September 2017
  • Day8

    28th wedding anniversary - all at sea!

    September 10, 2017, North Sea ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary with a full day at sea as we made our way back to Southampton.
    It was a relaxing day interspersed with eating way too much. Our final dinner of the cruise was in the Sindhu - a Michelin star Indian restaurant. It was delicious.

    We both finished our holiday books. I managed to watch a football match in the on board pub and there was a vibrant rainbow to see later in the afternoon.

    The summary of our trip is that the cabin was comfortable, the food was delicious, the entertainment was good and the sea was relatively calm throughout (thank goodness!). The weather could have been kinder but at the same time, it could have been worse so no real complaint on that front. We would have liked to see more of the fjords as we seemed to travel through them at night and we may have chosen different day trips had we realised this beforehand. That said, the day in Flam was really special and fully met our expectations.

    Next update will be when we start our 6-month trip 👍😁!
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  • Day6

    Butlins on water!

    September 8, 2017 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    To mark our departure from Bergen we joined the enthusiastic entertainment team around the outside pool/deck for the sail away party.
    Credit to them for persevering through driving rain and blowy conditions. We took along our own 'coffee' and after a cup of that, singing along to Rule Brittannia etc was a little easier, although the flag waving would have required at least one more cup of coffee for me!
    Allison chose a G&T 'coffee' whilst the barista had a cabernet sauvignon 'coffee to help him into the proceedings.
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  • Day6

    Last port of call - Bergen

    September 8, 2017 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Another day off the boat as we explored the city of Bergen. We even had an hour of sunshine!!

    Our first stop was the Floibanen funicular railway which chugged it's way to the summit of Mt. Floyen for panoramic views of Bergen below. Whilst there we walked to and around Lake Skomakerdiket before giving our knees a real pounding with a ~3km serpentine walk back down to the town centre.
    Bergen itself is an eclectic mix of old and new, demure and brash with the working port seemingly the focal point. We looked around a few shops housed in old warehouse buildings and we walked past a busy fish market ( I assumed it smelt!), visited some gardens, the University and Johannes Kitken church area before getting back on board for Allison to attend a talk on circulation, and for me to have a quick snooze before we both joined the sail away party which kicked-off as we set sail for Southampton.
    Tonight it's out with the DJ and dickie-bow again for the second black tie event of the cruise followed by a visit to the theatre to listen to the entertainment team cover some Queen songs.
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  • Day5

    Flam & Norway in a Nutshell

    September 7, 2017 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Having traversed 128 miles of the Sognefjord during the night, we docked in Flam on schedule.
    Although we had low cloud cover on arrival, the spectacular scenery which greeted us as we approached the dock and village ticked the boxes for doing this trip.
    For me, it was a double helping of chirpyness as I also found some free wi-fi to post updates from my tablet - although Mrs H had already brought our joint followers up to speed with her 'extra time' blog updates, so it wasn't a problem going 4 days into the trip without wi-fi ☺.
    Today was another full day off the boat, taking a train and bus tour called Norway in a Nutshell.
    We started aboard the Flam Scenic Railway for one of the most picturesque train rides in Norway - the tour description was right, it was breathtaking in places but difficult to capture on camera. The train did stop at Kjosfoss Waterfall so we did get some reasonable shots of that. Then we got off at Myrdal Station and changed trains to take us to Voss for lunch.
    After another local salmon fuelled lunch we got on a bus which took us back to Flam via a seven tier waterfall at Tvinde, the serpentine bends of Stalheimskleivane and a Viking village at Gudvangen in the Naeroyfjord.
    We were back on board for our 5:30pm departure and I'm writing this update on the balcony as we sail along the fjord heading back out to the Norwegian Sea on route to our final port of call at Bergen.
    I like sailing in the fjords - they're calm!,
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  • Day4

    Alesund - Land of the Trolls

    September 6, 2017 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Off the boat all day today on a tour which took in Borgundfjord, the valley of Validal, the powerful Gudbrandsjuvet Gorge and then down the 11 hairpin bends of ' Trolls Path - the Trollstigen mountain road. We also saw the waterfall at Stigrora and the Trolls Wall (3280 feet vertical mountain face) at Andalsnes.
    The weather could have been kinder at the start but the rain stopped and we had dry coach stops until the final one where the Wall was lost to low level cloud. Overall, a great day out.
    We were back on board for another delicious dinner and ended the day watching another show from the entertainment team who range from very good to room for improvement!
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  • Day3


    September 5, 2017 in Norway ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    We awoke to the sight of land as we approached Stavanger for an 8:30am arrival.
    Before disembarking from the aft starboard gangplank (how many new nautical words can I use in one sentence), we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast hoping the overcast drizzly conditions would blow over. They didn't. So we got our raincoats out and set off for a stroll around Stavanger.
    Nothing much to write about other than noting Old Stavanger was pretty with it's white buildings and potted flowers lining the streets.
    We reboarded (there's probably a nautical word for that) and ate a late lunch before going to the cinema to watch a film.
    We set sail again at 4:30pm and with a glass of wine beside me, this is when I penned this update.
    We are going to watch a comedian called William Caulfield tonight then head for an 80's Extravaganza - not sure if that's music from the 80's or a night out for about a third of the people on this boat!
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  • Day2

    Black tie night

    September 4, 2017 in Norway ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    A full day at sea in which we were quite sporty in the morning playing Shuffleboard and Quoits on deck before going to the golf net to try and chip golf balls into a net.
    In the afternoon, Allison attended a talk on acupuncture and one on reading your footprint whilst I explored the 11 decks of the Arcadia then had a little snooze to catch-up on the lack of sleep from last night!
    We then got dressed-up for the Captain's dinner before going to the theatre to watch a musical montage from British films.
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  • Day1

    We're off

    September 3, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    After getting on board we found cabin C112 then unpacked once our cases had been delivered.
    Orientation is going to be the major challenge along with getting our Cabin steward to stop calling me "Madam"!

    We set sail on time and made our way through the Solent to the English Channel. By dinner time I had taken my first sea-sickness tablet whilst listening to others comment on some 'millpond"? The food was delicious once I got it in my mouth and practise at guiding the fork to the right location whilst bobbing about helped. I'm exaggerating but the sea certainly wasn't smooth! I also learned that it was going to be best if I sat down when going for a wee!

    With survival basics established, and a lengthy safety briefing which included putting lifejackets on, we enjoyed our first evening aboard and are looking forward to seeing what the rest of the week brings.
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