D/S Oster was built 1908 to serve as an all year passenger and freight ship for the small places along the Oster fjord. Earlier on some of the places at the end of the fjord were isolated during winter because of ice, but Oster was built strong enough to break the ice. Apart from a break between 1940 and 1956, first to serve The Royal Norwegian Navy, then to serve the Germans and then to be restoret, she served this route until 1964. By that time Oster was the only coal-powered steamer left along the Norwegian coast. After 1964 she was converted into a freight ship and served as this until she was bought back by enthusiasts in 1996 and restored to her original splendor by 2005. The only notable difference being that she now has a oil powered steam engine and some modern navigation gear.
My dad was one of the skippers of D/S Oster after she was restored, but I never got around to taking a trip when he was in command. So, this summer we’d decided that we were definitely taking a trip with Oster. The morning didn’t look very inviting though. This is what we saw when we got up in the morning.
But the fog soon cleared up, and we didn’t regret getting on board D/S Oster.
We’re heading through The Alver Stream. This part of the coast is never seen by the tourists on the large cruise ships, it’s just too narrow for them.
Solholmen (The Sunny Islet) can be rented for weddings, birthdays and other events. A great setting.
One of the pictures on board. The Captain Mostraum is not my dad, but one of the other captain Mostraum who’s served on Oster. I can remember my dad smoking a pipe when we were kids though, but he quit smoking soon after.
We got off the boat at Lygra. Lygra is the home of Lygra Heathland Center, one of the centers informing people about the heathland areas in Europe and preserving one of the anthropogenic heath areas left in Norway. Heathlands can be found from northern Portugal and all along the European coast to Norway, and of course on Great Britain and Ireland. Lygra is also the home of Norwegian Out-Wintered (wild) sheep, and you see them all over the place. They also make an excellent ingredient in the stew that is served at the center.
Some of the more colorful plants found at Lygra. The cottongrass is pretty, but not as useful as the wool from the wild sheep that we found flying around Lygra. We brought some home for Kristin’s aunt to use in one of her craft projects. The thistle is really pretty too, but I wouldn’t touch it.
The weather kept getting better all day. So as we’re heading south through Alverstraumen both the sea and sky is blue. The dog on Hundeskjæret (Dog Islet) has no historical significance, but is a cute addition to a namesake islet.
Then we got south to Osterfjorden and turned towards The Nordhordland Bridge.
And we’re back in Bergen. As we head into the inner harbour we meet Seabourn Pride heading out with all her tourists.
It was a fun day. We’re definitely taking more trips with Oster.
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