Stavanger Old Town in southern Norway
Did you know Norway Is it a delicious destination?
That is what is told of Stavanger. This Norwegian city, hidden in the south of the country, is not only famous for its oil wells; In recent years Stavanger has positioned itself as a gastronomic paradise.
Fame earned by the good work of its prestigious Gladmat culinary festival, a classic that has been celebrated since 1999 and that this year repeats from July 22 to 25.
It is no accident that it is celebrated in Stavanger. This Norwegian capital boasts not only for having excellent seafood, producing 80 percent of the tomatoes consumed in Norway, or exporting excellent cucumbers and potatoes !, which even have their own festival.
Vagen port in Stavanger in southern Norway
Stavanger it is also the seat of Norwegian Gastronomic Institute, an important quarry where great chefs have been trained. The prestigious French chef Paul Bocuse warned years ago: "the kitchen must look to Norway"I think it is worth paying attention.
The fault of this gastronomic boom was oil. In the 70s, when they opened the first oil wells that have made the city famous today, many entrepreneurs of medium high purchasing power arrived, who demanded a good kitchen.
Soon they began to open new, quality restaurants, and little by little the fame of Stavanger how gastronomic destination It grew and it grew.
And that already expired image of Stavanger how canning capital, dedicated largely to the fishing and preserving of herring, an industry that lived years of bonanza between 1890 and 1960.
Port of Stavanger @Photo: Tourism Norway
The fate of Stavanger It changed when in 1969 oil exploration began.
Those who want to taste Stavanger and check in person the reasons for this good culinary fame, have it easy. Most of the trendy restaurants are concentrated around the Vagen port, installed many of them in old restored maritime warehouses.
In addition, at this time, when the darkness flees and the light shines more than twenty hours a day, they take tables and chairs to the street where people chat, drink and enjoy until three in the morning, at which time the bars stop serve alcohol, by law (although they close an hour later).
What to see in Stavanger
Ah! And a curiosity. Do not be surprised if you have dinner contemplating one of the largest cruise ships in the world. Stavanger It is a classic stopover on passenger ships that cross the northern seas.
Stavanger Cathedral in southern Norway
The port is also a good starting point to start a beautiful tour old City, the call Gamle Stavanger, where you can stroll through the largest and best preserved set of wooden houses in northern Europe.
All of them were old fishermen's houses, originally from the 18th and 19th centuries, whose surfaces do not exceed 80 square meters.
It looks like a model, both for the careful appearance and for the dimensions. All the houses are the same, impeccable, gleaming, always with the appearance of being freshly painted.
Bøker-Børst bookshop in Stavanger @Photo: Norwegian Tourism
Moreover, surely during the walk you find some owner reviewing the painting of the doors, or fixing the facade so that it looks untouched after the harsh winter. All of them are homes, inhabited by families and the sensation when walking between these streets is of absolute tranquility.
The white of this area contrasts with the color of the nearby Ovre Holmegate Street, on the other side of the port, where each facade has a different color and where there is always life.
In this more commercial area of the city, houses house alternative clothing stores or charming cafes such as the "Boker & Borst"(books and alcohol), quiet establishment where you can read quietly, buy books and enjoy a beer.
Salmon in Stavanger gastronomy in Norway
Don't leave Stavanger without seeing another one of his treasures: Cathedral.
It is one of the best preserved medieval churches in Norway. It was built in 1125 by order of the king Sigurd Jorsalfare, known as The Crusader.
And if you want to delve deeper into Norwegian culture, be sure to visit the rogaland museum, where the works of the great local painters are exhibited.
How to get to Stavanger
If you dare, from Barcelona you havedirect flights from Vueling to Stavanger at prices that are worth it, and from Madrid, via the Catalan capital.
Specifically, Vueling flies to Stavanger from Barcelona on Mondays and Thursdays.
* This is the first collaboration in Travel Guides of Nani Sands, great travel journalist and, in addition, friend, whom I welcome, and who writes daily in his The inveterate traveler.