Tuesday, 25 August 2015

SS Christiansand

There is a boat in Kristiansand called the SS Christiansand. It is a large ship that is 82 feet long and can accommodate up to 100 guests.
SS Christiansand outside Kilden in Kristiansand
It is the perfect place to have a party or gathering out on the sea. Although it appears to be an old ship in design, it is actually quite modern with a relatively new engine and equipment.

Visit Sørlandet arranged an end of summer party on the boat for all of those involved in the tourism industry in the region. (By the way, Visit Sørlandet always organises the coolest Digital Travel industry events and parties :)
The start of the journey on SS Christiansand
The weather was perfect for a trip. There was little wind and the sun was shining. 
Hildegunn near the bow of the SS Christiansand
The boat has a bar and a banquet room where people can eat if it is raining outside. Luckily, we spent the whole evening out on deck.
Evening sun and fun on the SS Christiansand
The captain of the ship Kai, gave us all a bit of history about the boat and his company.
A rib boat next to the SS CHristiansand
I spoke to him for quite some time and he has certainly lived a full life. Not only is he the captain of the SS Christiansand, but he is also a commercial pilot and has been all over the world. He said:
Kai - the captain of the SS Christiansand
"You only live once, so why not enjoy it and get the most out of it. When I eventually retire, I can look back on all of the fond memories I have from my experiences in this life".
SS Christiansand passing Odderøya lighthouse
The food for the evening was shrimps which was fitting for the atmosphere on the day. Some of the guests had wine and others a beer. 
Shrimps on SS Christiansand
It was a lot of fun and a fantastic way to see the beautiful archipelago in and around Kristiansand.
Enjoying a meal on the SS Christiansand
The SS Christiansand is available for company events, weddings, confirmation, theme parties, school camps - even Christmas dinners. If you could like to rent a boat in Kristiansand, contact these guys! Kai is very friendly and have some great stories to tell.
The stern of the SS Christiansand
If you would like to find out more about the SS Christiansand and Skjærgårdsopplevelser AS, here is their contact information.

Phone: (+47) 417 99995 
Sunset on the SS Christiansand
Information on what to do in and around Kristiansand can also be found here.

Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Ny Hellesund

Ny Hellesund is an island just outside of Kristiansand in Southern Norway. It is accessibile by boat and there is a ferry that leaves from the mainland at regular intervals and arrives at Verftet at Ny Hellesund.

Taking the Høllen boat out to Ny Hellesund.
From Kristiansand, you drive on the E39 south towards Søgne and then Høllen. (Google maps has clear directions for this). There is a car park at Høllen where you have to pay to stay there. There is also a petrol station with food if you need to take something with you.
Approaching Verftet Ny Hellesund
The area is a fantastic archipelago with little islands, wooden houses and boats everywhere. (Great opportunities for pictures).

We were three families that took a trip out there, so we got some pictures along the way.
Kids on the Høllen boat.
Once there, we hung out at the nice beach hunting for little crabs in the water.
Relaxing by the beach at Ny Hellesund.
The kids played on the beach.
Searching for crabs Ny Hellesund.
Us adults chilled out.
Boat trip Ny Hellesund.

Afterwards I took a little walk to the small "lighthouse" with my son.
Tour to the "beacon" Ny Hellesund.
Then it was time for some dinner at the Bælgen and Moi restaurant.
Bølgen and Moi restaurant Ny Hellesund.
And then a wine afterwards before going to sleep ion the fantastic and spacious apartments there. 
Having a wine at Ny Hellesund.
These have all modern facilities, TV with cable and wireless internet. No expense has been spared making these and the quality is superb.
The unique cabin at Ny Hellesund available to rent.
If you enjoy a boat trip, good food and fun with the kids, then Ny Hellesund should be on the places to visit!
Sunset approaching Ny Hellesund.

More information about Ny Hellesund can be found here.

Adam @ Visit Sørlandet

Friday, 14 August 2015

Lyngør and Sandøya

The coastline in Southern Norway is very beautiful and the locals certainly make the most of this. There are "summer houses" everywhere. Some have their own private beaches, boat wharf and terraces with breath taking views over the sea. There is also an abundance of beaches where visitors can swim, hunt for crabs or do some fishing. 

