Besides being Norway’s largest island, Karmøy is commonly referred to as the “Homeland of the Viking Kings – Norway’s Birthplace. We began our visit in Haugesund, now a shipping and fishing port, it has many historical connections and was once the stomping ground of Harald Fairhair, the first King of Norway, who lived from 850 to 932 AD and was reputed to have between 11 and 20 sons who couldn’t get along with anyone, not even each other.
Olav’s Church is at Avaldsnes, a beautiful setting and the historic site of Harald’s Royal Farm and burial mound.
Virgin Mary’s Needle stands on the north side of Olav’s Church. The Sagas warn that Doomsday will occur if ever the needle touches the church wall. It is rumored that the clergymen of Avaldsnes have snuck out at night and chiseled off pieces to save the world. Apparently the end is a mere 9.2 cm away.
Situated at the very southern tip of Karøy, Skudeneshavn is a traditional fishing settlement filled with whitewashed houses from the early 19th century. Old Shudeneshaven is considered one of the best preserved small towns in Norway.
Back On The Road
We are back on the road and headed for Stavanger which is just across Boknafjorden. On the map it looks close, but it isn’t. Getting there involves two ferries and two of the deepest tunnels I have ever been through. They recommend chewing gum to help your ears.
Originally a traditional market town, first herring, then canning and eventually oil have transformed Stavanger into Norway’s fourth largest city.
Gamie “Old” Stavanger
The houses along the terraced narrow cobblestone streets of this district were slated for demolition after World War II when local citizens stepped in and called for their preservation. Once the homes of sailors and tradesmen, Gamie Stavanger now has 156 lovingly restored whitewashed cottages.