We normally drive to the south of Europe, and had no idea what to expect when going north. They say traffic near Hamburg can be a disaster, so we decided to take our time: we had booked a ferry from Hirtshals to Kristiansand on Monday morning, and a hotel in Hirtshals for the night before, and already left around noon on Saturday so that we’d have a day and a half to get there. It turned out this was plenty: on Saturday we had crossed the whole of north Germany, slept in a hotel close to the border with Denmark, and on Sunday we already arrived in Hirtshals around 14:00.
In Hirtshals on a Sunday there’s not much to do, but by the sea there’s a nice fish restaurant where you can sit outside (the weather was great). We spent the rest of the day reading and making plans for our first days in Norway.
The ferry trip was comfortable. We had the ‘slow’ ferry, which is quite big. On the return trip we had a smaller, quicker ferry, but found this less comfortable: less places to sit and less things to do. As it’s not that much quicker, we prefer the ‘slow’ one.
Upon arrival, we drove to Feda, we had booked two nights in a holiday home near the E39. As this is not a very long drive from Kristiansand, we arrived in the afternoon and after shopping for groceries went for a short walk in the area. The house is in a quiet area, there’s a dog kennel and there’s a hostel, but it looked like at that time there were no guests in the hostel. So during the day there would be people working at the kennel, but at night it was completely quiet and dark, very different from the urban area back home where we live.