A Travellerspoint blog

Tromso, Norway

16 June

-17 °C

Saturday, 16 June
Tromso, Norway
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No sunrise or sunset today. Temperature: 42° Light rain and chilly

Tromso is the largest city above the Arctic Circle - pop. 61,182. A former whaling station, this city is boasted as “the Paris of the North” - an active cultural scene and buzzing nightlife. This day, however, it boasted of rain.

6:30AM

7:30AM Breakfast: Fruit, O/J/. Orange, Cereal, Waffles with bacon, rolls, coffee.

11:00AM We had a delay waiting for a shuttle bus to take us to the center of Tromso - about a 10 minute ride. Rainy conditions limited our walking around the city. We did see a wooden church, the iceberg-shaped Arctic Cathedral at a distance across the bay. We witnessed some type of parade - with a few drummers, several differently dressed groups marched along and came to an end near the waterfront where someone was speaking. It could have been a political action affair, an Aids grouping, or whatever. In any event we stood at a distance, not wishing to be caught up in some turmoil.

Nearby we visited the Catholic Cathedral (“Cathedral of the Arctic), built in 1865 - they say it is the northernmost in the world.

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Tromso
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Catholic Cathedral

We continued our walk and took a few photos before we returned to our bus shuttle station and returned to the Rotterdam.

12:30AM Lunch: Egg noodle w/fish, meat sauce, fruit, pastries, tea. Relaxed in the cabin and then Explorer Lounge 5.

5:00 Mass Wajang Theater 4. Attended Mass.

5:45PM Dinner: (Smart Casual Dress)“Wedding soup”, Caesar salad, Rogane salad, Veal, strawberry/rhubarb w/vanilla ice cream, de-caf.

8:00PM Queen’s Lounge 4. “Liar’s Club”. Three Rotterdam staff members try to define different words and their meanings. Quite humorous and surprising to find who had the correct answers, since several sounded very convincing.

8:30PM Queen’s Lounge. Frank Berry. A delightful Canadian comedian, and a very good show.

Walk today: 3.9 Miles

Posted by cincybob 12:40 Comments (0)

A Day at Sea

15 June

Friday, 15 June A day at sea

Sunrise: 3:56AM Sunset: 11:11PM Temperature 46° and cloudy

The Rotterdam is sailing along the coast of Norway in a northerly direction through the Norwegian Sea. Around 3:30PM we will cross the Arctic Circle, the southern limit of the north Frigid zone. This Latitude of “66 degrees 13 minutes North” marks the approximate southern limit at which the sun does not set anymore for the next several days during our cruise.

7:30AM Breakfast in the Lido: Cereal, Fruit, O.J., Rolls, coffee

8:30AM We attended Mass in the Wajang Theater 4, and afterwards we sat in the Explorer Lounge for scenic viewing and reading.

11:15AM Explorations Speaker: “Scandinavia: Lands of the midnight Sun” with Warren Salinger in the Queen’s Lounge 4. Very interesting talk about this area.

12:00PM Lunch time: Fruit, Spaghetti, carrots, pastries, coffee.

3:00PM Queen’s Lounge 4. Tromso and Honningssvag Port Lecture - our next ports of call.

3:30PM La Fontaine Dining Room 5. Afternoon tea.

5:11PM We are crossing the Arctic Circle, and the sun will not set for 4 days when we recross the circle.

5:45PM Dinner: (Smart Casual Dress) Fruit, Mixed lettuce salad, Halibut/Chicken, Peach Melba, coffee.

7:40PM Walk on the Lower Promenade 3 - very windy.

8:15PM Movie in the Wajang Theater 4: “The Painted Veil”

10:30PM Explorer Lounge: We sat in for some classical pieces after peeking in on the final portion of Showtime featuring Miss Gina Pontini, songstress.

Walk today: 2 Miles

Posted by cincybob 12:37 Comments (0)

Vik and Flam, Norway

14 June

-17 °C

Thursday, June 14

Vik and Flam, Norway
Sunrise: 3:57AM Sunset: 11:05PM
Temperature: 58°, Cloudy and chilly

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Flam, Norway

6:30AM Rise

7:30AM Breakfast in the La Fontaine dining room: (Table service here) O.J., Cereal with banana, Scrambled eggs with bacon, potato, and toast, coffee or French toast, V8, Yogurt.

Very good view of mountain sides and waterfalls. Low clouds, scattered buildings, a few pasture meadows on the hillsides, clear, deep colored water.

Fjord: A long, narrow arm of the sea bordered by dramatic, craggy mountains and displaying scattered waterfalls. We were fortunate to see many very scenic falls, especially in Gerainger, thanks to the very heavy snowfall the previous winter.

Our destination is located in the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the 126 mile long and 1308 meters deep Sognefjord, which is Norway’s longest fjord. Situated at the end of a fjord, Flam is located between steep peaks and deep water, famous for its electric railway the zigzags through mountaintops and many tunnels. Prior to arriving, the ship made a brief call at Vik to accommodate guests who would be departing on a land excursion between Vik and Flam.

