The beauty of southern Norway – my trip to Kristiansand and Risør

We started our summer holiday in Kristiansand, which is the largest city in Southern Norway and a popular summer destination. The hotel we stayed in was close to the sea, and the view from our room was magnificent.


We arrived in the early evening, the sun was still high and the weather warm and pleasant. A stroll beside the sea relieved the stiffness in the legs after a long drive. Some boat owners were resting on their boats, having a couple of beer and enjoying the most beautiful season in Norway. 


On our way back to the hotel, the colourful building with a rather unusual shape caught my attention. There were paintings on both sides, the boy sitting on a blanket reminded me of one of the stories in One Thousand and One Nights – Magic/Flying carpet.


I certainly lacked the sense of creativity necessary to figure out the connection between the boy on the carpet and the girl featured in an upside-down position. Pay attention to her thick gorgeous hair and contagious smile. Lovely!


The alarm woke me up at 07.00 next morning, I sneaked out of the room while the rest of the family were still in their dreams. The sun was already high and the sky clear-blue. Perfect conditions for a morning jog beside the sea. Gorgeous!




Taking a trip to the The Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park is considered a “must” when visiting Kristiansand. Being the most frequently visited attraction in Norway, it covers an area of 60 hectares (150 acres). The park offers various attractions, and my favourite has always been Cardamom Town which is a theme park made after one of the most popular Norwegian children´s book “When the robbers came to Cardamon Town” by the beloved children´s author Thorbjørn Egner. The theme park was made to resemble the “Cardamon Town” illustrated in the book. There´re 33 wooden houses in the park, 8 of them are available for rent. When wandering around the Cardamon town, you´re embraced by nostalgia and perhaps some good memories from the childhood.


The colourful small houses and the magical atmosphere in Cardamon Town – it´s like a fairy tale.


In this tower house lives a wise man named Tobias, one of the main characters in the book. I didn’t find him in his home but…


To my huge surprise, I found the wise man Tobias in the Barber shop, did he intend to have his symbolic beard shaved? Noticing my reluctance to enter the shop, they gave me a friendly smile and moved into an elegant pose. Gosh! How handsome the barber is! I told him exactly what I had in mind (that he looked handsome). “Do you think so?” he responded with that charming smile . Honesty goes a long way 🙂 During the summer actors walk around the area of Cardamon Town and pretend to be the main characters in the book.


One of the three robbers in the book – Jonathan.


The bakery was open to the public and the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns, raisin buns and pastries was irresistible. I had a raisin bun for lunch.


Another main character – Auntie Sofia was walking home.



The tram was operated by an actor representing the character of the conductor Syversen. This trip was particularly popular among children. You may even get a biscuit from the friendly conductor before departure.


The prominent writer behind this charming story – Thorbjørn Egner. He visited the park while it was under construction, but sadly passed away before it was completed. The treasure he left will always be cherished.


A “secret garden” in a corner of the park, that mysterious shadow wasn’t a ghost but me.



Watching the play “Hakkebakkeskogen” (based on the famous book by Thorbjørn Egner) in the woods was an extraordinary experience.

On our way back to Oslo, we stopped at Risør, a small town well-known for its white houses and beautiful coastline. I moved to Risør and lived there for a year when I was 18.  It was good to come back.


Walking down the main street, we reached the destination. The summer in Norway is short and is to be celebrated. August brings, already, a hint of autumn.



The houses in Risør were all painted white. What a magic.

At the end, I hope you enjoyed the journey 🙂 



Author: Isabelle

Content writer / editor & Language advisor

5 thoughts on “The beauty of southern Norway – my trip to Kristiansand and Risør”

  1. Thanks for fantastic pictures! Southern Norway is so beautiful! God I wanna visit there! :))
    I love the way people have done to houses and roads, etc with different colors. But most of all it’s the nature itself that touches my heart – light, trees, sky – they’re just perfect!
    BTW can I ask what you took pictures with?


    1. Thank you Ethan! I think the summer is the most beautiful season in Norway. It’s rather short and normally lasts just a couple of months, in June and July. If you like going skiing or other types of winter sport, I’m pretty sure that you’ll love the Norwegian winter as well.

      Responding to your question, now listen carefully, I’m about to reveal the secret behind those stunning pictures.
      The fantastic device I used to take the pictures was……
      My IPhone 6! Nothing fancy actually. Are you surprised or disappointed?:)

      I’m preparing to write my next post. I’m not sure whether you’ve got similar thoughts or experiences. We all have got some people who are important in our lives. When I think about a particular friend, the memories of this person is often connected with some particular places – it could be a cafe, a book shop or a library. Some places where we’ve spent good time together.
      I’m not entirely sure how my next post will look like, it’s just an idea:)

      Have a lovely day, or perhaps evening (I suppose)!


      1. Whhaaaaaat? Seriously they all are taken with your iPhone6? Whoaaaaa!
        I have no idea how you did it but you did it VERY GOOD!! It’s incredible! 🙂
        I also bring my iPhone and a SONY point-and-shoot for my travel and they’re quite good enough.
        As for your next posting, I’ll say you write whatever you see fit! It’s also quite fun to read about something unfamiliar with me. So no worries. I’ll be expecting your new post!


  2. Hi Isabelle,

    What a beautiful place to live in Norway! Haven’t been to Norway yet but those pics you took there really can transfer to this place and feel the atmosphere of this country.

    I suppose you really know the content of this book so you could move yourself to scenes from the book and feel exactly the whole flow:-) Amazing. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous trip and this is really a good idea to play roles from book’s characters for visitors, I wish I could see that in real.

    I admire your devotion to running even you are on holiday you keep your stage. In the contrary, when I’m on holiday I get a bit lazy doing nothing…

    good luck


    1. It’s a pleasure to share my experiences with you, Agnes 😊 Norway is a well preserved country with beautiful nature, and personally, I like the summer season best, comfortable, never too hot. Perfect for a boat trip through the fjords or a beach picnic.

      Yes the book “When the robbers came to cardamom town” is a well-known book in Norway, I suppose it’s been a favourite among children for generations. Thorbjørn Egner is a beloved writer.

      I love running by the sea when I’m on holiday, a marvellous feeling 😊

      Now I’ll continue with my next blog post which is about the Crete trip.

      Have a good Sunday Agnes!


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