Aug. 3rd, 2011

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Becca stayed out late Thursday night, and was in no mood to wake up Friday morning.  Chris and I had breakfast together and we could see out the window that there was some sort of street fair getting set up.  We decided not to push Becca into joining us for the day, and I think that was a good call.  Today was going to be an adventure.

So we woke her up long enough to throw some croissants at her and ask her if she wanted to go.  She declined, but nommed the pastries.  We set off to explore the town taking Bjarni with us.

Have I mentioned Bjarni?  I don’t think so.  Becca bought him in one of our first ports, Oslo or Kristiansand as a gift for one of her friends.  But somehow, she or Chris decided it would be neat if Bjarni was well traveled and if a log could be kept of all the places Bjarni went.  So ever since, everywhere we go, Bjarni comes to and either gets posed for pictures in famous places or photobombs pictures of scenery.  That sort of thing.  So we took him with so that he could get photoed in Stavanger.

Stavanger was a larger town and was pretty nice.  We walked along the waterfront, through the Taste of Stavanger that was setting up.  Our journey took us to the local cathedral, where Bjarni got his picture taken and to a duck pond, where Bjarni posed with ducks.  There was an information center across from the church, and we got directions to the Farm: bus stop 44, take the #4 bus.

The thing I didn’t ask was when to get off of the bus.  We talked to the bus driver, and he seemed to know where we were going, but his English wasn’t great.  He said he’d let us know when it was our stop. 

The map we had was good for 2.5 km from the town center.  I followed our route until we left the map and then we were entirely in his hands.  An adventure, right?  We went through a single lane tunnel (it did have a traffic light) and off into the rural hills above the town.

He called us up to the front of bus and said we were almost there, but then seemed unsure where to drop us off.  Finally he decided, and seemed to drop us off, not at a real stop, but just by the side of the road.  He did indicate where the return bus stop was, which was a help.

Or maybe it wasn’t.  Because both Chris and I got the idea that the Farm was across the street and down a side road.  So we went that way.  There were farms, an experimental farm run by the university growing spelt and other grains, and a dairy farm.  The road we followed let to a trail head, and then to a rural road with access to the farms and other houses.  We went down that way for a while, getting nice views, when luckily we ran into a woman and her son, who we asked directions from.

She pointed us back to the crossroads where the bus had dropped us off.  So we went back.  There were two directions left to try, and so we tried the downhill way, toward the university.  The road seemed to go along a field with a standing stone on it, but it was fenced off with no signs.  We came to a bus stop with three or four college students there.  I asked again.  Two of them had no idea and the third though it was back the way we came and around the corner.

So, back to where the bus dropped us off and down the road in the forth and final direction.  By this point we were both pretty tired, the sky was spitting on us and there was no Iron Age Farm in sight.  A long block in that direction and we decided to give up.

I was devastated.  I had wanted to go here so bad.  I had been reading about it for months, posting to Facebook about it.  I changed my home computer’s wallpaper to a picture of the Farm.  But what else could we do?  We were lost.  None of the locals seemed to know where it was.  Giving up seeped the thing to do.

And then I had an idea.  The main listing in the guidebook did not have an address listed for the Farm, but I knew I had seen one somewhere.  So I looked through all of my paperwork and finally found it in an advertisement alongside the map that they’d given us at the tourist office.  It listed the address as Ullandhaug 75, and there, right across the street where we had been standing a minute ago, were Ullandhaug 69 & 67.  So we had to be close.

Chris said she’d give it one more try, but that I owed her.  That was fine.  We walked back across the street and downhill a ways and then came to a gate leading into a field.  You couldn’t really see the field because of the lay of the land, but we figured that this must be the place.  But still, there was no sign, no iron age, turf covered houses, no guides.  We let ourselves through the gate, kept going, with a bit of trepidation, wondering if we were just in someone’s yard.


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