14 September 2016

Back from Holiday

This will be a long post, so grab a cup of tea (or other drink of choice)!

If you followed me on Instagram (@suewilduk) I have been posting a few pics of my holiday cruise to the Norwegian fjords last week.  David and I booked this a couple of months ago on the same ship, Arcadia, that we went on last year for our mini cruise. It's convenient that it sails from Southampton, just an hour's drive from home and the Ocean Terminal is very efficient in its organisation, which saves going to an airport and the hassles involved there.

Our outgoing sailing in the North Sea was really warm, sunny and calm, in contrast to our first stop in Bergen, which was really wet and miserable, which you can see in the photos below.

Our next stop was Olden, a small village at the head of a fjord surrounded by mountains with glaciers. Our ship was joined by another smaller ship.  We were in awe at how vast the fjords are and how big the mountains are too. Seeing some vehicles on a road at the bottom of a mountain they looked just like micro machines!  

We went on a boat trip on the lake formed by melted glaciers, which still atop the mountains. The lake is a jade green formed by the sediment picked up by the glaciers as they melted. The water so flat that the ripples made by the boat as seen in the middle pic in the bottom row. We arrived during the early morning so could not appreciate how big the fjords are until sailing out in the evening when tributaries of the fjord joined on our sailing out towards the sea.

Our next stop was in Flam, where there is a scenic railway that climbs high into the mountains and joins with the main line that runs between Bergen and Oslo.  There are groups of tourists from different countries that descend on this little town in just to go on this railway and the scenery is spectacular, which made a stop at a waterfall to be entertained by a singer singing a Nordic song, which seemed a bit odd. Having got to the end of the line at Myrdal we saw a freight train on the main line.  There was just about 10 minutes at the station before doing the return journey back to Flam.

The town itself had a lot of touristy shops which were really busy, given that there were two cruise ships visiting and several coaches of people. There was also a small beach by the fjord and as the weather was lovely, warm and sunny it was good to sit and relax for a while.

Boarding the ship in the late afternoon it was time to go onto our last stop, Stavanger. Again we could see the marvellous views as we sailed towards the larger fjord, Sognefjord, which was massive. There are fantastic views from the Crow's Nest bar where we enjoyed a drink or two.
I also kept busy during the cruise as on our first day at sea there was a craft session. I didn't think knitting needles were allowed so took some crochet instead.  One of the crafts available was knitting prem baby hats, which the crew give to hospitals when visiting some ports.  So armed with needles, wool and basic pattern, I knitted one. After the craft session I knitted another, then during the cruise there were four! I only took a photo of two of them, though.
In Stavanger the ship was joined by another similar sized ship called Aida Sol, which arrived after the Arcadia docked.  We were booked on another excursion, this time to visit the Pulpit Rock in the Lysefjord. This was quite a long boat trip from Stavanger port through one fjord to get to Lysefjord. Some fantastically high bridges to take roads that then disappeared into the mountains.  The weather was sunny again and there were several photo opportunities, do another collage coming up...
In the third pic was the Petroleum museum, as Stavangar port's main function is to maintain and service oil rigs in the North Sea. But there are some other attractions in the town, including the quirky Norwegian Canning Museum, a few trolls dotted about. So one last collage of our photos around the town. Also a couple of old sailing boats one from Lerwick another from Colchester.

A holiday week always ends up being shorter than a working one! So it was back on board and the ship did not hang about getting out of port, just 10 minutes from our latest boarding time, bound for Southampton on Sunday morning. What a lovely sight that was too being back home!
This was while reversing next to the docks at Ocean Terminal at 6 in the morning! When the ship docked it was amazing seeing the little forklift trucks whizzing around below the ship unloading and reloading. It's a really well organised system that allows for a quick turnaround as the Arcadia's next cruise was going out that afternoon bound for New York.

So that's a little (?) glimpse of our holiday and I may follow up with another post soon. Thanks for taking the time and drink of choice for reading this long post!

1 comment:

  1. Always happy to read about a trip to Norway!!!!! Such a beautiful country x


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