A Travellerspoint blog

Bergen, Norway

21 June

Thursday, June 21
Bergen, Norway

Sunrise: 4:10AM Sunset: 11:11PM Temperature: 60°, sunny

Bergen, founded in 1070, population 235.423. Because of its location near the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream, the city is wet and relatively warm. It is the unofficial capital of the region known as West Norway and the gateway to the famous fjords of Norway. It is also the home of Edvard Grieg, famous composer

6:30AM

Breakfast: Cereal, fruit, rolls, toast, O.J., coffee.

8:00AM We arrive at Bergen

8:45 - 11:15AM We walked along the harbor’s edge into Bergen, passing the old fortress of Bergenhus, the Rosenkrantz Tower (both 13th century), the Hanseatic wharf houses (18th century wooden warehouses, now converted to workshops, painters, boutiques, restaurants, etc.), the Korskirchen church, the Fish/flower market, the Funicular, Mariankirke Catholic Church (12th-13th century) surrounded by a number of graves, and purchased a few souvenirs. The narrow cobblestone streets were very crowded with tourists and natives. To add to the excitement, we witnessed a fire alarm, as several fire trucks and ambulances made their way through the traffic. Later on we saw the firemen working their way up a very narrow house, with ladders positioned from floor to floor. With so many narrow, wooden buildings in the area, it would not take much for a fire to spread rapidly, and the firemen were not wasting any time.

bergen2.jpg
Hanseatic buildings

12:00PM Lunch in the Lido: Fruit, pasta,soup, kiwi, salad, coffee.

1:15 - 3:00PM Back in the city of Bergen, we encountered a light rain which persisted the entire afternoon and interfered with our explorations. With our rain gear and umbrella we made our way through the Bryggen (Hanseatic) buildings and also finished up with some souvenirs. Then as we made our way back to the Rotterdam, we stopped at King Haakon’s Hall and the Bergenhus fortress museum.

3:30PM Rest and relaxation in our cabin.

5:45PM Dinner: (Formal Dress) Fruit, strawberry bisque, salmon, filet mignon, and Baked Alaska with all the fanfare of the chefs and waiters parading through with sparklers topping off their Baked Alaska trays, accompanied by some rousing marching music!

8:30PM Queen’s Lounge 5: Showtime “On the Air” - simulating a studio audience we saw a singing and dancing TV variety spectacular. Really a packed program.

Walk today: 5.0 Miles.

Posted by cincybob 16:17 Comments (0)

Geiranger, Norway

20 June

Wednesday, June 20

Geiranger, Norway

Sunrise: 3:37AM Sunset: 11.27PM Temperature: 59°, sunny

Geiranger is a popular camping area. Although it is a small and narrow passage, it is considered one of the most beautiful Fjords in Norway surrounded by mountains reaching over 3,000 feet high. The Rotterdam made its way through sheer, steep cliffs and spectacular views of waterfalls.

6:10AM We arrive at Hellesylt where some of the passengers depart to commence an overland tour to Geiranger.

Breakfast: Hot oatmeal, Cheese omelette w/bacon and potatoes, fruit, O.J., coffee.

We viewed some very scenic fjords and waterfalls from the Lower Promenade, as the Rotterdam made its way to Geiranger. It was a bit cool this early in the day.

10:00 - 12:00 We took a 10 minute tender to shore, and commenced walking up a mountainous road, viewing the waterfalls and the town below. The waterfalls were noteworthy for their size and the cascading lower rapids. The number of walkers, the narrow, winding roads and vehicle traffic made this a bit tiring.

12:00PM We took the tender back to the ship for lunch: Penne pasta, veggies, soup, fruit, pastries, coffee.

1:15 - 3:15PM Back in Geiranger, we walked along the Fjord road where there were a number of campers, trailers, and mobile homes. We had a good view of the Rotterdam and several other ships which had also anchored here. A very nice sunny afternoon.

3:30PM We returned to the ship and enjoyed some refreshing ice cream/sherbet.

5:00PM We were on the Lower Promenade deck to view the falls - “Seven Sisters” (820’) and other picturesque falls - as the ship pulled anchor, and we set sail for Bergen, Norway.

SevenSistersFalls.jpg* *
SEVEN SISTERS FALLS

Geiranger.jpg
GEIRANGER

5:45PM Dinner: (Smart Casual Dress) Fruit, Mushroom/rice soup, salmon, sirloin steak w/spinach, fries, fruit dessert/no sugar lemon pudding, de-caf

7:15PM Lower Promenade deck viewing and walking.

8:15PM Queen’s Lounge. Showtime: Tommy McPhee, Scotland singer/pianist. His music was so loud that we left after a few minutes.

8:45PM Explorer Lounge. Black Pearl Classical Strings.

Walk today: 5.5 Miles

Posted by cincybob 07:41 Comments (0)

Trondheim, Norway

19 June

-17 °C

Tuesday, June 19

Trondheim, Norway

Sunrise: 3:01AM Sunset: 11:37PM Temperature: 50° Partial clouds

Trondheim is an ancient Viking capital dating back to 996 with a population of 152,699.

6:30AM

7:15AM Breakfast: Cereal, fruit, rolls, toast, O.J., coffee

8:40AM Hudson Room 5. We gather here to meet our guide and join others who will be taking a tour led by Ensemble Tours. We were bused to the Nidaros Cathedral, a massive gothic structure erected in the 11th century and the site of Norwegian coronations. Our local guide was not permitted to lead us into the building, so we made our own way. It was extremely dark and we were limited to certain areas. In all, this was a very disappointing stop.

