This morning, we got the chance to explore Kristiansand and the surrounding area. After breakfast we went to meet the extended family (cousins, aunts & uncle) at their hotel in the city centre; they had flown in yesterday too.

Driving in to the city┬á – Norway’s 5th largest – was the most difficult bit of the whole week so far. From the map it looks quite simple: Long straight roads. The trouble is there are lots of cross-roads and I hadn’t a clue as to who was meant to give way to who. Neither, it seems, did the Norweigans. On the way back I decided to make things easy: I went round the outside of the city! At least that way there were traffic lights!

In the city itself we took a walk along the beach and in to the main square to look at the cathedral, tourist information, etc. It was overcast and while cool when the sun wasn’t out, it was still warm in the sunshine. I’ll be heading back in to the heatwave on the way home next week.

After a walk around the city centre Dad and I went back to the car – figured out how to pay for the parking in the underground car park we’d left the car in (80 NOK – ┬ú7.45 – for about 90 mins parking) and before returning to the car park for lunch we went to the supermarket to stock up.

I don’t particularly like shops but there is something quite enjoyable about going in to a foreign supermarket and looking around at what’s available. Out of curiosity we also looked at the alcohol – it wasn’t necessarily as excessive as we’d expected: Prices in the supermarket were comparable to the price at home. (In bars and restaurants, I think it’s a very different story).

After lunch we headed to the beach. We drove down to Romsvika and, leaving Dad in a chair there, walked to the next beach along at Hellevika. When I say walked along, this meant along a footpath which quickly became following a set of painted dots, over the top of rocks, leading down to the bay.

Keep in mind that we are 320 miles plus a 2 hour fast ferry journey North from where I went swimming in the Baltic. The sea up here is quite a bit colder – but then we are probably about level with Aberdeen up her, so it’s not going to be warm!

Dinner this evening was made with the chicken I bought in Germany yesterday, and was followed by watching a film in the cinema room in the basement. (Yes, the house we’re in has a cinema room…Took a while to get it working, but we got there!)

Tomorrow, the big day – the whole reason I’ve driven all this way in the first place – my cousin’s wedding. The church it’ll be in has a listing and reviews on Trip Advisor…Not quite sure what to make of that!

It’s getting late – 01:24 over here (an hour ahead of the UK) so I’m off to bed.

Got natt.