Friday, 11 April 2014

Farsund Southern Norway

Adam from Visit Southern Norway visited Farsund to meet the locals....

I travelled to Farsund in Southern Norway and was blown away by two things.

The first was Lyngdalsfjord that had a powerful mist covering the waters tip. Then came a boat cutting through the mist in a breathtaking moment. That was just as I said. A 'moment'. Two minutes after I took that picture, that moment was gone...........

A few hours later, I ventured towards Loshavn.
This is a little harbour that is as ancient as the hills that surround it.

Loshavn basically means small or to the other end of the spectrum lice! Yes Lice, but it also is said to mean small - ie a small harbour. History tells stories about the sailors that were here and its location but at the end of the day it is a lovey little waterside dock with stunning views.

I decided to drive there to see it for myself.

I stumbled upon two workers that had finished their days work. I said hello and crossed the little wooden bridge to the little island adjacent. There I took a couple of pictures of a defused anti boat mine on the rocks with a house in the background - on some sort of island.

I could not help but think of the people that live here permanently. What a lovely view.

Anyway, I ventured over to the two workers.

Me: Hi. I guess that big orange ball is an anti ship mine over there from World War 2. I guess it is also NOT DANGEROUS? Guys: We assume so. It is not ours!

After a brief introduction I got to know these two. A nice couple of lads who are "locals". The guy on the left was born and bred in the US (well, up until he was 4) and the other was from the UK

Me: Well we have quite a mix here. Brit, an American and me - an Aussie!
Guy on right: I have been here 10 years.  After I met my Norwegian wife we decided to come to Farsund where she is from. I do not miss home. I really love it here. What an amazing place to bring up a family. I will not be going back to England. I love to go fishing for sea trout. I do it all year.

A little while later, we walked past the old buildings that are Loshavn.

Norwegian (Guy on left): Did you know that Loshavn was paid for by the Brits?
Brit: No way. That cannot be true.
Me: It is true. The king of Norway (or whatever country owned Norway at that time) asked the then "marines" to pirate every British ship that crossed the waters here stealing everything they had.
Brit: I never knew that. I am moving back to the UK!!! I did not know that this place was built on STOLEN MONEY!"
Me: Easy tiger. If that is true, then every Aussie is a pirate.
Brit: Well, yes they are!

Adam: Of course he is joking. History is history. To quote him: He is never going to leave this little gem that is Farsund!

You can find more info by visiting the Farsund Website here.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

I moved to Kvinesdal and fell in love with the city

Interview with Adam Read from Visit Sørlandet and Utsikten Hotel Manager Åse Gjelsten Versland.

Notes from Adam:
I spent the evening at Utsikten Arts Centre (in Kvinesdal Southern Norway) for the Power for Pixels exhibition and spent a lot of time talking to Åse. She was very friendly and we have a good laugh together. I could not help but ask her for a little interview so that when people visit the Hotel, they already know a little bit about Åse before they meet her.

I came to Kvinesdal 25 years ago because I met my now husband in the mountains of Sirdal and he is from here. His dad went to the states in the 50s and came back in 1976 with his wife and 2 sons and they have been here ever since.

Kvinesdal is a very beautiful place.  You have everything here - mountains, the sea, rivers, waterfalls and it is beautiful both in the winter and in the summer. I have competed in cross country skiing a few years ago and there are many places to go to around here. All you have to do is put on your skis and off you go.

One thing I have noticed here is that the people of Kvinesdal always say yes - yes to new ideas. Actually Kvinesdal is known for 'getting things done'.
An example is when they built the new road which diverted traffic away from Kvinesdal. What did the local Government do, they invested millions into building Utsikten. Where else would people do that? Most would be too scared to risk spending the money on a project like that, but not here in Kvinesdal. 

Adam: Is there anything missing from Kvinesdal?

Well, when the kids get older there is no University here, so they need to leave to study. That is a bit of a shame. But Kristiansand and Stavanger is not far, so it is not a big problem.

What is the craziest thing that has happened here in Kvinesdal?

Well the concert we used to have here was amazing. I had to pinch my own arm to see if it was really happening. Famous artists from all over the world coming here to play music in the fields. That was special.

You know the saying 'You dont believe it before you see it but you dont see it before you believe it.' But there has been some changes here. We are no longer going to have that festival and the old E39 that used to go through the city, has been moved which diverts traffic away from the city.

Adam: It is a little bit like the movie Cars. You know when they built the highway that took all the traffic away from the town. It looks like the new E39 has not affected your business.

No it hasn't at all. In fact, sales overall at the stores in Kvinesdal actually increased after the road was built. We knew that the road was going to be built so we started a project with the stores to work together and make our town a successful one. Actually one of the car dealers increased his sales by 20%. We say that 10% is average, but 20% is fantastic. 

The new road actually gave us the excuse to work together you know because before, people did not find it necessary because the road was there and everyone passed through here anyway.

We celebrated the fact that the new road was built. One year after it was completed, we had a party! All the noise from the trucks and cars disappeared. We celebrated the silence and the new found success.

We are always looking at ways to improve Kvinesdal. We built the bridge and have a nice park. Next is the new and improved swimming hall.
You know we were going to have a spa and swimming centre here at Utsikten but then we heard that one was being built in Lyngdal, so we changed our plans. Lyngdal is not far anyway, so we work together with them to promote both regions.  People visiting the region don't think about where something is located, they just want to have a nice experience, so they could easily go to Badeland in Lyngdal and then stay here at the Hotel. So, we try to work with everyone.

Utisikten Hotel is 100km from Kristiansand in Southern Norway.
Utsikten Hotel, Arts Gallery, Golf Website -

 Adam @ Visit Southern Norway Dra på ferie til Kvinesdal

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Solli Farm (Solli Gård)

In a little town called Kvinlog lies Solli Farm. It is a beautiful farm that offers accommodation, hunting, fishing, conferences on 7000 acres of forest, waterfalls and natural beauty. It was built in 1600s but has recently been completely renovated to perfection.

When you arrive there, you instantly smile. The scenery is breath-taking. A river, waterfall, forest, beautifully renovated farm house, horse stables an outer barbeque section perfect for a meal with friends or a romantic evening with the mountains in the back ground.

Behind the main house lies a small building that looks like a small farm house. Once inside it is a completely difference experience. Like walking into a room where Vikings ate after returning from a mission. Deer heads on the walls, horns used as lighting on the ceilings, an open fire place and woollen rugs on the chairs next to a long table in the middle of the room. Anyone visiting this room would feel instantly comfortable and relaxed walking into this room. Truly special.

The main farm house has a professional kitchen, bar, dining room and a kind of cigar room (although there is no smoking in the house).

It is a perfect location for a company and their employees having a weekend away or even the family. Not to forget the fact that it is a perfect place for a party!

Upstairs are the four bedrooms which can sleep a total of 15 guests. One of the bedrooms is very cosy with each double bed in its own “wooden cave”. Not sure how else to describe it. The beds are kind of built into the walls offering privacy and a great experience.

The owners are very friendly people and Birgit is an exceptional host - full of energy and very welcoming. She is very proud of their farm.

In a 360 degree view you will see forest to the north, deer to the south, a waterfall to the east and mountains to the west. You couldn’t really ask for more.

All food served on the farm is homemade and they specialize in the preparation of wild game of all kinds. They bake their own bread on the farm and use local suppliers for authentic local food.

Contact details

4473 Kvinlog, Vest-Agder, Norway
Phone 38351375 eller mob: 41423076