Nidaros.jpg

Out next stop was the Trondelag Folk Museum, which has 60 transplanted buildings including typical farmhouses and small cottages and a Stave church. The church was built in 1170s and has been altered a number of times, the last time was in 1704, This type of construction uses a framework design with solid corner pillars, called “staves”, and with planks standing upright, called “tiles”, in the frames. We entered this old building which displayed only the bare wooden walls and floor. The large nave portion was described to have had no seating, so the people had to stand the entire time of the service, which could last several hours. The separate apse was accessible and visible through a narrow opening, which would have made it difficult to observe the celebrant. Those must have been tough times!

StaveChurch.jpg
Stave2.jpg

Our guide described the various farm structures, including a wedding hall which the owner used and rented out to his neighbors. We concluded our visit with a drink (beer) and snack. In returning to the Rotterdam. we stopped a very good high overlook which provided an excellent view of the city.

1:00PM Lunch: Vegetarian sandwich/Grilled chicken sandwich, Minestrone soup, fruit, bread pudding, hot berry mix, decaf.

2:00 - 3:00PM We walked in town for some photo shots and explore the side streets.

5:00PM Wajang Theater 4. Mass

5:45PM Dinner: (Smart Casual Dress) Chef Rudi’s Special: The waiters and chefs paraded around the tables juggling, performing tricks, etc. (A new gimmick for entertainment.) Chicken and noodles, Roast duck, salad, Chocolate mouse special created by Master Chef Rudi, decaf.

8:30PM Wajang Theater 4. “Breach”

Walk today: 4.2 Miles

Posted by cincybob 16:05 Comments (0)

Another day at sea

18 June

Monday, 18 June

A day at sea

We are sailing along the Norwegian coast in a southerly direction to our next port of call, Trondheim.

No sunrise or sunset 46° and overcast

8:00AM Breakfast: Hot oatmeal or Cheerios, fruit, rolls, O.J., coffee.

10:00AM Queen’s Lounge 4. Trondhiem and Bergen Port Lecture.

11:00AM Explorer Lounge. Read and relax.

12:00PM Lunch: Linguinni w/meat sauce, salad, fruit, soup, pastries, tea.

2:00PM Queen’s Lounge 4. An afternoon with the Mirth Giver, Frank Berry. Another delightful time for motivational comedy.

3:15PM La Fontaine Dining Room 5. Royal Dutch High Tea. We are greeted by a white- gloved attendant who presents us with a dish, and we proceed to a buffet-type layout from which we select our pastry items, dished out by one of the chefs. Then we are seated at a cloth covered table and served hot tea. A very “Uppity” experience.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon in the Explorer Lounge.

5:45PM Dinner: (Dress Formal) Fruit, Caspaccio, Cauliflower soup, salmon/orange roughy, fresh fruit/ vanilla ice cream w/mixed berries. coffee.

8:00PM Queen’s Lounge 5. Showtime “Hats Off”. We arrived late for this show, but did manage to get a sideline seat - not the best, but suitable.

Walk today: 1.5 Miles.

Posted by cincybob 06:25 Comments (0)

Honningsvag, Norway

17 June

-17 °C

Sunday, 17 June

Honningsvag, Norway

No sunrise or sunset today. Temperature: 43°

Honningsvag is located on Mageroya Island. This region, in the late 19th century, was used an an exile for for vagrants, vagabonds, and condemned prisoners. It is a rugged place and, sides fending off the snowy winter, it is shrouded in permanent seasonal darkness - the sun does not rise from mid-November to January. They celebrate 24-hour sunshine May 15 to July 30. Children who grow up in the region assume the whole world is like this until they reach an understanding that their home is unusual. Just up the coast is North Cape, Europe’s northernmost point, with breathtaking views towards the Barents Sea and the polar north.

7:10AM Breakfast: Cereal, fruit, pastries, O.J., coffee.

9:00 - 10:30AM After a few delays with the gangway placement, we departed to walk on the eastern side of Honingsvag towards a light house, which we discovered was fenced off, through residential areas, a school with a soccer field located near the water’s edge,
a quaint white wooden church with its cemetery located at a high point, and......a bit if rain, but we were prepared with our raincoats!

Honningsvag-reindeer.jpg
Reindeer
Honningsvag-church.jpg
Lutheran Church

Back on board we relaxed a bit before Lunch: Fruit, pork/roast beef potatoes, veggies, pastries,coffee.

1:30PM We walked into town and made our way along the west side. A light rain. We spotted some 13 reindeer grazing high up on the nearby mountainous area. Viewed similar sites: Homes, seaside areas, and intermittent vehicles on this Sunday afternoon.

3:00PM After a rest we walked on the Lower Promenade deck to get more views of the town. We watched some guests returning from their local tours and were surprised to witness local police checking and “wanding” each prior to reboarding the ship. We never did learn the reason for this, as this was the only time this occurred on the cruise. (We were almost led to believe some crime must have been the reason!)

5:45PM Dinner: (Smart Casual Dress) Pineapple fruit, Caesar salad, minestrone soup, salmon, chop steak, potatoes, pecan-chocolate sundae, de-caf cappuccino, de-caf.

7:30PM Listened to the Black Pearl Strings in the Explorer Lounge.

9:45-10:15PM Witnessed a very good view of North Cape from the Lower Promenade deck. It was a very high, massive rocky point - the northernmost point of Europe and Norway at 71° 10’ 21” N. It rises 921 feet from the waters surface, and, as expected, it was very cold and windy.

Honningsva..th_Cape.jpg
North Cape
11:15PM Queen's Lounge. Rotterdam Indonsean Crew Showtime. Traditional entertainment from Indonesia. Some very good performances by some talented amateurs.

12:15PM Retire

Walk today: 4.5 miles

Posted by cincybob 08:22 Comments (0)

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