May - June 2013
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  • Day18

    Stavanger

    June 12, 2013 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Can't tell you much about Stavanger, as I was ill and didn't get off the ship.
    I took a couple of photos from deck 11 before I went to bed. I can tell you that the City of Stavanger was officially founded in 1125, the occasion was marked by the opening of the main cathedral.
    It was originally a thriving herring fishing port.
    But in the 1960s with the discovery of North Sea Oil, Stavanger became an overnight success and is population skyrocketed.
    Since then the city with simple Viking roots has emerged as a cultural hot spot.
    You can travel back to the viking age with a visit to a nearby Iron Age Farm which is a living museum.
    I'm disappointed I missed that and will definitely do it if I come to Stavanger again.
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  • Day17

    Olden

    June 11, 2013 in Norway ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Wow! This is more like the Norway I was expecting.
    We were told by some the there was not much in Olden, the town was tiny and not many shops etc.
    Well on that point they were correct, very small and not many shops or bars etc. But my god what the town lacks in size, it more than makes up for in its placement.
    Set right on the Nordfjord of the most beautiful fjords I've seen (not that I've seen many) and surrounded on all sides by majestic snow covered peaks. This is definitely the Norway I'd come to see.
    Everywhere you looked the scenery took your breath away, I was saying to Sheila that I could live here as I'd never get tired of the fantastic views.
    Her answer was I'd be on my own, because as beautiful as it was it was far too quiet and remote for her. Lol
    From Olden you can get to the Briksdal glacier, but I'm afraid I didn't go as firstly the shuttle bus to take you, was £35, which as with most things in Norway is very expensive, also the bus could only take you part way there, you had another hours walk to get to the glacier itself, maybe next time. Lol
    One really lovely thing to see in Olden is Geiranger Church, it's situated about a mile from where the ship docks. It's a beautiful little wooden church built in an octagonal shape, and the original church dates back to the 1300s, and from there you can get some great views of the ship and the surrounding countryside.
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  • Day16

    Molde

    June 10, 2013 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Molde is another beautiful little Norwegian town, it's dubbed the town of the roses, as it's mild climate has been perfect for growing those beautiful flowers.
    The town was once a trading post for timber and herring, but that was over a hundred years ago, and nowadays it is a favourite port of cruise ships, whose passengers come for the wonderful nordic scenery.
    During WWII Molde served as Norway's makeshift capital, and a refuge for the king and a hiding place for the country's gold reserve.
    The town is also home to one of Norway's top football teams FC Molde, managed by ex Manchester United star, Ole Gunnar Solsjar, (the spelling is probably way off, but I'm sure you know who I mean).
    Btw Maz informed me that they are also this year's Norwegian division one champions.
    The Molde stadium is in a really beautiful place, being right on the sea front overlooking the fjord, it is only a small stadium, holding probably about 10 or 12 thousand supporters, but looks very modern, and as I said in a beautiful place.
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  • Day14

    Alesund

    June 8, 2013 in Norway ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    Alesund is a little fishing town that, as with all these Norwegian coastal towns is set in spectacular surroundings, it has the picturesque harbour to the front, and the majestic snow capped peaks of the Sunnmore Alps guarding it from the rear.
    Apparently after a devastating fire in 1904, the whole of Alesund was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style, losing the historic look of its Viking past.
    But it is still a charming place, with pretty houses and wonderful scenic views anywhere you look.
    Another great night in the diamond lounge last night, with the couches and chairs once again moved around to make one big company, we must have been 18 or 20 strong last night.
    As usual we've met some really nice people. As I've said many times before one of the best things about reaching diamond or diamond plus on RCI, is having a focal point where everyone meets at night.
    It's there that instead of just meeting people on holiday as you normally do, you make friends, that you tend to see on other cruises, all because of the focal point, that and the free booze..... Lol
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  • Day13

