~ Stargazing and Sunrise Watching ~

 

What a belter of a weekend. Scorching temperatures in Stavanger again! After growing up in England and living my last 7 years in Scotland, I cannot stand to be inside when it’s warm. On Saturday we spent the day at the Gladmat festival (see my recent post under ‘Cookery’!) followed by a trip to Ikea and some flat-pack-furniture assembly.

 

 

As the evening wore on, warm and clear, Mike and I moved our furniture outside to enjoy the sun for as long as possible. We’ve found the best way to be comfortable outside is to disassemble our sofa and make a nest from the cushions on the decking!

 

 

 

We both had a good book to read; Mike was enjoying a bottle of rioja and I was enjoying a pot of tea; the stars were starting to come through and even though the sun had dipped below the horizon, the air was warm. I’d read about a meteor shower in National Geographic so we decided to take a blanket outside and stargaze for a little while.

At just gone 12:30am we hadn’t seen any meteors, but we’d had a lovely evening and were ready for bed. We decided to set the alarm for 03:15am to get up and see the sunrise, so we had a couple of hours’ sleep before I shook Mike awake. While he stumbled around in a sleepy haze, I made some jam sandwiches and a flask of coffee, and we drove out to Dalsnuten. We parked in the car park and walked for 30 minutes uphill to the viewing point, 323m above sea level. The sky was rosy as we arrived, and we had half an hour to wait until proper sunrise.

We opened our coffee and ate our jam sandwiches in total silence, gazing out over Gandafjorden and the twinkling lights of Sandnes and Tasta – where we’d left our apartment. A strong but warm breeze tugged at our clothes, so we sheltered by a cairn while we waited for the sun. It was absolutely magical. As the sun rose over the mountains to the east, the light levels crept up and the sky became blue rather than pink… The start of another beautiful summer’s day. We began our descent and were back in the car by 06:00am, back home by 06:30am and in our bed again by 06:35am. We slept late and woke up at lunchtime. What a lovely start to Sunday.

K

 

Advertisements

~ Engangsgrills and Jelly Stings ~

With all this gorgeous weather we’ve been having in Stavanger (it’s been 30+ degrees every day for 4 days now), Mike and I decided we’d head to the beach after work on Tuesday. We picked up some burgers and an engangsgrill (a disposable BBQ), drove to Hellestø beach and had a brilliant couple of hours relaxing by the sea.

The water at Hellestø is super clear, and the sand banks mean that it’s shallow for hundreds of metres from the shore – which makes it both safe for kids and warm. I love to swim; Mike, not so much. He does enjoy a wee paddle though! I had a dip while he got dinner going, then we both went in again after we’d eaten. It felt like we were on holiday! Warm water, most of the population of Stavanger in their bikinis on sun loungers, the smell of BBQs and the happy shouting of children. We came home salty, sandy, freckly and with crazy-beach-hair (OK, that was just me) – what a lovely afternoon.

Yesterday Mike was working a little later than me at the office, so I decided to do a repeat performance before I went to collect him in the car. As soon as I got in the water, my leg was itching and burning – youch! Only then did I remember that on Tuesday we spotted a jellyfish on our second swim, and after we got out the water my leg was a bit stingy. I think I probably had a little jelly sting on Tuesday and hadn’t realised until I was back in the saltwater! Still, it didn’t spoil my swim – I spent absolutely ages in the water, floating back and forth and diving under the swell that was rolling in. Bliss. No BBQ this time, though – I just picked up a sandwich and a big bottle of water which was enough to keep me going until Mike and I bought a couple of ice creams on our way home!

Tonight I’m going to Gladmat with a couple of the ladies from work – a food festival in Stavanger that’s eagerly anticipated by all the locals. I’m looking forward to trying some tasty morsels and hopefully getting a few people-photos to upload here later.

K