No one in their right mind can deny the majesty of Norway’s biological beauty, but I just want to highlight the city of Stavanger for a hot second because not only was it en pointe naturally, but the manmade influence also really struck me, from kooky cafes and community festivities, to charming alley ways and quirky street art.

The café culture holds strong in this region. There are so many eclectic coffee shops and restaurants featuring delightful goodies and offbeat décor.

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But it’s not just the cafés.  One day we rolled into port and there was a free-climbing competition held over the (freezing) water, with crowds gathered around enjoying the festivities. It just feels warm and welcoming, despite being the 3rd largest city in the country.

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Then you have the gorgeous stark white homes of the locals lined along cobblestone alleyways that wind carelessly through the attractive neighborhoods, yet once you reach the restaurant hub, the buildings vibrantly transform.

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And now for a sample of the street art:

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As for the natural beauty, it’s in a fjord…need I say more?! Each year, nearby Pulpit Rock (which I didn’t have time to hike to) draws hundreds of thousands of visitors for it’s unique shape and breathtaking views nearly 2,000 feet above the fjord. I managed to join a boat ride to view the rock from below and that was pretty nifty but I’ve seen the photos from the top, and I definitely would have preferred that!

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Clearly I missed something…

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We were very fortunate to stop along the fjord at Bakernes Paradis (Bakers’ Paradise) an old trading post, turned café and inn.  The small retreat is stunning, with breathtaking vistas and lush immediate surroundings- I couldn’t stop clicking!  And BONUS- the waffles were WONDERFUL!

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We met a couple animal friends and enjoyed a few more sights along the way!

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