Monday, August 19, 2019

Haugesund, Norway

For those who have been following our travels to Norway, today I'd like to share our first stop in this magical kingdom.  We were so excited to view the first outcroppings from our stateroom balcony.  Tiny islands dotting the way to the entrance of our first stop. 

In the early hours of the morning the Queen Victoria made her entrance into the harbor of Haugesund.  Haugesund is known in part for its history in the Viking Age.  The first King of Norway, Harald Fairhair, once called it his home in 870.  The area of Haugesund is mentioned in Norse sagas.  These are stories about the Nordic history that was written in the Old Norse language.  We learned that some is fact and some is fiction and were composed in the 12th and 14th centuries.  In 1854 King Oscar I of Sweden and Norway declared Haugesund a town.  The population at the time was only one thousand.  

Haugesund developed more and more into a port that exported herring.  

Grayden and I decided to take a tour around Haugesund.  The first extraordinary sense we notice is the fresh air--so clean and noticeably so!  I do hope you come along with us as we enjoy our first day.  Make sure you take a jacket as there is quite a chill in the air.

As we board the bus, we are greeted by our friendly tour guide.  A lovely woman that filled our brains with many facts as we tootled along and across the bridge into the town of Haugesund.  

We stopped at the Town Hall and viewed the lovely pink building that was a gift from a local ship owner and his wife.  It was designed by Gudolf Blakstad and Herman Munthe-Kaas in the neo-classical style.

There is a lovely park surrounding the area with lovely flowers.  The busts of the benefactors Knutsen and his wife Elizabeth grace the grounds. 

 We now boarded the bus and continue exploring the lovely village along with our fellow passengers.  We couldn't help but notice the next extraordinary sense of cleanliness in Norway.  Not a speck of trash was anywhere!

A sense of beauty and freshness combined to create a wonderful ride up the ridge to view the harbor.

As you can see, the Queen Victoria is docked in the harbor below.

We are treated to wonderful views as we climb above the tree line.

It was such a lovely day to view the surroundings.  Rocks and trees and all sorts of wildflowers made my heart happy to see.

It was time to travel back down the mountain and continue along with the tour.

The National Monument of Unification is in the town of Haraldshaugen and commemorates the unification of Norway and is believed to be the site where King Harald Fairhair is buried.  

The very old stone cross dates from the year 1000.  It is believed that it stands on the site of where mass was held before a church was built. 

Again we saw many lovely flowers around the monument and up to the cross.

 The Rugosa Roses filled the air with a most heavenly scent.

Tiled rooftop homes line the hills surrounding the area.  All with pristine lawns and gleaming windows.

Traveling along the roads I love seeing the bright colored homes and businesses.  

Smedasundet Harbor has restaurants and shops if you wish to stop.  They hold an annual Havnedagene for five weeks in July to celebrate all the traditions relating to Haugesund's maritime culture.

Before boarding the ship, Grayden and I couldn't resist! 

When the Queen Victoria dropped her lines she turned to the North Sea to follow our course to our next stop.

The skill that takes us through the narrow passages impresses us.  The Queen Victoria is a very large vessel and Captain Hall commands it brilliantly. 

Thank you for coming along with us to Haugesund.  Our next stop will take us into the fjords where the scenery is breathtakingly gorgeous.