    Trondheim

    June 7, 2013 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Today we visited the town of Trondheim, just Maz and I got off as Sue wasn't too well, and Sheila as normal preferred to take advantage of the empty ship and chill out.
    The town didn't have a great deal to see, but it was very pleasant to stroll around, and the weather was gorgeous once again.
    One place we did see was a quaint little church right in the town centre, I forget the name of it but the thing was the back part of the church was being used to feed the homeless and the towns less fortunate, which I thought was brilliant.
    Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a lover of religion of any denomination.
    But this was great and it was brilliant to see a place of worship being used in this way.
    The next thing we visited was the cathedral, which was beautiful, but they where charging between £10 and £20 to go inside, which was a complete contrast to the little church we'd just visited, and please don't try telling me that some of the money the cathedral charges goes to the little church to feed the homeless, because cynical old me won't believe you.... Lol
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  • Day13

    Sea Day

    June 7, 2013, Norwegian Sea ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

    Yesterday was a day at sea, so nothing very exciting happened, just a complete chill out day of eating and reading.
    We had a very thick and eerie fog during the evening, at one point you could not see one end of the ship from the other, very creepy... Lol
    Also we did have a sunset last night about 11.30pm and a sunrise at about 2.30am, unlike yesterday where we had no sunrise or sunset, just daylight for 24 hours.
    This really is an amazing part of the world.
    Can't wait for the next few days and the Norwegian fjords, the first stop is Trondheim which dates back to the 9th century, so should be interesting.
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  • Day12

    Arctic circle

    June 6, 2013, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

    Just a quick one, we actually crossed the Arctic Circle at 9pm last night.
    That's another one crossed off the list.
    I hope we get a certificate off the ship.

  • Day12

    Akureyri port, Iceland

    June 6, 2013 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We are sailing down the inlet to Akureyri and the scenery is fantastic, so dramatic.
    The mountains either side of us look as if they are only a couple of hundred yards away, towering above the ship and covered in snow.
    If this is anything to go by the Norwegian fjords are going to be fantastic.
    Also the sun is shining and just a couple of fluffy white clouds in the sky, all in all it's a beautiful day.
    Got off the ship with Maz and Sue for a walk around the town, what a beautiful little place.
    It was more like I imagined Iceland to be, with the quaint little town overlooking the fjord and the high snowcapped mountains in the background, it is quite stunning and picturesque.
    The ship docks right in the town so it's only a very short walk to the centre, and one lovely place to see is Akureyri church, known as the church on the Hill, because, yes you've got it, it's built on a bloody great hill. The church itself was only built in 1940,and is quite plain.
    But the interesting thing is its association with Coventry cathedral. Apparently during WWII the beautiful stained glass windows of Coventry cathedral where removed because of the bombing and stored for safe keeping.
    After the war somehow three of the windows went missing and ended up in an antique shop in London, and an Icelandic antique dealer from Akureyri bought them and donated them to the church, and they now make up part of the alter windows of the church.
    The bumf you get on the ship telling you about the town says that the centre window was donated by Coventry cathedral, which is a bit boring, my story comes from a description on the wall of the church itself, and I think it's more interesting.... Lol
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  • Day11

    Reykjavik Port Day Two

    June 5, 2013 in Iceland ⋅ 🌬 12 °C

    The weather was cold and wet again (probably didn't need all the shorts and T shirts I've brought) LOL
    We didn't bother getting of off the ship, just had a nice relaxing day on board ship, it was quiet as there are still lots of hardy sorts who did tours.
    In the evening we had a few drinks in the diamond lounge then a nice meal in Portofinos restaurant, then off to the show, it was an American guy called Tony Tillman, who was an all round entertainer, in the Sammy Davis style, and when he sang Sammys classic 'Mr Bojangles' it made the hairs on my neck stand up (metaphorically of course as I'm bald nowadays) lol
    But seriously as Sammy be was brilliant, and also a great singer in his own right.
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