Friday, 3 October 2014

Lyngdal cattle show - dyreskue

The Lyngdal cattle show is a fantastic event where the kids can do all sorts of activities including go on tivoli rides, see animals, buy toys, ice cream, food - you name it!

I took my 3 years old son to the event and he had a great time.

The show happens every year in September and thousands of people flock to the area to see it.

The Lyngdal cattle show offers a very varied program.

Hay-drying, vintage cars / buses, tractors, horse driving, livestock auction, animal exhibitions and competition fishing is some of what you can experience.

There are stands of all kinds, crafts and handicrafts. Food, entertainment, concerts and activities for children are also on offer.

The show is always in the first weekend in September each year.

Long tradition: 
The show has a history as far back as 1857. In 1887 it received status as the state cattle show.

In 2007 they celebrated the 150th anniversary and there was a new attendance record with 26,000 visitors throughout. In 2010, the show had a new attendance record with 26,500 visitors.

There is no cattle show without animals. Over the years they have built a proper agricultural profile and on the Friday during the festival, there is a livestock auction. Saturday there are horses and Sunday there are other types of farming animals. There is stall space for 150 animals. 

Old machines: 
In recent years, interest in old machinery has picked up. Machines that you would never think could get going again are found out in barns and outbuildings and even from the rubbish dump. With some tender loving care, they are restored. Centuries old diesel engines operate threshing machines and sawmills, while making banging noises and smoke as they did generations ago.

Crafts and Handicrafts: 
Besides being Southern Norway's largest agricultural fair, the show is also Norway's largest exhibition of handicrafts and crafts. There is a tent hall of 1,000 square meters which is only for those exhibitors. Here you can see everything from wood carving to watercolor paintings and weaving.

There is dining available at the cafeteria with over 300 seating places available. Plus, there are barbecues out in the field, where you can quickly get a snack.

Over the years there has been live music from bands and musicians such as: Tone Damli, Liv Marit Vedvik, Erik Kriss, Stalwart, Rita Eriksen, Lindesnes Accordion Club, Plumb, Eve & the Heartbreakers, Stian Fjelldal, PK & Dance People, Anita Hegerland, Scandinavia, Kentucky Riders and many more.

Motorhome camping: 
There is parking availability for campervans. Parking is at the church for that purpose.

Lyngdal is located in Vest-Agder and the west county's biggest trading center. The Cattle Show is located on Prestneset, just off the E39.

Contact the Lyngdal Tourist Office for more information:

Lyngdal Turistkontor
Stasjonsgaten 26
4580 Lyngdal
Telefon: +47 38334833 +47 38334833
Kontaktskjema Kontaktskjema

Mvh and Cheers,
Adam Read @ Visit Sørlandet

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Experiencing life as a handicapped person in Kristiansand

We all take our health for granted. Think about those in wheel chairs or those without hearing or eyesight. Life is very tough for some people and we need to remember that.

Yesterday I met a blind man with a guide dog in the city centre. We spoke for a while and he told me that they were going to have an experiment the following day with some colleagues at the Kristiansand Kommune.

They were going to experience life as a disabled person; blind or wheelchair bound.

I met all of them at the kommune reception. There were some wearing sunglasses with tape over them making it impossible to see. Others had their glasses slightly covered to experience life as a slightly blind person. Some had a walking cane, some in wheelchairs and some with special walkers.

It was not easy!
Just getting out of the building was a chore with some having difficulties opening the doors.

The blind man then explained to them that they needed to stay on the brick paths as they are designed to lead blind people around the city.

Up markensgata, some tried to enter a store as did this lady in a wheelchair. She said it was quite easy, but hard work pushing herself along the street. "good exercise" I said.

I heard the blind man say that they were not allowed to get help, they had to try and figure it out on their own. That was a good lesson...

I spoke to him;

Man: I lost my eyesight 25 years ago as a result of diabetes so whenever I leave the house, I map out the directions in my head and use the guide dog to divert me from obstacles. It is not easy, but that is life.

Me: It is very difficult to see that you are blind because you are looking directly at me.
Man: I can see that you are standing there, but I cannot see your face.

Another man walked up to him and the blind man recognised him well before the man said hello.

Me: That was amazing. How was that possible?
Man: I recognise his walk and build, so that is an easy way for me to remember people.

My advice to people is to enjoy life and your health. 

Take a walk in the forest with your kids, kick the football with them and make the most out of it because there are many who cannot.

Kristiansand is a city that has dedicated a lot of time into making sure handicapped people are able to enjoy the city like everyone else, so there are special ramps for wheelchairs, special toilets and larger entrances to stores. Of course parking is also prioritised.

