Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Kragero, pearl of coastal towns

There is a constant buzz on the water which continues throughout the long, warm evenings. During June and July it hardly gets dark at all, and Norwegians do not venture inside if they can help it. Barbecues follow fishing in the early evening, and this is usually where you get to know your neighbours. Make sure you tell them what a beautiful spot this is; once you have shown your appreciation they will be friendly and helpful.

The town of Kragero itself is busy from early morning till late at night. Every holidaymaker seems to drop in daily for supplies, or simply to stroll along the streets and have cake and coffee in the famous traditional bakeries. One of them has been here since the turn of the century, and my uncle assured me the selection of cakes has not changed much since he came here first in 1947. Shopping is also a pleasure. Fresh fish, the best shellfish in the world and locally produced vegetables can be bought around the harbour. It is not as expensive as you might expect and the quality is second to none.

Island hopping by ferry and bicycle is a great alternative if you do not have your own boat. The largest of the islands is Jomfruland, which is also the furthest from the mainland. A magical oak forest, carpeted in flowers, is the center of a more varied, lusher and greener landscape. The island also has some very fine beaches. It is great for bird watching, with more than seventy species recorded. Another feature of Jomfruland are the tall white lighthouses, landmarks for people and ships living and travelling along this coastline. Sun in this part of Europe is no longer prohibitively expensive. With the rise of prices in Ireland, the cost of house rentals, food and transport now compares favourably. The price of eating and drinking in restaurants is still ridiculous, so don’t – just copy the Norwegians, buy simple food and eat it outside. Ryanair now flies from Stansted to what they call Oslo – which turns out to be 60 miles south of the capital. However it is only 40 miles from Kragero, so your own island in the sun is definitely within reach.

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