Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Southern idyll

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to an undisclosed location to celebrate a friend's birthday ... does anyone remember that? Well, the friend was Anéa and the place was her hometown of Arendal, which is what, a four hour bus ride from Oslo. It's a pretty little Southern town, with the picturesque wooden houses and the flowers by the water and the fjord glittering in the sun and so on. I took soo many pictures ... !! and so I've decided to make this month's show-off-Oslo post a show-off-Norway post instead, and share some of my Arendal photos here.

We sailed from town to a little place about an hour and a half away (by boat, that is) called Narestø, which was just too gorgeous ... it was ridiculously idyllic, it was enough to make the city slickers among us nervous. I mean, seriously ... looking at this place made me more than half convinced that they were sacrificing babies in the basements or something, because it really seems impossible that something like that could be as good as it looked. ;-) Here, I'll show you pictures. :-)

The town ... which is partly on the mainland and partly on several islands.

A typical Southern house.

The sun and the sea and so on ... :-)

I had to take a picture of this ... !! And I made a lol of it on Failblog, look here. I can't imagine it'll make it to the front page, but I just had to do it. Click to enlarge, or go here for a closeup. For the non-Norwegian speakers among us: the sign says no parking ...

Some local wildlife.

Anéa's uncle pointed this house out to me. It looks weird, doesn't it?? It is weird ... ! It was built (a couple of centuries ago, probably) after the stairs next to it was already in place, so, well, what can you do. :-D

But this house ... !!! This house is just too adorable for words. I want to live in this house.

The city was (mostly) so pretty in the perfect summer weather ... and the clouds were quite entertaining. o_O

Our boat was a traditional wooden one, typical of southern Norway.

The fjord glittering in the sun ... !! :-)

Anéa (right) and her friend R. striking a pirate pose in honor of the maritime setting.

Arriving at Narestø we were warned to be on our best behavior, or our host & hostess' watchtiger might take exception to our presence ... ;-)

Foxgloves are some of my favorite flowers. They're rarely seen in my part of the country, but at Narestø they were everywhere.

One of Narestø's few claims to fame is that it was outside this patch of our endless coastline that the slave ship Fredensborg went down in December 1768. There are several houses still standing from that period, and check this out: do you see the topmost window in this red house? That was Fredensborg's captain's room during the winter after the wreck. :-o

The ship had three black slaves on board; one of them was very well behaved, and was allowed to move about quite freely. The other two, however, were alleged to be less trustworthy, and were forced to spend the winter in the cellar of this house, right across the path from the captain's lodgings. That must have been so awful for them. :-( But it was very interesting to me to suddenly stumble upon a piece of history like that.

The redcurrants weren't ripe yet, but getting there, getting there ... :-)

And here are a bunch more shots from our walk around the place. Can you blame us for getting suspicious?? I mean, look at it. It was just too pretty. :-)

The clouds were really weird that whole day. We expected a thunderstorm at any moment, towards evening ... but it never happened. Perfect weather for a perfect birthday. :-)

To see all my photos from the trip, go here.


Paz said...

very nice, great shots, looks like a lovely place

Paz said...

some other great shots on photobucket too

Leisha Camden said...

Thanks! It's easy to take good pictures though in a place like that. :-)