Friday, June 27, 2008

Stavanger: 2008 European Capital of Culture

The first week I moved to Stavanger, the wine festival was well underway. More than 10 fine dining restaurants participated and offered selected wines alongside mouthwatering dishes using the finest ingredients.

I saw myself wandering around Stavanger town looking at old buildings and visiting old shops after working hours and during weekends in my next few weeks.

Then came the highly profiled and oldest festival in Stavanger - Mai Jazz - which had been up and running for 20 years! For one week in May, several jazz concerts were held at various locations, from cathedrals to theater spaces, by local and international jazz musicians. I had the pleasure of witnessing a wonderful performance at St. Petri kirke by a local musician named Randi Tytingvåg. Her voice was powerful yet sweet & personal, "brilliant from start to end", according to a local newspaper. Meanwhile, a night with Hovedøen Social Club at Hall Toll was exciting & intriguing - it's salsa with Norwegian lyrics!

This year, Stavanger also boasts of culinary festivals; Bocuse d’Or Europe which features competing chefs armed with their culinary creations, and Gladmat (Food Festival) which brings together local produce, farmers, food enthusiasts, and cooks. These events certainly promise gastronomic delights.

And of course, there is an endless list of art exhibitions, concerts, and cultural performances in and around Stavanger. Every corner holds a surprise, every weekend is a delight. Fun-filled family day, Saturday afternoon concert in the park hosted by StatoilHydro, memories-filled family campers exhibition, local brass band competition, fanstastic dance performance by Inbal Pinto, wildlife photo exhibition by Steve Bloom...the list goes on and on.

From the wooden white houses in the old part of town to the vibrant cultural scene, from the fish market to the funky 23 iron figures scattered across town, from the accessible fjords to the lively nightlife, from the bustling port to the serene parks, it's a wonderful time to be in Stavanger. No stormy weather or strong wind can shatter the spirits of the international and local people living in Stavanger.


karmi said...

you are so lucky to have such a rich cultural life going around you. let me live vicariously...i want to read more on the goings-on there in your part of the globe. chao!

Kjetil said...

Hi love!

Nice post there!