North America, Europe · 14 Days · 64 Moments · June 2017

Julia's tour through Norway

27 June 2017

Special treat 5 hours into our flight really hit the spot!
Tuesday morning: Headed home at 3:45 in the morning.

26 June 2017

We had the last dinner with our group and then off to an early bedtime.
Shopping again in Bergen. Looking for the perfect hat for grandpa.
Back to the Clarion Hotel. It's raining in Bergen. 😬
Time to get off the boat.
Along the way. 1,200 islands. Also we passed the opening to the longest fjord in Norway.
Monday morning: Our last morning on the ship! We got up early to exercise and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. So leisurely! We had to pack and leave our room for good! Goodbye room! After breakfast we made an "eagle's nest" at the front of level 4 with several others.

25 June 2017

Sunny views out on the deck with whispers. Matt said a few funny things: 1. 5 or 6 people are leaving tomorrow at stupid o'clock. 2. You have to have a kidney (point to head) Your former honey. 3. I'm just going to go inside and ask the captain to speed up a little bit okay? I think that beaver's name is Justin. 4. When you walk around now you can almost smell bacon. 5. Now all the lighthouses are there in the GPS. 6. Oil rigs are too far out to sea to see. 7. What do you all a mushroom that's a comedian? Fungi. 8. Driving again in the chiropractor street. 9. Bring on your black belt in shopping.
Before lunch we had a gathering to talk about leaving the ship. Then we met with Matt to talk about our last days. Nap time after lunch!
Sunday morning: Trondheim. Breakfast by 7, ready by 7:30! Grandma liked this walk the best because the weather was nice and the streets were pretty. We saw our second Starbucks of the whole trip. It's Sunday so everything was closed for the day. We briefly visited another ship and came back onboard about 9:45. Very nice! There are two seasons in Norway- winter and roadwork.

24 June 2017

Evening quiz in the bar. I had a Norwegian beer and our team lost. I guess we weren't paying attention! We also saw some pilot whales along the boat! We are heading out to sea tonight and the boat is already rocking. I'm missing Leah's dance recital and the rest of my family is all together and we miss them all!
Evening walk in Rorvik.
Walk around town. This town is halfway up the coast of Norway. We got yummy ice cream, and grandma dropped hers! Boo!
Saturday morning: Passed south of the Arctic Circle. Grandma liked the cod liver oil!

23 June 2017

Walk about Svolvaer. It was our second time here, getting off the boat after an early dinner- 7:00. This time we walked around for a little while then went to visit the WW11 Museum in town. Back to the ship by 8:30. Came back to read on level 4 until a group meeting scheduled for 9.
Trollfjord again. Sunny this time!
Stop in the town of Stokkmarken. More whispers. We're supposed to learn how to skin a cod on deck7 but there are too many sunbathers out there.
Along the way.
Ferry back to the Richard With.
Farmhouse and waffles. Grandmas favorite.
Excursion! Harstad. We had another guide leading us.
Friday morning: Leisurely breakfast at 7:00. Until 7:30. 2 cups of coffee.

22 June 2017

Midnight concert in the Arctic Cathedral. On our way!
Watched Kon Tiki. Stayed awake!
Came out to look at a glacier that we can't see. Smells like fish here! Didn't get a chance to walk through the town.
Got to see the ship's control room.
Best nap.
Hammerfest. Visited another church, and we saw the Polar Bear Club. Julia tried to hike up to a view point but only got so far.
LNG plant on Milk Island in the way to Hammerfest. Free coffee/ energy drink and freezing cold!
Thursday morning: Got up for a Scandiatalk in the morning/ controversial topics. Basically there are no controversial topics in Norway.

21 June 2017

We got back at 12:30 to eat lunch and then we spent lots of time in our room. We had some high waves and grandma felt a little sick.
Wednesday morning: Got up early to exercise and have a leisurely breakfast before we left to go on the tour through Kirkenes at 9:00. We went on an included Vantage Tour. We saw the Russian border and we saw the Malamute on the side of the road. It was very rainy and very cold. We wandered around a mall and stopped to get some hot chocolate in a local mall.

