Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Lindesnes Lighthouse (Lindesnes Fyr)

I was lucky to be invited to Lindesnes Fyr (lighthouse) for its 358th birthday celebration along with some colleagues from Visit Sørlandet.

 Before I begin with the experience, here is a little history on the lighthouse first...

In 1656, Norway’s first lighthouse was lit in Lindesnes. In those days this consisted of candles at the top of the tower. This didn’t really work out so they closed it and started again 69 years later with a different lightning solution – an iron coal blazier placed directly on a rock. Later in 1822 this solution was replaced by a lens which was manufactured in France.

Today there are only two lighthouse keepers in all of Norway and they are stationed at Lindesnes Lighthouse. They maintain the grounds, the lighthouse, assist school children with tours of the lighthouse and do just about anything that is needed in the area. They work two weeks on and two weeks off alternating between the two of them.

Back to the story…

I drove the scenic and windy roads from Farsund to the lighthouse. It is possible to take the main road E39 (check road name) from Farsund but I chose the scenic route, or should I say the GPS did this for me.

The layout for the lighthouse is stress free. A large parking place at the entrance, a store and museum embedded into the rocks, different sleeping quarters for the lighthouse keeper, the managing director of the lighthouse and of course the lighthouse itself.

The area is well lit, there are rails to assist in windy conditions and the lighthouse keeper is there 24 hours of the day for peace of mind for the visitor. Of course there are opening hours but visitors are not always aware of this and tend to come at their own accord.

We stayed overnight in the ‘lighthouse assistants quarters’ which has recently been renovated and was like a new apartment. New floor boards, a large lounge room, kitchen, dining area and two bedrooms upstairs. There is a large bedroom with a double bed and two singles and a smaller room with a single bed.

We sat down to a wonderful dinner, enjoyed some wine and as a little treat, the Managing Director of the lighthouse Anne Solvang Salvesen came with some with lighthouse baked bread, cheese, snacks and some local beer from Lista.

After all of this great food, we all decided to go out and get some air and go for a little walk. There was a little wind and was overcast but the lighthouse was magical. The strong lights stretched over the coastline and I thought about the ships many moons ago that used these lights to guide their way through the foggy coastline. Countless number of people and ships has been saved by the lighthouses that dot the coastline.

Inside the lighthouse looked like it was brand new. Fresh paint, very clean and well maintained. We took a little tour inside the light lens area where the two large light bulbs are located. One is in use and the other is a backup. Apparently it is near impossible to get these nowadays and they need to be especially made.

That night I slept like a baby.  The wind and ambiance of the lighthouse was peaceful. If it was not for my alarm in the morning, I could have slept the whole day!

Shortly after, I prepared myself for breakfast. I was part of a tourism conference from representatives of the different areas of Southern Norway. This was very interesting and I met some nice people with a wealth of information about the region.

It is actually quite difficult to describe the feeling when at the lighthouse at night. You have to experience it to understand it!

1 comment:

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