Saturday, June 30, 2012

Norway 2012

Wednesday 24th May


The Hurtigruten ships, apart from being very nicely appointed cruise ships, also do the job of taking people and cargo from port to port along the Norwegian coast. Sometimes the ships can visit up to 4 ports in one day, almost always it's at least two. Passengers get on for short trips up or down the coast, drive their cars on and off, have a meal in the cafeteria and if overnighting, catch some sleep in a vacant lounge seat in various places.

We were up and completed breakfast before getting off at Alesund. What a beautiful city. It is renowned for its art nouveau architecture.

We only had a short time to walk around Alesund because the ship had to leave for Geiranger Fjord, and we were booked on the excursion.

In Geiranger Fjord we got off onto a small boat and taken ashore. What a spectacular place. We were told by our excursion guide that the fine warm day was most unusual and we were very lucky. There was another cruise ship there as well.

There was a large campground with only a few caravans parked up. I looked at these places and thought: what a great spot... but winter !!

We had a look around a Visitors' Centre and then got back onto our bus and went up the hill to a lookout.

This photo, taken at full zoom, shows where those vans were parked. Great location.

Our bus then took us through some beautiful countryside to a ferry dock where it drove on. We were treated to an afternoon tea of coffee, cheese and biscuits as part of the excursion. Although I must say that the German tourists who got to the tables first didn't give much consideration to anyone behind them who might like something to eat as well.

Our bus took us through some more beautiful countryside back to Alesund where we drove up to a lookout to see our ship returning to meet us.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Norway 2012

MS Nordnorge

Our cabin, on Deck 5, was pretty comfortable. One bed folded up completely and the other folded into a lounge.

Both folded down into single beds.

The ensuite was good.

The Panorama Lounge was on Deck 7. It was a favourite spot. A lot of the passengers were quite elderly and would find a front seat, and then promptly go to sleep. I'm sure quite a few of them slept through the entire trip.

The Arcade on Deck 4 was very pleasant. Sit here and watch the world go by, wireless internet available. Beer.

The Cafeteria on Deck 4 was always open. It was adjacent to the Arcade, and sold beer.

Back up on Deck 7, the Observation Lounge, midships behind the Panorama Lounge, was a nice spot. Live entertainment, and you could buy beer.

The dining room was at the stern of the ship on Deck 4. Always plenty of good food, and beer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Norway 2012

Tuesday 22nd May
We left Voss by train this morning on a relatively short, but very scenic run to Bergen. A short taxi trip got us to our hotel, the Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret, a boutique hotel located on the waterfront area known as Bryggen.

Bergen is a very old city and is the biggest city on the west coast. We had a Bergen Card as part of our tour and used it for discounts into various places. We took the Floibanen funicular railway to the top of Mt Floyen.

Just outstanding views of this modern vibrant city.

This is a sistership of the one we will be on tomorrow

There was a restaurant at the top with a garden behind it. There was a very large troll in the garden.

Back down in the harbour area we went to the lookout on the top of the hotel.

This water taxi, piloted by a retired sea captain, took us to the Bergen aquarium.

We went for quite a long walk around town.

It was such a warm day, wherever there was a park, the locals were out sunbathing.
 These buildings are a couple of hundred years old and are now restaurants, shops etc.

Wednesday 23rd May
We boarded our Hurtigruten cruise ship, the Nordnorge and sailed out of Bergen

past some locals enjoying a beautiful day on their beautiful harbour. This was about 8:30 in the evening. Still full daylight.

Our Norwegian fjord cruise had begun.