20 June 2017

After we got back we enjoyed some hot chocolate and apple cake. We watched a recommended documentary about a Norwegian men's choir that was about the worst ever. We watched almost all of it but left to rest before dinner. I laid down under the covers with my jacket on! Dinner was a buffet tonight with a yummy black current something. We went up to read and enjoy the view until our group met at 8:00. Matt talked to us about famous Norwegians. At 9 we headed up to bed for a little reading. We are out away from shore and the boat is rocking again. Let's see if grandmas okay.
North Cape. There was the view point and also a museum and gift shop. We lost track of time a little and had to rush to get back on the bus. We made it!
Tuesday Morning: We were supposed to walk 10 laps around the ship but never did. We went to a leisurely breakfast- brown cheese and bread. We finished at 10, and went to a reindeer talk in the cold. We couldn't see and we blew away. We did see reindeer.

19 June 2017

For dinner it was girls and boys at separate tables. Grandma had chicken soup but it smelled so she didn't eat it. We ate the eggs for breakfast and then we ate the chickens for lunch. Then we had Arctic char which grandma didn't like but she tried. But as usual the dessert was the best. After dinner we read our books until we went to sleep around 10.
We went on our included Vantage Tour through Tromso. Grandma's favorite was the Polar Museum. Then we all enjoyed a visit to the Arctic Cathedral- except for the Atheist who didn't get off the bus. We went through some long tunnels with 3 roundabouts. We learned there are two seasons in Norway- winter and road repair. We ended up with time to shop at the mall. Our guide guide ditched us but we found our way back anyway, whew (in the rain.)
After lunch we took a little nappy nappy. It was my best nap but grandma read instead.
We docked at a tiny port called Finsnes. It was raining. Of course. Then we came back to the ship and had a little talk in the conference room. We talked about months and dates and holidays, but we only got through June. Then it was time for some more lunch.
After coming back on the ship we split up for some exercise and yoga. We showered and had a leisurely breakfast of the same.
We went to the deck for the Arctic Circle celebration. The sun was shining. I don't know why but Grandma didn't want to participate in the ceremony. She just wanted a certificate. Julia got christened with a ladle of ice down her back and screamed bloody murder and the loudest. She complained that her back was wet all day.
Monday morning: We got up so early to stretch our legs in the town of Harsdt. I think we were in port for 30 minutes total.

18 June 2017

We went out on deck 7 at 11:20 to watch the boat travel through the Trollfjord. It was beautiful and we enjoyed a Troll hot drink thingy.
We went out to open sea and grandma got a little seasick. The waters were a little rough and we had dinner in our room but the head waitress wasn't very happy about it. Grandma couldn't eat her dinner but managed to eat her dessert. In between dinner and dessert we stopped for 30 minutes and we walked off the ship which helped Grandma to feel better. We read on deck and at 8:30 enjoyed a impromptu drum performance. We stopped in Solvaek and walked around some more- it rained. We knew we had to be up for some sights at 11:30, so we stayed out of our room.
Sunday morning: We were up and out on the back of deck 7 by 7:00 to pass the Arctic Circle. Then we went to a leisurely breakfast, and we're ready to walk in Bode at 8:45. We visited a nice church and came back by 10:00. We had a brief little rest and went to hear some discussion from our leader about work and money in Norway. We had lunch after that and a break in our room.

