Morning of our second day in Oslo was cold and cloudy and the streets empty when, armed with our backpacks, we left our hotel to pick up our rental car. On this trip we wanted to spend a lot more time in the countryside and were to drive south from Oslo along the coastline to Stavanger and eventually Bergen. We were super excited as this was our first driving holiday in Europe and we couldn’t wait to be on the way.
We had pre-booked a rental car and picked it up from the airport (as there were a lot more options available from there) from a really friendly Avis staff member. She was a talkative one and gave us a lot of helpful advice on the route, the local regulations and a rough idea on the steep penalties & fines. Since this was our first time driving in Europe her pointers were really helpful and for the entire trip we kept a firm eye on the speed limit and our speedometer.
We drove predominantly on highway E18 and saw the gorgeous Norwegian countryside, the colorful houses, blue autumn skies with beautiful artwork of clouds, green fields extending far into the horizon, the narrow winding roads etc etc. The highway was a bit away from the villages but you could see them at a slight distance with building in many shades of white, yellow and red.
At some point in the drive, due to road repair-work, we had to take a slight detour and that route was particularly scenic. We passed through small villages with wooden houses and fields and the road for that entire drive was right next to the sea. We also passed by the beautiful commune of Holmestrand and were tempted to just break the journey and spend some time there.
Enroute we took a quick detour and stopped at the picturesque white town of Risor. Though a lot of the town was closed we loved the feel the place, the white houses, narrow lanes, the small lighthouse, small cafes and boats, anchors everywhere etc. I am sure it must be crowded and vibrant during the summer time but we loved the empty town and felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. We had a quick pizza lunch here and the only veg option was a pineapple pizza. Thankfully it turned out to be really yummy and good.
In Risor, I also saw my first gas station for boats here.
We reached Kristiansand by late evening and directly headed for our beautiful B&B called Villa Baneheia. The place was pretty spacious as we had the entire ground floor of this villa (the owner stays on the first floor) and it included a drawing room (with a smart Tv and Netflix) and a functioning kitchen. Our host was also quite funny. KJ asked her for a good location to see the setting sun. Our host mulled on it for a while and then with a puzzled look said “This is Norway. No sunset” 🙂
So we decided to just walk around and see the neighborhood and the seafront. Unfortunately it was a Saturday and everything around was closed. We still saw some beautiful wooden houses, an old fortress and the seafront. However the best part of Kristiansand was walking along the waterfront under the gorgeous pink skies.
We ended the day enjoying these beautiful colors in the sky and the cool breeze from the sea.