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Day 18. Rest and relaxation in the old town in Fredrikstad.

Distance 0. Lots of walking though!

The following morning we awoke and made breakfast. An English family were making toast (something we had not eaten in more than two weeks) and the smell of toast wafting through the air was wonderful.

We packed up rather slowly and made our way aimlessly to the Tourist information centre based in the old fort. Looking at maps we noticed that there seemed to be a ferry from Fredriksstad to Strömstad in Sweden (also on the NSCR) and it seemed like a great idea to take boat there and cycle back to finish the Norwegian part of the route.

We discovered that the boat had already left that day, and that on Wednesday the boat went somewhere else so the first time we could go would be Thursday. This meant there was no chance of cycling up to Oslo, which meant we would have to take the train on the Friday. So what to do other than be proper tourists for a change and mooch around looking at stuff?

Fredrikstad old town was an army fort until around 2000. Since then it had been slowly transforming itself into a new age arts and restaurant tourist hot spot. The site is quite small on the other side of the river to the new town we had cycled past, and packed with historic buildings. Mainly wood but quite a few military buildings built of stone and brick.Well worth a couple of lazy days.

We decided to treat ourselves and book into the Gamlebyen Pensjonat (now no longer there although the building still is) in the old army prison for a couple of nights. The idea was to do the last leg of the route before taking the train to Oslo on the Friday.

The hostel is a pretty cool place to stay, not too expensive when compared to a 'proper' hotel like the one we stayed in in Risør. As with the place we stayed in in Bergen we had a two persons room with a view of the town and our bikes. The room was close to showers and there was also a washing machine we could use.

On the ground floor there is a lounge and shared kitchen area where we cooked and ate. The only downside was that some of our food disappeared from the kitchen one night, which was a bit annoying. However I hope the person who took the food really needed it and that when they can they help someone else out they do. We hit the store the following morning and re-stocked. It didn't happen again.

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