17 June 2017

We went to dinner at 6 as usual. We had a lovely salmon dinner with 2 other couples. Our favorite couples are Chrissy and Dave from Carlsbad and Anne and Tom from Denver. We got 2 desserts- a lovely white creamy pudding with berry compote on top, and a piece of cake from a couple celebrating 56 years. We had a quick stop at 9:45 and went next door to walk through another Hurtengruten ship which was older. We were only at this stop for 30 minutes so it was a very quick walk. The ship had no elevator and only small viewing areas. Holds less than 200 people. It rained a lot. Back to the cabin and I took a shower. The hair hair dryer is useless so I went to bed with wet hair.
Spent the afternoon reading and enjoying the scenery of the beautiful Fjords. We stepped outside to enjoy some discussion along the way. At 3:30, we watched a lovely video about birds and their calls. Grandma thought it was really excellent. We were tired and planned to nap around 4, but within 10 minutes of returning to our rooms there was an announcement that we were going through a notable strait so we returned to the deck so we didn't miss a thing.
Saturday morning: We managed to get up by 7 to get some exercise. Then we headed to breakfast. Pancakes and brown cheese were our favorites. We landed in Trondheim before 9, and enjpyed a bus tour. We got to see some the sights including the university and a viewpoint. Grandma liked the professor's homes. We had time to visit Olov's Cathedral and walked back to the ship on our own. This was risky but we made it! Got back to the boat before noon and just in time to eat again. In the way from Trondheim we saw the Monk's retreat/ prison (island).

16 June 2017

After getting back from walking Alesund, we met with the group to talk about the different origins of some of the languages. Then we kinda listened to a boring ship talk about some of the expeditions we can purchase. We ate our least favorite meal so far. Too many fishy, herringed, pickled thingies. Grandma had pickled beets and pickles. Good thing we were still full from breakfast. We had a chance to go outside to look around for while on the deck in the rain. Finally, it was time to nap! Only someone hit me over the head with a pan and I blacked out. From 2:30- 5:00, and we even missed our 3:30 quiz from Mattais. Too sleepy. Once we managed to get up again we found a favorite spot at the front of deck 7 to wait to eat again at 6:00. After dinner we watched the water until our next walk in the town of Mode. Short but sweet. I think we return here on our way back. We got back by 10:15 and to bed around 11.
The boat went deep into a Fjord where some passengers got off for an expedition. We were amazed to see so many RVs parked by the water on the other side of such high mountains.
Friday morning: Grandma likes a leisurely breakfast so we got up by 7. After breakfast we met our group at 8:45 for a walk around Alesund. It was overcast and drizzly. We didn't have much time but it was cool to look around.

15 June 2017

Drove around Bergen to see the sights in the bus. Our guides name was Neil. Stopped at Edward Grieg's summer house. We got to walk through the house and hear a master's level student play a piece in the house. After the bus tour we got on the ship after 5. Yay, finally made it to our room and then right to dinner after 6. Buffet dinner was nice. After dinner we wandered around and listened to an orientation meeting. We went to bed by 10, but we're both up reading again by 12. Oh well, we went to sleep eventually!
Thursday morning: We got up at 8, and then went down for breakfast. At 9:30, we met as a group to learn about the rest of the trip. The hotel we are staying at used to be a ship master house.

14 June 2017

We joined our group for a buffet dinner in the hotel. There's about 30 of us. Grandma and I are for sure the young ones of the group! Dinner was pretty tasty. There was some yummy cauliflower soup. After dinner we walked around and past the fish market. We also walked to the viewpoint at the top of our hotel. Back to the room by 9:00, now we are showered and settling down. Ready for sleep!
Resting at our hotel before we meet with our group at 6:00. We are just a little tired... The weather is so beautiful and sunny outside!
Landing in Bergen!
Leaving Amsterdam. Small cozy plane only 4 seats across.
Wednesday morning: Amsterdam with over an hour to kill.

13 June 2017

It's 9:00 and I've already watched two movies, Joy and Passengers. We only got up to pee once when the man next to the aisle got up but now he's sleeping and I hope I can hold it. We've been flying for about 7 hours and we have 3 to go. What to do now? Maybe try to sleep again? Thank goodness for our pillows! We ate a meal at 3:00. Was that lunch? Dinner? Are they feeding us again?
Why can't I read my Nook book??!?!?
Tuesday morning: At the airport waiting for security checkpoint. The line wasn't too bad. Ordered a sandwich to share on the plane. Asked for it to be cut in half to share but it wasn't, so we shared the sandwich (eating it over grandma's lap) waiting to take off. This plane is nice!