This week, I'm in Stavanger, on a teacher exchange seminar with Norway, working on a European project based on Critical Literacy. We won't have much time outside of conference rooms and classrooms but as our hotel is right in the town centre, we managed to have a quick look around on Sunday morning.
As you can see, it snowed - quite unusual in Stavanger apparently, but the mountains in the distance are permanently snow-capped.
These white wooden buildings seem to be the most common here and we strolled up and down the pedestrianised streets, soaking up the Nordic atmosphere.
It was very quiet - all the people you see in the photos were in our group - but it was Sunday morning and everything was shut, which probably explains it.
We may be in Norway but they still have an Irish pub (we think). Alcohol is extremely expensive though so I'm not sure we'll be popping in !
Norwegian is the official language but people speak English pretty fluently and many signs are in English. It seems to be a country of extremes, love or hate !
I giggled at some of the quirky shop signs. This should be for a hairdresser's but it's actually a vintage clothes shop.
After all the white clapboard houses, we moved into a brightly coloured street.
We couldn't help but laugh because one of our teachers' clothes perfectly matched the colour scheme of this shop !
There's lots of street art dotted all over the town.
This one reminded me of trolls ...
... which was funny because five minutes later, we saw some in a shop window !
As well as the street art, there are an awful lot of statues dotted about.
Even with the shops being closed, there was lots to see.
You can't really see it from this photo but the bench slopes steeply downwards so it's hard to sit straight.
This appears to be a theme in Stavanger !
It's a really interesting place to wander around, with lots of old churches and this tower to discover.
This is the Domkirken or cathedral and there were lots of police and armed military wandering about. I asked at the hotel (this is literally two minutes away) and she said they were welcoming in a new bishop and the King of Norway was in attendance. We kept seeing women in traditional Norwegian costume walking past too.
There is a little lake just next to the cathedral - I'm sure I'll have to pop back here because there is a geocache nearby !
Just next to our hotel there are several coffee bars and, despite the snow, they were all putting benches outside, complete with sheepskin rugs and warm throws !
It's a very compact town - we saw all of this in a half hour walk just around our hotel. Hopefully I'll be back to share some more news of our time in Norway over the coming days.