King Harald of Norway visited the two municipalities of Skiptvedt and Marker in Østfold County, in the southeast of the country on Tuesday. The King began his visit to Skiptvedt at the local kindergarten at the village of Lindormen. Here the king was welcomed by several hundred children as well as the local political leadership. King Harald got a short tour around the kindergarten before the children put on a special singing performance for the king.
Harald then continued to the centre of the municipality. The king received beautiful flowers on arrival and had the opportunity to see the municipality’s town hall and the local museum. Then the king watched a demonstration by a local group engaged in motor sports activities. King Harald also heard a short concert by the local corps and watch an excerpt from the celebrated summer play that the village sets up each year.
Following the cultural program, King Harald was served lunch, made exclusively from local products from one of Norway’s most important agricultural areas. After lunch, the visit continued to Marker municipality. On arrival, the king was welcomed by the local political leadership. The visit to Marker began at the village museum.
Lars Selbekk and Steinar Fundingsrud informed the King about the work being done to improve water quality in the area. Students at Marker School showed King Harald the result of a student project they have completed and inside the museum, he met students who studied samples from the watercourse.
King Harald heard a lecture and had a tour of the local steamboat, which in the past was absolutely essential for the development of the area, and canal system which today is a popular tourist attraction. The King then went to the local school where he took plenty of time to talk to many of the local students and see how they are looked after. The visit ended at the local museum, where the king was entertained to a song and dance performance.
The populations of both areas are quite small – in Marker there are around 3.400 people and in Skiptvedt there are 3.300 people. Marker`s biggest attractions are the fortresses at Basmo and Ørje. Basmo Fortress lies on an isolated mountain outcrop between lakes Rødenessjøen and Hemnessjøen in the north-western part of the municipality.