1968: Norway – Day 4 – Mandal-Stavanger

Chaotic time breaking camp – great rush to do it and nothing really organised owing to piles of stuff everywhere. Eventually got off at 9.15ish, exhausted. Called at some shops and children given an iced lolly each by the shop keeper in one, much to their delight, especially as we’d told them they couldn’t have one.  Nice hot sunny day, just the job for a long grip.

Took same road to Vigeland then climbed some hair-raising roads into the mountains. Surface was appalling for quite long stretches and a great deal of roadworks in progress. Snow ploughs sitting like big yellow butterflies in the lay-bys – I bet they need them for a long time each year. Breathtaking views of fiords, the water appearing a deep green, with houses clustered at the heads and, wherever possible, along the sides. Timber lying in great areas on the water in some places, and signs of HEP at the foot of some of the hanging valleys. Some terrifying stretches of road including a 3-part tunnel, fenced in along the approaches, and hairpin bends. Car seemed to take it quite easily and we had the full load on. Flekkefiord was a pleasant, sunny little town with fishing and timber. Jossing fiord pretty wild, some industries, then a much tamer run to Stavanger, with flatter country, sand dunes and marshes and some wild, Atlantic weather. Plenty of cattle and sheep, horses and chickens. Tractors down here too. Had a picnic lunch before we dropped from the mountains.

Stavanger and endless place, and the camp-site shut, which was a blow as we were going to get a hut. Then a crazy drive round and round the place looking for a small hotel. Could see none and only two big ones, far too expensive. In desperation went to the police station and the fixed us up in a plain but very clean boarding house – smiling proprietress spoke no English, but very kind. Took 2 rooms, one for kids and one for us. Norwegian eiderdowns again and central heating, but no running water in rooms. Gave children a much needed bath in the bathroom and settled them in bed. Then went for a walk round Stavanger – steep streets and some old buildings leading down to the quay, but no reasonable cafes in evidence [rest of entry missing].

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