7/2012 Update: a series of blog entries from a Norway cruise I was fortunate enough to take in the Summer of 2008. Although it feels funny to have relayed trip updates via a blog, it was a pre-Facebook way of telling friends/family about my travels.
Stavanger is our second to last stop before Copenhagen. We don't have a planned excursion today, so we're free to go explore the city. Stavanger is a big oil/gas town: much of the offshore platform work comes from here. It seemed appropriate to visit the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, which was recommended to us. We walked about six blocks to get to the museum, which was interesting. Alas, it's Sunday so pretty much all retail, save for bars and restaurants, are closed. The shops we saw indicate a somewhat trendy, modern populous (and probably prosperous if they work in the oil business).
The Petroleum Museum was actually quite impressive. The whole building's built out over the water to give the feel of an offshore platform. Everything from the geology of oil/gas to the ins and outs of how they do all that deep water drilling and pipeline construction. I found the whole thing very interesting and came away impressed at the engineering (and financial) might that goes into this whole thing. Extracting oil/gas from from the bottom of the North Sea cannot be easy. Did this extravaganza convince me that the US Government needs to give tax breaks to the oil companies? Uh, no... The nephews really liked the place and Dad found it engaging. Now that's success for a tourist attraction and our group!
We grabbed some pizza (yes, some good pizza; the stuff that passes for 'zza on the ship is sub-frozen pizza quality) and watched countless school marching bands go by. Apparently there's a national festival going on here and there were tons of marching bands parading by, even in the pouring rain. That got us all nostalgic. Some of them even had large feathery plumes in their hats that reminded us of Central High School way back when (no, I didn't see any Q-Tip like hats ala' Stevens HS).
We pulled out late in the afternoon and began to head back to sea. First, we took a detour through a smaller Fjord that contains a huge suspension bridge and the famous Pulpit Rock. I didn't get a good shot of the rock (Bruce did), but here's a good one of the bridge the ship sailed under.
After that, we turned around and headed back out on our way to Kristiansand.