Stavanger is my favorite city out of the 8 Norwegian cities we visited during our cruise.
Stavanger is a city and muicipality in the country of Rogaland and it is the fourth largest city, the city is commonly referred to as the Petroleum Capital of Norway. Despite its age which dates back at least to the Viking age, Stavanger only grew to its position among the most important Norwegian cities in the 2nd half of the 20th centruy after oil was discovered in the North Sea.
At Hafrsfjord we find the monument Swords in Rock. It was here that Harald Harfagre, the first king of Norway fought a battle and united Norway into one kingdom in 872 AD. The monument represents peace, unity and freedom. The monument was made by Friz Roed (1928-2002) and unveiled by King Olav in 1983.
We visited the Iron Age Farm at Ullandhaug to have a glimpse of everyday life in Norway some 1500 years ago. The farm is a reconstruction from the Migration period and about 3km from the city center. The farmstead consists of two longhouses, a small building, wells, stone fences and burial mounds positioned just as they were 1500 years ago.
And who would visit Stavanger without visiting its Petroleum Museum? An attraction itself with a wonderful outdoor Geo Park for children while the architecture itself is an interpretation of Norway’s bedrock. Its exhibits explain how oil and gas are created, discovered and produced, and what they are used for. The museum also provides information about technological advances and the way petroleum influences Norwegian society. A museum friendly for all ages.
Stavanger Cathedral is said to be the oldest church of Norway which started its construction around 1100. It was extensively renovated after a fire in 1272 and contains traces of Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque and Anglo-Norman influences. This impressive church is elegant yet understated.
The picturesque old part of Stavanger was a big surprise, charming beyond my expectations and an area perfect to stroll around leisurely. Residents are used to tourists and super friendly, a lady invited us to her house to have a look at their dally life as well as showed us her little hidden garden in the back.
This old town is the largest surviving wooden house settlement in Northern Europe, about 150 of them. It is a beautiful area with wooden houses and cobble streets along the harbour.
Most houses are small and white and only a few are allowed to be in another color. They vary in age and dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Most houses are lived in and privately owned and all protected by a special preservation law.
The highlight in Stavanger was the 30 min helicopter ride.
We headed east towards the Lysefjord which cuts approximately 50 km deep into the mountain ridge, it is considered the wildest, least accesible fjord in the region and surrounded by cliffs which have been worn down by the ice and rise steeply from the water.
We passed by the famous Pulpit Rock, s striking cliff completely flat on top situated some 600 meters above sea level and can be reached by hiking.
The flight turned west, crossing over mountain landscapes dotted with lakes before reaching the fjord once more and headed back to the helipad.