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I think I may have to go back to Stavanger sometime… once I get another couple of credit cards to help cover the costs.
The Norwegian city often comes near the top of lists of the most expensive cities in the world. We all know that Norway is expensive, but this takes it to a new level. It’s mainly because Stavanger is the oil capital of Scandinavia and, with all that offshore oil, comes money.
But let’s leave all that aside for now because, to be honest, I actually spent less than 24 hours in town – so who am I to complain? This was really just a transit stop for me on my way up to Bergen (and, from there to the Trolltunga hike).
I didn’t see the expensive homes where all the foreign oil executives live, the sprawling suburbs for the growing population, the new business park with its 40,000 workers. I stayed focused on the old part of town.
These wooden houses were built in the 18th and 19th and nestle together, close to the city’s main cathedral. Interestingly, it’s partly because these old houses are heritage-listed that most of the companies in Stavanger are in the business park on the outskirts and there isn’t a central business district, like you find in many other cities.
The area they fill is not particularly large. It doesn’t take too long to walk through the streets and get a good sense of the styles and designs. It must have been a cute little neighbourhood when it was first built. It still is – but now it sits in contrast with the rest of Stavanger. Back then, this would have seemed normal.
I must confess that I didn’t learn too much about these quaint buildings. I just enjoyed looking at them as I wandered rather aimlessly. So, rather than try to tell you things I don’t know, let me just share some photos of the old town of Stavanger.