Monday, 19 May 2014

Skipperhuset Hidra Island Flekkefjord

Grethe and Leif Larsen Skipperhuset Seng og Mat

Adam from Visit Sørlandet took a trip to the island of Hidra in Flekkefjord in Southern Norway and stopped in at Skipperhuset Seng and Mat (Skippers House Bed and Breakfast). There he had a little interview with the friendly owners Grethe and Leif Larsen. The guesthouse has breathtaking views over the sea with a very quiet and relaxing atmosphere.


We have lived in a few different countries over the years because we were both in the shipping industry. We actually met at a shipping company in Oslo.

We lived in America for many years and had both of our children there but we have also lived in Saudia Arabia.

Grethe: I was not allowed to work in Saudia Arabia so I was a house wife. The only women that were allowed to work were local people that were nurses, doctors and teachers.

Leif: We had family status so we lived in a compound. Our oldest son was seventeen at the time, so he was not allowed to live in Saudi Arabia with us. We are not really sure why, maybe because they think that teenagers can cause problems. As a result, he went to a boarding school in the United States.

Grethe: When we met at that shipping company in Oslo, I was working in the operation department and he was out at sea captaining a ship. I then became a radio officer and had to do a long course to get the qualification. When he came back from the sea, he was offered a job in Newark New York as a port captain so I did not even get a chance to use my radio skills. But, I was also offered a job in New York, so it worked out well.

Adam: Your guesthouse location is amazing. Can you tell me a little about it.

Leif: I am a fourth generation captain, so it is in my blood line. In 1850, my grandfather had two small houses in Hidra. The other house was on a small island further out and they moved one of them here. Both he and my father were born here at the house. I never lived here as a child, I only stayed here on vacation. However I did live here for a while in the early 50s and went to school which has since been converted into a museum.

When we came home from Saudi Arabia, we intended to go back to the United States but then we decided that we would convert this place into a bed and breakfast instead. We added a road and extensions to the house and thought that it would be very nice to have company here. Of course family and friends visited, but we thought that it would be a great way to meet new people and make some money.

Adam: I guess it was nice to have friends and family visit, but they don't pay!

Woman: (laughing) It is such a beautiful location here, that we wanted to share it with others as well. We love to have company.

Leif's grandfather is sitting in the middle of the photograph. His father is the child to the left.

Here is Leif's father as the captain of a ship.

When we started, there was really no place where people could stay overnight in Hidra. So we came up with the bed and breakfast idea. When guests arrive, they have everything provided, so it is very easy for them.

We cater to people that want some peace and quiet and not partying all the time.

Adam: The guesthouse is full of shipping history with amazing pictures depicting generations of shipping captains, furniture from France (when his father was stationed there) and cosy bedrooms. There are seven bedrooms with sixteen beds.

Grethe has her own kitchen for baking and Leif has his for making fish and other foods. (They are very lucky. I would LOVE to have my own kitchen at home where I can make my barbeque dishes and my wife could do her baking. Maybe the next lottery ticket I buy will give me that chance!)

You can find out more information on their website

Hidra is a short drive from Flekkefjord. You will need to get a ferry over to the island from the mainland, but these leave at regular times. You only pay for the ferry on your return journey home which is about 140kr (please check with Grethe and Leif for up to date information).


Flekkefjord is a 1,5 hour drive from Kristiansand.





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