Enjoy life!

Adam Read
Visit Sørlandet
adam (at)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Beautiful morning in Kristiansand

When is it a good time to write a blog? What do you need for inspiration? Today, there was no such problem.

I decided to take my boat to work today as I am meeting a friend after work and we are going to take a little boat trip around Kristiansand. When I got to the boat house this morning, it was about 10 degrees celcius. A little cold, but no issue when you have the right clothing.

One thing I did not expect, was the mist and fog.

Going up the river it looked amazing as I approached the bridge to Kjevik airport.

Then I came to Hamresanden beach and the landing lights for Kjevik airport.

A little after the lights, I got closer to the fog.

But approaching the Varoddbrua bridge into town was different and it has to be said dangerous.

Visibility was at about 5 metres. The sun was trying to break through it, but the fog was just too thick in some areas.

Slowly approaching the bridge into the city, I drove very slowly and got some great pictures.

Past the old German bunker and lighthouse.

Coming through the mist and fog.

Looks like someone else had the same idea as me, so I was not alone...

Entering the harbour.

And finally parking at Fiskebrygga in the city.

It was a great experience and I have to say that I did not even feel the cold. In fact it warmed up quite quickly and in the end I needed to take off my jumper and jacket.

In conditions like this, you need to be smart as a boat owner. A GPS with tracking is a must in conditions like this. You can program your GPS to record previous trips and because I have gone into Kristiansand hundreds of times, I can simply follow these tracks.

Lights are important. Make sure they are working and ON.

Unfortunately I do not have a horn on the boat, but this is something I will buy. You can get those that do not need to be connected to electricity and can be used for a full season before replacing them.

If you live in Kristiansand and work in the city, I can recommend taking your boat into work one day. You cannot really start the day any better than that.

Adam Read
Visit Southern Norway

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Kristiansand beer tasting festival

Adam from Visit Sørlandet went to the Kristiansand beer tasting festival at Odderøya.

Local beer Nøgne Øl being served.

Here is a good idea; ''Why not take the boat into town to the Kristiansand Beer Festival.''
Sounds like a good plan, so that is exactly what I did. The festival started at 1pm, but it was raining up until 3pm, so I headed in there after that. 

Sunshine and cold local beer.

The sun was now shining so we parked the boat at fiskebrygga and walked to Odderøya.

A decent sized crowd for the event.

There was a large crowd of people there and not an empty seat. Standing room only as they say. I spoke to the staff at the entrance that were very friendly. 

By the time we arrived, there had been over 700 people enter the festival. 

It turned out to be a nice summers day.

Nice views over the water.

The entrance fee was 200 kr which includes a Kristiansand Beer Festival glass of about 330ml. This is what visitors use to try the different beers.

Aas beer from Drammen

In order to try a beer, visitors were required to buy tokens. These tokens were 150 kr for 5 and each beer sample was half a glass. 

Representative from Aas beer.

A local beer from Grimstad called Nøgne Øl.

Most people I spoke to at the event thought that the entrance fee was a little expensive and the  beer samples were small. Even so, they had a great time there mingling amongst the beer enthusiasts which included men and women of the older and younger generations. Some said that they had now found their favourite beer so I guess the organisers would be pleased to hear that.

Here are some pictures of some patrons enjoying their day.

There were over 200 different types of beers on offer from local breweries in Norway. The event finished at 6pm where people ventured into the city where local bars and restaurants had these beers on offer. 

Here is the facebook group where you can find out about next years beer festival. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Norwegian and German love story from World War 2

Adam from Visit Sørlandet got a very interesting story whilst out on the streets of Kristiansand for the Humans of Kristiansand project.

Every other day I walk around the streets of Kristiansand hoping to get a nice picture and story from people and today I met a man with a very interesting story from World War 2.

"My goal in life is to make a movie about my grandparents. We have war history here in Norway from World War 2 when we were occupied by the German forces from 1940 to 1945.

My grandmother (father's mother) wanted to be a doctor but she could not do it because of a high school teacher that did not like her. Apparently she really hated her. This teacher gave her bad grades in one subject which prevented my grandmother from going to medical school, so she decided to become a nurse instead.

That made her angry because she was always the best at everything including various types of sports: skating, kayaking etc. Eventually she became content with being a nurse and then the war came.

I am not too sure about the details, but she met my grandfather during the start of the war who was in the German SS Panzer division called 'Totenkopf'. They fell in love and got married and Himmler went to their wedding to bless it. This was common practice in the early stages of the war with SS officers but it was known as the perfect wedding because a blonde haired, blue eyed pretty Norwegian girl was marrying a German. An Anglo Saxon wedding.

