Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weekend in Mandal

This was our third roadtrip since arriving in Norway, Sirdal/Hovden and Helgoysund/Rylfylke being the first and second long jaunt on the road. This trip took place during the second half of the kids' winterferie or winter break. They had a week off school, we decided to make a short trip away from home to spend a few days south of Stavanger.

Our original destination was Kristiansand, supposedly 3.5hrs by road on the E39 (main highway connecting the two cities) but we decided to take the North Sea route along the coast instead which took longer than planned. After Eigersund, we decided to continue on Route 44 through some fjords and hilly terrain which lengthen the journey by another couple of hours. The scenic roadside view was worth the hours though.

By the time we reached our base at Sjosanden Ferriecenter, Mandal around 1500hrs, we were still another 50km to Kristiansand.

One good thing about being at a feriecenter during low season (beach and coastal areas normally have their low season outside of summer; hill countries the opposite) is that there's nobody else around. Though you are left with bare necessities ie. restaurants are closed, skeleton crew on the grounds, extra quiet environment; we practically had the place to ourselves. This of course was perfect for us.

The children enjoyed running around playing snowfights and making snow angels. Though they'd also have the same fun high up in the mountains of Sirdal but it'd be more crowded with almost everyone in Norway skiing at this time of year in Sirdal. We had a small hill nearby for us to trek up and down during our stay and enough snow to throw around.

The children loved the place so much that they made us promised to stay there again on our next long break. They of course say this everytime we stayed at cabin ... perhaps it's just the holiday that they like rather than the place itself. They did enjoy the snow here more than they did the September rain in Helgoysund or the similar wet days up in Sirdal back in July.

Next long break is Easter in March and later summer holidays when school will be closed for the duration of the summer. We've booked ourselves a week's stay at a lighthouse in Lista for Easter, a week in a small village Oldervik near Tromso in May and still hunting around for the perfect summer hide away ... possibly someplace in the woods by the water.

  The glow from Kristiansand, 50km away from Mandal where we were based.
The small hill near our cabin, popular with walkers in the neighbourhood.

View from the hill towards Lindesness, another scenic area.

The siblings caught a moment to stay still for a picture.

The cabins, the entire ferriecenter was empty except for our family, the proprietor and a couple of business travellers.

There's more snow here than in Stavanger which was rather unexpected ... the kids however loved it.
  Aisya making friends with a cat near Sirevag on our way back to Stavanger.

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