The most idyllic place when the sun is shining is Busterudpark at Busterudgaten in the center of town. This century-old park serves as a reminder of how life used to be in this town and is complete with a bandstand from 1879. In the summer, a military band often holds concerts here. The sculptor, Dyre Vaa, erected a monument in the park in 1939 to honor F. A. Reissiger and Oscar Borg for their efforts to promote music in Halden. The park is hardly memorable or filled with attractions, but we like to come here with the makings of a picnic just like the townspeople did back in the 19th century.

Munch's Little Summer Cottage

In one lazy afternoon, you can explore the little coastal town of Åsgårdstrand, located just outside the doorway of its larger neighbor, Horten. The town achieved fame in the 17th century when shipping and sailing companies were based here. In time, it was discovered by artists, one of whom was Edvard Munch, Scandinavia's most famous painter, who found inspiration along the coast for some of his best-known works.

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Today you can still visit Lykkehuset (Munch's Little House), at Edvard Munch Gate 25 (tel. 33-08-53-72). Once a summer house and studio where Munch spent seven seasons, it's been turned into a museum of Munch memorabilia. It was here that he painted his masterful Girls on the Bridge, Dance of Life, and Melancholy. When Munch died in 1944, the house remained as it was -- basically a primitive fisherman's cabin that the artist had purchased in 1897. Called "the handsomest man in Norway" at the time, the artist is said to have taken advantage of his good looks to romance the local girls during his summer sojourns here.

The house is open Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 6pm from June to August, and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 7pm from September to May. Admission is NOK50 ($10/£5). Little Åsgårdstrand lies 10km (6 1/4 miles) south of Horten. Horten itself lies 35km (22 miles) south of Oslo's "bedroom community" of Drammen, which is 40km (25 miles) southwest of Oslo. Take E18 south from Oslo via Drammen.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.