I don’t know why I suddenly took a notion to go chasing the tall ships this year – I have been before, but not for 5 years, and only to sensible nearby places like Hartlepool and Greenock and Lerwick and, well, Kristiansand – but I was going to Norway most years at that point.
Kristiansand seems to have been the first time – it was the end of a trip that had taken me from Copenhagen to Helsingør (Elsinore) to Gothenburg to Oslo, which had been a good adventure, and I the tall ships were good fun too, with lots of stalls.
This was where I met my two friends – Sørlandet in the Sørlandet (the southern region of Norway), and Shtandart keeping everyone entertained with a battle.
The last day I was there was the parade of sail – with a wonderful vantage point on an (almost) island hill where half the world seemed to be.
A week later I was in Hartlepool, where I seem to have only taken picture of Alexander von Humboldt! (And a Norwegian coastguard ship, and Trincomalee…)
The next year the tall ships were in Scotland twice, and I was off to Lerwick on a very busy overnight ferry – it was a good excuse to get to Shetland, where I’d never been.
While I was there I went up to Unst, and saw various northernmost things. The famous decorated bus stop had been done up for the Tall Ships as well – I was pleased to see Patrick O’Brian represented!
I didn’t get to see the parade of sail this time – it was delayed by bad weather, and I had to leave on Sunday night (the ferry didn’t seem to mind the weather so much). It did mean that I got maybe the best possible view of the ships still at the quayside.