Larvik, Norway

I was up early to watch as Braemar’s Maiden Call Mystery Cruise sailed into our first port. We picked up our pilot and, as the boat sailed away, I noticed the pilot board’s flag was Norwegian.  that was the only clue I got for our first mystery port — we were somewhere in Norway. We sailed along the coast past many small islands, some covered in grass and other appeared to be only large boulders. I wasn’t until we were fully docked that our Captain announced we were in Larvik, Norway.

Larvik is primarily a fishing town of about 40,000 residents — with many more during the summer months. On a good day, you can see Sweden across the bay. I decided to take a tour in the morning, just so that I would see some of the sites considered important in this area. On the tour, we drove through Stavern, a small town that hosts a music festival every summer and is home to many creative writers and artists.

Our first stop lead us to Minnehallen, a monument to Norwegian seamen who died during WWI and WWII. It is constructed from the local granite that is known for a high concentration of quartz that makes it look like it sparkles. Inside the monument, there are plaques listing all the names  remembered in this place.

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Our next stop was Fredriksværn. It started out as a major ship building facility around 1750. During WWII, Germany used this area as a POW camp for Russian prisoners and Norwegian dissidents.

Our final stop on the tour took us on a quick boat ride from Fredriksværn to a small island where there is a special look-out tower.

 

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