Almost entirely destroyed by World War II, the coastal town of Kristiansund N is spread over three islands and has been rebuilt into a modern city. Today it's the main service base for oil activities on the mid-Norwegian continental shelf. The Draugen and Åsgåd oil fields lie off its coast. With a population of 17,000 citizens, Kristiansund makes a good stopover for those who have made it all the way to the fjord country's northern outposts. The city itself looks dull and modern, although the setting is panoramic. Its harbor is one of the finest along the western coast of Norway. Since the 18th century, Kristiansund is often written with an «N,» so visitors won't confuse it with the largest city along the southern coast of Norway -- Kristiansand S. In its early days, cod fishing was the mainstay of its industry. A drying process took place on shore, producing klippfish or dried cod, which kept many a homeowner in food for the winter.