She then joined the Red Cross and went to Germany where she worked in the countryside of Germany from 1942 to 1943 and later she worked in Berlin. During this time he was away fighting in different parts of Europe and Russia, so they would meet up when they could. The last battle he fought was against the Americans when they entered Germany.

There is a ten page letter she wrote on the 27th of March 1945 to her family here in Norway. She wrote about courage because at that time the war was coming to an end and the Russians were almost at her door step at the hospital where she worked.

She wrote about being a nurse at the hospital with a lot of responsibility being in charge of her ward and transport of wounded soldiers. She also carried a leather bag full of syringes that contained poison. She was instructed to kill all of the wounded soldiers that could not walk if the Russians were to come. This also included officers that had could be tortured and release important information to the Russians.

She wrote that she has accepted that she may die and she is not afraid anymore.

She survived the war and I am not sure if she had to inject any of the soldiers. What I do know is that she managed to escape from Berlin with my grandfather who was injured and deserted his post. He paid some SS guards with gold and diamonds that my grandmother had from her family, so they let them through the road blocks in an ambulance.

They hid in the western part of Germany where the Americans were and lived there for a little while after the war. There, he was imprisoned for 3 months by the Americans because he was a German soldier.

They stayed together and lived amongst the rubble and what was left over of the buildings there until they moved to Norway in 1946. My grandmother was considered German by the Norwegian authorities because she was then a German citizen and married to a German.

They had a hard time back in Norway from the local people but they lived in Drammen where many citizens had helped the Germans during the occupation, so they simply did not talk about it. A lot of people had something to hide at that time.

My father did get a hard time at school and got into many fights. In the end he carried a knife around to defend himself.

The other side of my family is my mother's mother. She fell in love with a Norwegian doctor and she had been raised in both Italy and in Wales and because she had British contacts, british intelligence contacted her to work for them within the Norwegian resistance.

She was to deliver a note to a bookshop in Oslo. The note contained the name of a doctor who was responsible for delivering the names of over 200 Norwegian jews that were transported out of Norway to a concentration camp.

He was to be killed.

The Gestapo was after my grandmother and grandfather, so they fled the country and ended up in Sweden. He ended up working as a doctor there and was the first doctor to meet with the survivors from the Bergen-belsen concentration camp.

So that is a different story from the same family. Two different women struggling with love and life during the Second World War.

She died in Norway in 1953 of cancer leaving behind 3 small children. My grandfather moved back to Germany after that with the smallest child and left the others with my grandmother's family.

It shows me that love conquers all. That was the most intense period of time in European history and through that war and misery, they found each other and found love even though they were representing common enemies at the time. So to me it is a love story."

Friday, 22 August 2014

Kids triathlon at Aquarama in Kristiansand

My wife is a keen runner and cyclist and registered our kids in the summer triathlon called ''barnetriathlon'' at Aquarama swimming and sports centre in Kristiansand. They love exercise and are quite competitive, so they were very keen to get started. I spoke to one of the organisers as per the Humans of Kristiansand project:

Man: I love days like today.
Me: What do you mean?

Man: There is a triathlon in town today for kids aged 3 to 10. It is amazing to see about 100 kids taking part in the competition. 

Parents exercising with their kids in an event like this is fantastic. Exercise and quality time with kids = a great day out. There should be more of it!

The organisers set up little tents for food and drinks and everything was well supervised and planned.

The triathlon consists of one lap of the pool of about 25 metres (side to side and not the full length of the pool) a bicycle ride of 100 metres and a run of 100 metres. 

My three boys were put into separate groups; Indy was in the 4-6 age group (he is 3) and Jet and Levi into the 6-9 age groups. (they are 7 and 8)

It was a nice sunny day and many kids and their parents turned out for the event. at a guess I would say that there were about 100 kids of different ages. 

Because there were so many kids, they were split up into different groups so they could begin their laps at different times.

Parents were eagerly cheering on their kids.

Even the City Train managed to sneak down the bicycle track!

My boy Indy came second last, but he had lots of fun anyway. It is not about the destination, but the journey...

Here is his mother giving him a helping hand as it was his second week without bicycle training wheels...

Great job guys!

It was a lot of fun and at the end, they received a certificate and a well deserved ice cream and drinks. Afterwards, they went to the Aquarama playground and enjoyed the swings.

It will be an annual event, so make sure to register your kids for it next year. You can find out more information from the Aquarama website.