Bokhotellet is a great place to base yourself.
Accommodation is available from locals that rent out their cabins in and around Tvedestrand as well as the scenic hotel in Lyngør called Bokhotellet. It is located directly next to the water with its own wharf.
These little wooden houses are what you will see in Lnygør and Sandøya.
One such place is Lyngør and its close neighbour Sandøya.
Kids playing at the beach in Sandøya.
We were three families that took a trip there to check it out which was the perfect day out. We drove up from Kristiansand which takes about an hour and a half. If you drive there from Oslo, it takes about 3 hours.

We were met by a taxi boat which drove us around the islands. You can find boat times and the route here. On that page you will also find information about hiring a boat taxi.

The Sørlandet Maritime taxi boat approaching the Hagefjorden Kiosk.
We stopped off and had some fruit.
Fresh strawberries in Lyngør.
Chilled at the Sandøya beach.
Kids playing in the crystal clear water at Sandøya.
Had some great pizza at a restaurant in Sandøya called Loss Bryggos Sandøya which is on the Northern part of the island..
Great pizzas at Loss Bryggos Sandøya
Had some champagne at a romantic little bar called Basthavn in Sandøya.
Great place for food or a drink - Basthavn Sandøya.
Stopped and had some ice cream at Hagefjorden Kiosk which has a restaurant, a large fish tank for the kids to see and petrol for the boat if needed :) 
Ice cream at Hagefjorden Kiosk
Checked out some great artwork at Staubø Kultursenter It was originally an old trading place with a bakery, confectionery, food and clothing but today it is a private residence and cultural center run by a local artist named Eldrup A. Hansen. He is a very nice man that loves to have a chat and talk about his artwork.

Artwork at Staubø Kultursenter available to purchase.
It is possible to buy his visual arts and crafts or visit and listen to some live music. There is a cafe open for food and refreshments and the location can be rented out for events and parties.

It is open from Thursday-Sunday 1200-1900 (check the website for updated times).
Had some delicious home baked bread from Brød og Vin. This little bakery is run by a family and you need to get there quickly as the bread is always sold out. The bakery is located at Klåholmen. 
Home baked bread at Brød og Vin in Klåholmen.
Øyspinn is a wool shop at the top of the island with lovely views over the sea. The owners hand sow clothing from their own goats wool.
Øyspinn shop where you can buy hand made items.

The owner in action.
Down the road, there is also a little shop that sells hand made textiles.

Pillows, clothing can be purchased here.
And chilled out at the beach.
Relaxing at the Sandøya beach
Kids hunting for crabs. 
Kids hunting for crabs at the Brød og vin bakery.

If you would like to find a rental cabin, you can search for one here in Sandøya. The links on this page go to websites and facebook groups for the various locations, so you can contact them directly for directions, opening times etc.

If you are interested in visiting the area, leave a comment and I can give you some tips.

Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The wooden boat festival Risør

Risør is a coastal town in southern Norway with beautiful old wooden white houses and narrow streets. This reminded me of walking through the streets of Cinque Terre in Italy. 

It is a charming place and unique for this part of the world and was one of the largest wooden boat building places in all of Norway.
View over the harbour as night falls over Risør.
There still exists a couple of wooden boat builders in Risør and each year this coastal gem celebrates its long boat building history with a festival over three days in the beginning of August which is called the Trebåtfestival.

Norwegian flags everywhere....
Boats of all shapes and sizes attend the event - from a 100 year old wooden hand made boat to a modern day day cruiser. 
Risør's very own boat RS 30.
People from all over Europe join in the fun, some of whom bring their boat to partake in the race each day. Here is a very proud man from Hamburg in Germany that drove his boat over on a trailer to be at the event. It was probably one of the most photographed boats in the harbour that day.

Each day there is a race where boats of various sizes go around a course past the Stangholem lighthouse and back to the harbour.
Passing the Stangholen lighthouse.
This is beautiful to watch. 
Crew relaxing on a French boat taking part in the race.
The crews working on the sails, ropes and these old ships penetrating the large waves that gather out in the seas.
With lots of boats in the water, the crew need to be on alert.
There is food, live music, competitions for kids, boat trips and lots of fun to be had. All of the stores are open late and everyone is in a festive mood.
Locally made boat from Moen båtbryggeri.
All of these wooden boats competed in a race on the Saturday.

A unique look for Risør.
Smaller boats taking part in a race.

On the way back from the lighthouse.
Each night during the festival there are bands that play music, food stalls that are open.

If you want to stay over night in Risør during the festival there are camping places and hotels all within easy reach. Book early, because they are always fully booked. 

Visit Risør!
All pictures: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet