Stavanger is a great city. I like it a lot. The city centre is quite pretty, especially the old part with its little white house built all close to each other.
In the centre of Stavanger is the Kulturhuset which you can't really miss. It's right in the heart of the city centre. It's really here that you want to go when you are looking for a cinema or a library. In the basement is the cinema which is always showing several movies. I think I skipped classes quite a few times back then to go to the cinema at strange times like 11.00 in the morning to have it empty and pay little.
In the upstairs is Stavanger's large public library where I also happily spent hours. They have a lovely travel section on different countries, and they also have a section of books in languages other than Norwegian. Kulturhuset,
Tlf: 51 51 07 00
Off-shore oil emergency training
One of the major industries of Stavanger is that of servicing the off-shore oil industry. A major need is that of safety training. In the event of emergency evaquation of an oil rig workers need to know what it feels like to drop like a stone in a survival boat or raft.
Lutefisk - will you like it?
Around Christmastime in Norway, my Norwegian family took me out to eat lutefisk in a restaurant. They said it was a fish-speciality that you usually only have about once a year. Whereas my host mother was quite keen on it, my little host-sister already indicated with grimaces what she thought of it. And actually, my host mother was the only one who ordered one for herself, for all of us to try. We all stuck to more normal food. Then the fish came. The thing about it is that it has been soaking in lye for the past few days. So it looks a lot like jello, wobbly, white jello. I did my best and tried it, but just couldn't force myself to like it. The consistence felt horrible to me, like eating a jellyfish. Perhaps you will like it? There must be something about it for it to have remained as a celebrated dish for so many years!
Havanna Badeland - Sandnes
If you're visiting Stavanger, have children and are stuck for something to do to entertain them, then Havana Badeland is a good place to bring them. Even if you don't have children, you might enjoy relaxing here for a couple of hours.
The swimming complex is spread over several layers and has something for everyone. There are slides, pools (including a wave pool), a canal with fast moving currents along with saunas and jacuzzis. There is an area for very small children and if the weather is good, you can sit out on the sun terrace.
For adults only, there is a separate section called the Roman Bath with a decor to reflect the name. Here you can relax in peace without those pesky children running around! This section has a steam bath, saunas, jacuzzis with some comfortable sofas for anyone who wants to lounge around.
The centre that houses Havana Badeland also has an indoor playland for younger children. Next to the entrance to the swimming complex is a ten-pin bowling centre. The pool is open all year round but it’s worth checking before going in summer as sometimes it closes for repairs and renovation.
Getting there is fairly straightforward but it's very easy to miss. As you head along Hanaveien, the built up areas disappear and it's easy to think that you've gone too far but eventually, on your right, you come to a large, light coloured brick building that looks nothing like a swimming complex. In fact the thing that grabs your attention are the signs advertising the two supermarkets (which are also part of the complex) and the entrance to a car park, but this in fact is it. As you turn in, you should see the banner for Havana. The entrance to the swimming complex is down the stairs just past the bowling centre.
All in all, a good place to visit, especially for those with families. If you've forgotten to pack your swimming things or want to replace a costume that's seen better days, you can buy swimming costumes, goggles etc. at the entrance but the selection is fairly limited.
Flor og Fjære: a break from reality
I was just at a place called Flor og Fjære near Stavanger. We took a boat from Stavanger to an island called Hidle. In this pretty harsh environment you come to the "garden of Eden" and hence the title a break from reality. Out on these small island you don't see much plants and stuff but here you will find all sorts of plants that you don't normally see in Norway. The even have palm trees, pumpkins, chilis,lemon tree and so on. And there is a tour and you can get excellent food. Check out their webpage for more information.