Kristiansand cruise port
This is the last part of our cruise trip to Iceland, Faroe Islands and Norwegian Fjords.
Our sailing into Kristiansand was beautiful although less impressive than the fjords crossed before, as there are no “high mountains” along a narrow strip of water when you approach Kristiansand.
After docking we walked to the city center. It’s a beautiful preserved town, and we had clear skies and warm weather! Great!
The main street has many stores and we could notice the large amount of toy stores and baby stores. In fact… we saw a lot of pregnant women! I guess I had never seen a city with so many pregnant women and small children as we saw here! It’s really amazing! I guess the winter in Norway is probably long… 🙂
We also noticed some gipsies begging on the streets. This is a problem that we noticed in many cities we have been traveling in Europe, I guess that “Europe without borders” was not very good because people can get on the road without showing passports anywhere. Anyway… they did not bother us but… it’s not the scene you imagine when you plan a trip to one of the top countries in the world.
We decided to go on a “private excursion” , this time meaning only the two of us. The ship was offering a 3 hours excursion to Baneheia Park charging 169 USD. They claimed it as a “Typical Norwegian Forest Walk“. We did it by FREE! It’s easy to do so: You can print the map before leaving your home or you can get a copy at the Norwegian Tourist Kiosk that is mounted at the port. From the ship terminal to Baneheia Park it’s just a 15 min walk (to the park entrance) crossing the “Old Town”.
The park and trails in Norway were not well marked as we are used in Canada. In Canada most of the parks have free trail maps that you can pick up at the entrance, otherwise there are posts with a map and that useful red dot stating “you are here”. In Norway….. no free paper maps to be carried and no billboard maps as well.
We asked directions to a couple who was sunbathing. We wanted to return to the city bt a different way than the one we took to come to the lake.
They were very nice with excellent English skills and pointed us the way out and also about a sightseeing place that should stop on our way down.
There we went, but I guess we did something wrong….
When we were wondering “where now” … who showed up? The same couple!
I guess they noticed we were not doing exactly what we should and they came to us in order to offer additional help! (more than welcome by the way…)
We start chatting and went walking together along the downhill trail.
They were so nice that they invited us to have a beer at their apartment. There we went and it was really great. Their apartment is in the town center, with a beautiful view to a green square.
Here we are! The friendly Norwegian couple who invited us for a very good beer! (Now we are waiting to offer them a beer here in Vancouver!) 🙂
Talking about beer….. the funny thing is that alcoholic beverage is really expensive in Norway. Many people who live in Norway do like this: They go to Sweden to buy beverage as it is much cheaper than in Norway.
So… this is a can of beer produced in Germany, bought in Sweden and drank in Norway! What a beautiful world!
After we left their house we went to the Fish Market. It’s very interesting and we saw lobsters, shrimps and the famous Norwegian cod.
We returned to the ship by the end of the day.
We had the last formal night dinner with the performance of the waiters on parade and guests waiving their napkins. I prefer this “ceremony” on Celebrity than in other cruise lines because in Celebrity it’s quickly and “classy” and does not take the “whole night”,
After the dinner we had the show at the theatre which was packed with people.
July 19 was a full sailing day and we had the weather warming up. We took our time under the sun!
Arrival at Southampton port was very smooth and it took us less tan 2 minutes to find our luggage.
We took a cab to the Central bus station.
Again, if you did not read the 1st post about this trip: If you look on GoogleMaps you will notice that the bus station is very close to the pier. the problem is that there are no sidewalks and you can not use the “roll on” of your suitcases over grass. That’s the unique reason tourists need a taxi and I don’t know why the Mayor of this city does not work in improving its condition.
Southampton Central bus station is a JOKE. I have no clue how a city that has more than one ship terminals can have a bus station that is worse than the ones in underdeveloped countries!
It’s a SHAME that a bus station has only very few seats; only ONE toilette for men and only ONE for women and people must PAY to access it (as a tourist who came from another country with credit card to sue on the ship you have to produce coins in pounds).
I saw old people seating on the floor and many people standing during more than one hour as there was nowhere to seat.
England is so “well developed” (at least this is what I hear)… Southampton probably makes huge profit with so many transatlantic departing from their port. How can have a Central bus station like that? It’s one of the worse bus stations I had ever seen.
Southampton: With this lack of infrastructure…. you will not see me again!
From Southampton we took the bus (National express, an old bus with no wi-fi) to London Heathrow.
We flew with the excellent Air Canada from London to Montreal. From Montreal we flew to paradise…. OOPS…. to Vancouver!
This is our view while biking when we came back home. Everything in Vancouver is beautiful. Vancouver is also safe, there are plenty of signals, maps and information everywhere. Besides that…. there are toilets everywhere you go and they are free!
Oh boy…. I was home sick! ❤