Haugesund: Just Another Charming Norwegian Coastal Town

Day 111, Grand World Voyage

Monday, April 24, 2023; Haugesund, Norway.

Today started on a high point. At my morning follow-up medical appointment, the doctor said I can ditch the crutches! My knee has healed to the point that I can put my full weight on it. She also adjusted my brace so I can bend my knee to 90 degrees. I still have virtually no pain in my knee, although my ankle has gotten a bit red, swollen and sore. We will keep an eye on that.

My biggest challenge seems to be keeping my brace from sliding down my leg when I’m wearing my skinny stretch jeans. I think I’ve lost just enough muscle in my thigh that the Velcro straps are too long and can’t tighten enough. I remind myself that in just three weeks I have had a remarkable recovery. So just give it another week or so and I’ll be rid of the brace, too.

Haugesund is on the southwest coast between Stavenger and Bergen. It is known as the home to Viking kings, and outside of town is a national monument to the unification of the country in 872. Yes, that is not a typo. The year 872. Today was the first day a Holland America ship has docked at this port, so there was a ceremonial exchange of flags, but not until after a surprise Norwegian coast guard inspection drill, the captain said.

I think my sisters felt a little sorry that I was stuck on the ship yesterday in Kristiansand, where the walk to any transportation was beyond me. They offered to push me in the wheelchair so I could save my energy for walking in town.

Once again, the forecast was for rain later – based on our experience so far in dodging precipitation, I need to ignore the forecasts. Besides, it was cold and windy even with no rain. Several passengers described it as “bone-chilling.”

But to my delight right in front of the ship were a shuttle to the main part of town about a mile away, a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus and a small train (think Disney transport to the parking lots) that would circle the main district. Or you could walk the nearly one mile, which included crossing a high bridge. So, what did I do? I stayed on the ship.

I know, I know, it made no sense with so many options. But after making such progress on my knee, I didn’t want to stress my ankle. And there were great views right from the ship. I guess I didn’t have a strong urge to go ashore and wander around town. In hindsight, perhaps the wrong decision. But I rested up, kept my leg elevated, caught up on blogging and sketched. I still need to add ink and watercolor.

In early afternoon when Eloise and Elaine returned from roaming town, they urged me to use their shuttle ticket to go into town. There was a Bernina sewing machine shop with fabric right by the shuttle drop-off. That sounded interesting, although I’m no longer in the market for fabric. But I passed. I’m looking forward to exploring the very small town of Eidfjord tomorrow and the larger Bergen the next day.