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  • Day2

    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.Read more

  • Day4

    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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  • Day5

    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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  • Day3

    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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  • Day6

    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

    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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  • Day416

    For our last two nights in Norway we returned to Mysen Stellplass, whose services we'd used previously. But not before Will had caught 4 lovely looking Mackerel! The town of Mysen had a car park, a section of which was marked out for campervans. There was a grass border all around and cut grass areas where Poppy could walk to the side of and behind the corner plot where we parked. It also provided free electric hookup!

    It was our 8th wedding anniversary so we celebrated with a meal of Mackerel, followed by a slice of Neopolitan cake (a creamy pastry), chocolates and a movie on the laptop. We washed it all down with some bubbly we'd brought with us from Slovenia. 2 months ago we came over the Norwegian border carrying more alcohol than was strictly allowed- we haven't bought any here, other than a couple of glasses of beer at the Bergen pub, so we'll definitely be leaving the country considerably lighter!

    The following day the weather was continuing to be kind to us so we took a walk along a nearby track that wound back and forth, following the extremely wiggly course of the small Mysenelva river. As soon as we set foot on the path we felt smiles form on our faces. It had a wonderfully homely feel, the sun filtered through the trees onto the muddy brown water, glinting off green lillypads when it found them on the far side. A Nuthatch hopped up and down the lower parts of tree trunks searching for a tasty grub. Further on, near the edges of the fuzzy, windblown barley field, butterflies flitted between purple flower heads, settling for a moment and sunning their wings while they delved their proboscis into the pointed petals, before alighting in search of their next hit of nectar. It was a great walk!

    Later, Will went for a wander in the town centre, he was relieved Vicky wasn't with him when he stumbled upon a wool shop! He did however buy her a treat of a cream cake and a marzipan and jam sponge from an independent bakery- something we haven't seen much of up here! Sorry, we'd demolished them before we thought about taking a photo!
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  • Day414

    We only had a few more days in Norway so Will had found a spot by a fjord on Park4Night. Unfortunately the sat nav once again led us down a single track road that soon turned into a gravel track, where the small trees scraped along the sides of the van. At least this one turned out to be a through road and took us to a parking area alongside a fishing pier and in view of a campsite just up the hill. Usually we wouldn't stay so close to a campsite because many do what they can to stop fly camping nearby. However Norway has such a strong fly camping culture that campsites here tend to cater more for caravans, providing above and beyond basic water and waste facilities, with wooden cabins and terraces for each pitch. It seems to be accepted that a holiday in a van on the road is different to one spent on a site and so we didn't think they would mind.

    As soon as we pulled up, Will took out his fishing gear and found a spot on the pier, alongside four or five other fishers. After a while Vicky came and out and knitted on a bench while Poppy lay on her rug.

    For the entire time we were there, the pier was never empty during daylight hours. Evening came and more fishers arrived, mostly men over 30, some with kids in tow who either joined their Dads, Uncles or Grandads on the front or played in the specially designed wooden board area on the shore. Even before the sun rose the following morning, the pier was once again being put to use. There was a mix of ethnicities, but everyone was engaged in the same activity and later on when families accompanied the fishers, the children played side by side. There was one particular group that caught our eye, 4 girls aged between 7 and 12, dressed up in pretty party dresses and cardigans were using a fishing line and a pink net in the special children's fishing area. A rectangle in the wooden boards had been cut away and surrounded by a waist height wall. The girls were able to drop their line into the sea beneath, under the encouraging eye of a man who we assume was their Grandad. They spent hours focussed, engaged and having fun. It was a joy to watch.
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  • Day69

    Site of 1994 Winter Olympics. Pics are the Olympic torch, the ice arena, the ski area and close-up of the ski jump, view from the top of the ski jump (taken while my acrophobic stomach was just a little bit unhappy, ok it was doing cartwheels) and a ski jumper's uniform without the helmet taken in the waiting area behind the starting platform. And the storgata, the main street in town.

  • Day12

    Had an interesting formal night last night. A woman threw up (multiple times) right beside my portrait so I had to improvise a bit with the way I was shooting. Then the captain's speech was late which pushed all our breaks back. Meaning my dinner was potatoes and chocolate. Yummy.

    The night ended on a good note however. I was just getting into bed when there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find James (one the photographers) with a bottle of alcohol-free champagne he had won in the crew bar. Since my cabin mate Naz and I don't drink he gave it to us. So that's sitting in the fridge waiting for a party night in the crew bar.

    Today I had to get up early for gangway. I was with one of the new to seas again. So I spent most of the gangway helping him with how he was calling the passengers in. As soon as that was done however I quickly got back on the ship and got changed to head to Starbucks for some food and wifi. That is where I now sit. Updating my phone and downloading some new music. Next we are going to wander around a bit, getting some photos before heading back to the ship to relax before starting work.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Kingdom of Norway, Norwegen, Norway, Noorweë, Nɔɔwe, ኖርዌ, Noruega, Norþweg, نرويج, ܢܘܪܒܝܓ, Norvec, Нарвегія, Норвегия, Nɔriwɛzi, নরওয়ে, ནོར་ཝེ།, Norvegia, Norveška, Nurvegia, Norsko, Norweskô, Норвеги, Norwy, Norge, ނޯވޭ, ནོ་ཝེ, Norway nutome, Νορβηγία, Norvegujo, Norra, نروژ, Norwees, Norja, Noreg, Norvège, Norvèg·e, Noarwegen, An Iorua, Nirribhidh, નૉર્વે, Norwe, Nolewai, נורווגיה, नॉर्वे, Norwegska, Nòvèj, Norvégia, Նորվեգիա, Norwegia, Norwega, Noregur, ノルウェー王国, noreg, ნორვეგია, ន័រវែស, ನಾರ್ವೇ, 노르웨이, नार्वे, نۆرویژ, Norgagh, Norvejia, Nowe, Noorwege, Norivezɛ, ນໍເວ, Norvegija, Noriveje, Norvēģija, Nôrvezy, Норвешка, നോര്‍വെ, Norveġja, နော်ဝေ, Norwei, Noweyi, नर्वे, Noorwegen, Norouague, Norvègia, Norviegii, ନରୱେ, ناروې, Nurwiga, Noruveji, Norveggia, Norawa, Norgga, Nörvêzi, නෝර්වේ, Nórsko, Noorweey, Norvegjia, நார்வே, నారవే, Норвеж, ประเทศนอร์เวย์, Noruwega, Noauē, Norveç, نورۋېگىيە, Норвегія, ناروے, Na Uy, Norgän, Norvedje, Noorwees, נארוועגיע, Orílẹ́ède Nọọwii, 挪威, i-Norway

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