The Blue Chair Blog

It's not just about the novel


Exploring Fredrikstad

The last time I was in Fredrikstad, which is about 55 miles south of Oslo and only 20 miles from Sweden, the weather was cold and blustery and the town was nearly deserted. On a warm day in July, the place bustles with sightseers and shoppers. The Old Town (Gamlebyen) is beautifully restored and if you take the time to walk the perimeter, you can see why it’s described as the best preserved fortress town in Scandinavia. All of its original defenses are still intact. Since I didn’t have a helicopter or a drone, I don’t have a picture that shows this, but you can take a look here and probably recognize it as a star fort or bastion fort —  similar to Fort Ticonderoga in the United States, for example. In the event you are geeky like me, you can read more about star forts here. Gamlebyen itself is more about charm than might, however. Now, we completely missed this, but when I researched this post I learned that Fredrikstad boasts Norway’s smallest museum, the Norwegian Humour Museum (scroll down). Are they deliberately trying to be ironic?