After receiving yet more gifts and the last hugs, we boarded the ferry and waved goodbye to the aunties and cousins. It was sad to leave, but it also was the prettiest day yet with sunshine and no wind. The ferry ride from Sand to Stavanger was just two hours, and it was a good day to be on the water. In Stavanger we walked the short distance through the picturesque old town area to the train station.
The nearly empty train from Stavanger to Kristiansand took three hours and wound its way through some very scenic areas, sometimes following the coast and sometimes inland.
The many masts of the Tall Ships greeted us upon disembarking from the train in the Kristiansand station. The harbor was full and the party had been going on for three days. There was an outdoor stage with a band, food and souvenir kiosks, and a colorful and enthusiastic crowd. Each ship seemed to be hosting a party with the crew in full dress uniform. It was quite a festive scene.
The Tall Ships Regatta has been a bi-annual event, the ports competing for the honor and the tourist dollars that it brings in. This year there are a record 28 ships in our Class A category. Due to the popularity of the race, it has been set in the Mediterranean for next year. We located the Statsraad Limhkuhl, a repeat winner of the regatta, but it was too late to take a tour of the ship. The Kristiansand harbor seemed a perfect setting for the regatta.