A trip back to Norway has interrupted progress in the workshop but, that’s no bad thing – uninterrupted thinking time is a gift. If I was blindfolded, I would know that I was back in Halden, especially if (as we did) I arrived on a sunny Sunday afternoon, because the sound of V8’s and V-twins is all you can hear.
You may recall that Halden is a bit of a honey-pot for American car and motorcycle enthusiasts. This Crown Victoria outside the hotel took my eye, as did the Pontiac Bonneville parked beside it – note the Tesla charging leads on the wall.
The boot of the Bonneville could have easily accommodated 6 for dinner. We had a day to kill before the ship we’d come to load arrived so I took myself off to Fredrikstad – reportedly Northern Europe’s best preserved fortified town and only a few klicks north-west of the fix.
It didn’t disappoint, though the absence of life should have given me a clue about how successful my trip was going to be. After I’d stumped up for some not inexpensive parking, I found everything of interest closed until the following Saturday. The local museum which boasts an art gallery (though oddly, nothing on the web described its contents) was closed. The reviews I read before setting out, concentrated solely on the museum’s café. That’s slightly suspicious.
Even the largest model railway set in Scandinavia, boasting 30 trains all running at the same time was closed – very disappointing.
But the old town of Fredrikstad is certainly worth a visit if you find yourself nearby. On the way back, I stopped at Hunn.
A short walk down a forest path…
… took me to where there were 9 Iron Age stone circles. They made an impressive sight climbing up the ridge towards the trees, though I did wonder what the landscape must have been like 10,000 years ago.
Ants are quite difficult to photograph (it’s on the leaf – you can just see its shadow) because they’re generally rather busy darting to and fro. These were about three times the size of the ants that plague my kitchen for a day or two around August.
I noticed them scurrying about only when I stopped to look at a small flower I hadn’t seen before. Then, preoccupied with the day’s adventure, I missed the turn to Halden and shot across the Oslo fjord into Sweden – sans ID. As I went across the bridge, I happened to look down and saw the Nexans Skagerrak making its way to the factory – our ship was on time – excellent. The next exercise was to get back into Norway without being noticed, so I turned left and took a minor road across another bridge and of course was selected for a spot check by the big hats at the border. ‘Pass, vær så snill’. ‘Ah, slightly tricky that one…..’ Fortunately, they soon realised that I was a thoroughly decent fellow in a bit of a muddle and I got away with a ticking-off.
I keep doing daft things like that. I used to be so organised!