9:30 - 11:00AM From our ship we took a tender to shore and, fortified with a good local map, we took a walking trail north of the town. This was very scenic and quiet. We could see a few falls and plush green meadows with many wild flowers. There was good view of a major water fall: “Brekkefossen”. This is also a tourist area for locals, as we saw numerous trailers and campers at a few camping areas.

11:45AM We returned to the Rotterdam for lunch: Salad, Chowder soup, Pasta, Hot berry cobbler (hmm, good), cheesecake, coffee.

12:30 - 2:30PM We returned to shore and walked along the north side shoreline of Flam for several miles to a point which was directing us up a 900 meter long steep hillside climb to the Otternes Farmyard consisting of 27 clustered houses dating from the 17th century. Needless to say, we not meet this challenge at this time - the walk and seaside views were enough.

3:30PM Back on the Rotterdam we settled down for some sherbet/ice cream!

5:45PM Dinner time: (Smart Casual Dress) Dutch fruit cocktail, pea soup, dutch pot pie, strawberry cheese cake or Tomato/Mozirella appetizer, hot berry cobbler. minestrone soup, wine, coffee.

8:30PM Showtime: Pete Matthews. UK’s premier comedy juggler.

Walk today: 9 miles

Posted by cincybob 08:21 Comments (0)

Stavanger, Norway

13 June

-17 °C

Arrival at Stavanger, Norway (Pop. 111,000) 8:00AM 57° and Sunny

Sunrise today 4:25AM Sunset: 10:49PM

We are up at 6:30 AM

7:15AM Breakfast in the Lido: Cereal, rolls, pancakes and sausage, O.J., coffee.

9:00 - 11:30AM We explored the city of Stavanger. It is a bit chilly and a jacket felt good.
We walked through the “Old Town” located on the hillside, where there were a number of restored 18th century white wooden houses and lots of flowers and narrow streets. Stavanger is the “capital” of Norway’s off-shore oil industry, and as a result there were quite a few banks and financial buildings in the city central area. Norway is the world’s third largest exporter of crude oil.

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12:00PM We returned to the ship for lunch in the Lido: Pasta with mushrooms and carrots, fruit - heavy on the fresh pineapple, “farmer’s” soup, tea and a few pastries.

2:00-2:45PM One last walk for some photos shots in the nearby “Old Town” area. We must have seen all of the restored homes, as we made our way over cobblestone, narrow streets and walkways.

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4:45PM We attended a cocktail gathering given by the Ensemble Travel host who will be handling our land tour in Trondheim on June 19. It was an opportunity to get some details about the tour and meet others who will be with us.

5:45PM Dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room: (Smart Casual Dress) Chicken noodle soup, iceberg lettuce, argula with oranges and pecans, salmon, chocolate cake (a gift from Helen, our travel agent), pear sundae delight, coffee. Dress this evening was “Smart casual”: Men-slacks and colored shirts; Ladies - Casual dresses, slacks and informal wear.

8:30PM Showtime: Guitarist - Justin MIller

9:30PM We checked out the Classical group in the Explorer lounge

Walk today: 5.4 miles

Posted by cincybob 05:42 Comments (0)

Skagen

Tuesday, 12 June

Skagen, Denmark 68° and Sunny

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7:45AM - a bit of a plumbing problem, which occurred intermittingly throughout the cruise.

Breakfast: Cereal, rolls, O.J., banana, De-caf.

9:10 Wajang Theater to await our number (Group 9) to take the tender into Skagen, Norway.

10:00- 11:30AM We walked through the town. Generally cream colored buildings and red tiled roofs. All signs were in Danish, which made it difficult to see what we were looking at, etc. It was nice day for an easy walk. Skagen is the most northern tip of Denmark.
They say that on the tip you can stand with your feet in two different seas = the Baltic and the North Sea!

12:00-12:30PM Back on board and lunch at the Lido: Soup, chicken salad sandwich with potato chips, fresh fruit, bread pudding, tea.

After a short rest in our cabin we went to the Explorer Lounge to sit, enjoy the scenery of Skagen area and read.

3:00PM The Rotterdam sets sail for Stavanger, Norway

3:30PM Afternoon tea in the La Fontaine Dining Room 5. Sit down service by white gloved waiters who served your choice of flavored tea and several pastry items.

4:00PM Mass in the Wajang Theater. Vincentian Father Thomas Dudley, a retired professor at Niagara University for 47 years, age 82. There was a very small group to attend 10-12, which was generally who attended later Masses. A various change in times and locations did not help attendance.

5:45PM Dinner in the La Fontaine Dining Room: This was a Formal Dress affair - Gentlemen to wear jackets and tie - Dark suit/tuxedo suggested. Ladies, cocktail dresses or suits are appropriate. We had Tropical fruit, Caesar Salad, Salmon/Rack of Lamb, Bombe for dessert, Coffee.

8:30PM Showtime in the Queen’s Lounge 4&5, starring the Singers and Dancers of the Rotterdam: Love songs from Broadway, Costumes from Mackie.

9:30PM We listened to the “Black Pearl Strings” classical” players in the Explorer Lounge - a pianist, violin and cello. They played light classical and pops-type pieces.

Posted by cincybob 13:56 Comments (0)

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