Imagine sitting there, in the middle of Arendal town, all summer long. Finding a space when the sun just starts heating the benches in Pollen. Eating fresh rolls and cheese for breakfast while watching the leaves grow large and green on the trees, and the tents come up from the largest boat event of the coast - Sørlandet Boat Show - at the end of May. Nod at some stranger on the neighbouring bench and enjoy these first real summer days where you can walk around without a jacket from the early morning.
Perhaps go for a walk, past a couple of benches, and sit down again with some delicious ice cream while watching more and more people finding their way to a short rest by the water. This year's boats are taken away and are being replaced by a number of small and large boats that stops by for a short or longer stay in the harbour. Maybe they're only showing off, maybe they are on shore just to buy some fish cakes, or maybe they are off to work.
The stalls arrive next to Pollen, and International Market offers lunch from all corners of the world to those who are tempted by exciting smells and smiling hosts and hostesses. After tasting food from Africa and Mexico and some from Vietnam as well, you might feel a little thursty. So you may take a walk on Tyholmen, find a small table in the afternoon sun, and order something cold and delicious. Close your eyes, feel the fresh sea air and listen to the warm atmosphere that's practically radiating from people, houses and the warm asphalt.
The open your eyes and study the peaceful faces of tourists back from their boat trip around the river. Just as they disappear in groups into shops, restaurants and back to hotel rooms, you might hear music fromthe floating stage in Pollen. A pleasant and everyday thing to enjoy, or just to have in the background while greeting friends and planning the evening. The sun's been up all day, and it's time to find some shadow.
Dinner can be savoured with a view to the heart of Arendal, both indoor and outdoor. And while taking small bites of the dessert, drawing your breath, you're getting ready for a night out of the ordinary. Jazz and blues fills the town when July closes to and end, and the concerts are many and great at Canal Street. Bring friends to the many concerts, and feel how the heart of town truly pumps blood into all corners.
And if you're there when the sailors come to town in August, you can safely state that you know Arendal, you understand Pollen. Then get up from your chair late at night, and walk home happy. The autumn can come after a while, summer is with you. Just lean back, draw your breath, and smile the good smile. There's some Pollen in all of us.