1968: Norway – Day 13 – Kristiansand

Physical fitness boys busy doing exercises at what seemed like crack of dawn (about 7.30 in fact). We set off for the shops at 9.00 crossing the big suspension bridge into Kristiansand, very impressive. The town is beautifully situated on the slopes of the drowned hillside, houses dotted about among the trees and innumerable inlets of sea everywhere. Centre is new mostly, landing down to the quays, glimpses of big boats at the ends of the streets. Did various bits of shopping, including some food. Bought David’s cuff-links, and some very nice toys especially a wooden ferry boat and bought some Lego scooters and traffic police which we haven’t seen at home. Had coffee in a department store – loads of English sailors also there. Then back to the hut for lunch as it was a bit showery. Had mackerel and chips (they were frozen) and it was very nice. In the afternoon drove to Lillesand, an enchanting fishing village on a winding inlet, houses of white wood rather like Mandal. Loads of boats, children fascinated by two young men bailing and pumping water out of one. Did quite an efficient shop for presents, then drove on to Brekke(?), a smaller village where houses perched on the rocks and reached by a winding road through lush fields. This coast is really picturesque, with many inlets and islands and houses and cabins dotted everywhere. Very few people about, and the roads almost deserted despite the fact that it was a sunny Saturday.

Next stop was the zoo (Dyrepaike) the only one in Norway. Set in a hilly park, it was sweet, very small really but laid out with loving care. Animals had big huts with turf roofs and nice chunks of mountain to scramble on. The deer were particularly fortunate. Some well fenced off brown bears the wildest animals there. A children’s section – very nice with donkeys, rabbits, tortoises and guinea pigs, and a children’s playground. This had a sand pit with miniature diggers and Andrew soon got the hang of them and systematically excavated a large hole. They also liked the tyres that went round and round as long as we’d let them. For babies one can hire little wooden trucks to pull around – very attractive. A peacock was strutting around with his tail up, looking very please with himself – wonder what our cats would make of him.

Came back to the hut to pork chops and onions and frozen strawberries which were very tasty and very dark red, packed locally. After kids in bed we had a coffee in the cafe and a stroll around the beach and village.

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