant to take away from the charm of US culture. This is just...different.

My day in Kristiansand was spent wandering, camera in tow. First up, a stroll along the coast to Christiansholm Fortress. Then up to the old town with all of the still-standing wooden structures, untouched (and not burned) for hundreds of years. Up next was the city Cathedral, towering, I mean TOWERING over everything else in town.

Add in floral and plants everywhere, including tall structures of pink, white and purple petunias all over the city, it was charming and rustic and made for beautiful backdrops.

I sat in Kafe across the plaza from the Cathedral and sipped on my first of several lattes of the day. Norwegian coffee is strong and if there is anything stronger than the jawline of a local, the coffee is likely it. If the number of cafes is an indication of life, I suspect they drink a lot of it.

More wandering, more photos and then a chance encounter with what may be the true love of my life...Norwegian Pastries. I am quite disappointed that I wasn't aware of their beautiful existence (that's an Australian reference there for those of you following along). The lemon cream, half donut/half bagel thing with raisins made me wonder how the Norwegians maintain their extreme levels of fitness. I simply don't have that will power.

My server and barista Andreas spotted the Sony and the giant 200-600 lense, and we exchanged instagrams. His - @andreasodd_ is FAR superior to mine, but we chatted and enjoyed the brief connection. Give him a follow.

So, my trusty travel partner in the trek around the world bringing me new human connections too, not just purpose. It's also beautiful...

Haugesund is charming and seems much less touched by tourism. Its been a rainy morning and our time in this port is quite limited, with all-aboard at 2:30 today versus 4:30p in Kristiansand.

11:11a now, I've explored the Haugesund Public Library, considered as one of the best examples of Scandinavian modernism in all of Norway. Think Midcentury Modern meets Scandinavian Minimalism. A stunning sight to see, set against a public park and across from the Our Saviour Church, which sits on the geometric heart of town.

I'll meander for another bit and then head back to the ship where I need to work for several hours. Work has actually been keeping me quite busy since boarding the vessel. Again, not complaining at all. Appreciate the opportunity to help you, my friends and family, new and old, while I am spinning around the globe. Thank you for your support, because I can't do life without you.

Ahh, one last thing. I'll aim to update the scoreboard tonight. But, to much of the dismay of seemingly everyone, the flip flops have stayed intact. Sorry to disappoint... read on 😉

Photos from Kristiansand

Photos from Haugesund

And finally a few selfies...

Tomorrow is the pinnacle of this voyage, Geiranger Fjord, which is it's own UNSECO World Heritage Site. Can't wait, for everything except the 3a wake-up call.

-Cole (so far the only Coloradoan that I've come across on this sailing)


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