Unfortunately, or fortunately, no trolls where to be seen, except in the mirror first thing in the morning.
Norway has always been on our bucket list and with our European trip drawing to a close later in the year and with summer fast approaching, the only way we where going to “squeeze” Norway in was on a cruise.
With a career in the travel industry, I always have one eye on the lookout for a travel bargain and Norway Fjord cruises popular right now, so when the right deal for the right date came along, we jumped on it. A 7 day vacation from “wher’dmadaygo” was had and we boarded the P&O ship Ventura for a lightening visit to Norway to check out the beautiful Fjords.
A bonus for us is that Nicky, Tony and their little one Jacob also did the cruise and we miss them already. We BOTH affectionately became know as “Wwose” to the wee little one and we miss hearing that quite little voice calling out our name at brecky as we crossed the dining room floor to our table.
Perfect road trip country
Norway was really stunning and it would be the perfect road trip country. A photo op around every corner, hardly any traffic (compared to rest of EU), the stunning Fjords plus wild camping opportunities abundant….aahhhh we would have LOVED it…..maybe another time.
Our first port of call was Bergen, where we took the funicular up to the view point. Its a wonderful view point with 360degres views over the city, across the Fjord and beyond. I’d read through previous reviews that its a nice spot to enjoy a picinc lunch, so I took advantage of the Free 24hr room service on board the ship and ordered for all 5 of us. Just as well I did as we quickly discovered that fish and chips where 20 per person for a single serve from the takeaway van. Payment accepted in the form of credit card, gold, diamonds – I kid you not if you stayed in this country for too long and ate every meal out, you’d probably need to sell your first born to fund your trip.
Next stop was Olden. This was the most beautiful of all locations and the type of place & scenery that Norway is famous for. As we pulled into port around 6am, Paul woke me up so I wouldn’t miss the view. Quite literally lost for words, and no coffee intake yet, all I could get out was “oh iz bewaful”.
Olden has 2 glaciers which are quite accessible and after a bit of research we chose to check out Briksdal Glacier. After taking the cheats way up the mountain in Bergen with the funicular we opted to hike up the valley. They had these funny little dune buggy things called Troll Cars which would take you most of the way, but we are young and fit’ish so the hike was fine. We passed some beautiful waterfalls and Paulie jumped the fence to fetch some of the fresh water coming from the Glacier stream, it’s unreal the think we where drinking water that probably fell as snow thousands of years ago.
We had 1 day of bad weather and that was when we where in the port of Molde. If you had to chose a port for bad weather then Molde would be it. Molde was heavily bombed in the 2nd world war, so most of the city was rebuilt and therefore lacks that, Norwegian charm that most of the other destinations had. Molde was also the city of Roses, so we went for a quick walk in the drizzling rain, didn’t see any Roses, but did get a few good pics of the boat from shore.
Stavanger was our last port of call. The sun was shinning again and they have a beautiful old town, which is located right near the cruise dock. It’s funny to walk around such towns and see the dates on the houses. 1689, 1749, etc etc. Crikey, Australia wasn’t even discovered yet!!!
We also did a lovely boat cruise along the Lysle Fjord, to check out Pulpit Rock. We would have all dearly loved to climb up Pulpit Rock, as it’s meant to be on of the Norwegian top 10 things to do, but you need 8hrs to do the trip and we just wouldn’t have made it back to the boat in time for departure, so the cruise was our best option to see it. The Fjords are really quite amazing, as they where all carved out by glacier activity during the ice age. Most fjords are deeper than the adjacent sea, reaching as much as 1,300m below. They are deeper inland then get shallower where they meet the ocean as this is where the bedrock collects as it pushes down the valley by the glacier causing the water at the neck of the fjord to be shallower than the main body of the fjord behind it. It really is quite amazing.
The weather was pretty good and I’ll let me pics do some more talking about Norway. Def worth a visit and can recommend doing it via a cruise. However, I would probably choose a better cruise company next time and look for an itinerary that was longer and went higher into the Arctic circle as the scenery just gets better and better the higher you go.
When we arrived in the UK, Spring was in the air with amazing, beautiful sunny warm days, spring time flowers everywhere, it really was beautiful and England is unbeatable in spring. So we decided to have a few day trips out, checking out the coast and enjoying the sun for the first time since Thailand. We discovered so many places we’d never seen before and really enjoyed our time in England once more. Beachy Head near Eastborne, with it’s huge white cliffs, dodged the small horses in New Forrest & checked out the trout swimming in the River in Winchester, the home of Jane Austin.
Both vehicles have to get a MOT every year, for those of you who live or have lived in England, you know what that is, for all you others, it’s a mandatory roadworthy test that is required to be legal on the road and also required for insurance and hence why we keep doing loops around EU back to UK every 12 months.
First up for MOT was the car, however we did have the small problem of a dysfunctional horn, so thought we best fix that as it would fail MoT if it decided not to work at that time. After a few futile hours trying to locate it and rewire it, the time came to putting back the fuses in their relative places with the required size and number. This is where my dyslexia stepped in and where everything went down hill. We had 1 fuse left spare and all numbers accounted for. Oh ohhhh. after much confusion I’d (Rose) written down number 24 twice! whoops….and after a few more wasted hours and some head scratching it worked out that in fact we required a fuse in position 24 and 42 – whoopzie.
Long story short, it then wouldn’t start but the horn was working, after a few more hours we concluded that it’s best to call RAC. They plugged it into their computer which advised we needed to replace the fuel pump relay……and RAC don’t stock relay’s, so it had to be towed to a dealer. As our friend Jason put it perfectly…”it’s like the horn bone is connected to the fuel pump bone, or however the song goes”.
So after 4 days with no car & £300, we have a working horn (god only knows how) and a new fuel pump relay and she’s back running like a dream and passed MoT with flying colors.
Next for a test is “wher’dmadaygo”. First 2 locations with took it too, she wouldn’t fit on the ramps. We eventually found another garage in Southampton and after fitting a new muffler another £400 later, we are ready to hit the road again.
So here we go again……round 3, this time we are heading South, South and even further south. We need to work on our tans so we’ll chase the cheap sun, cheap wine and free wild camping opportunities in Spain & Portugal until we return home. We also have my eldest brother joining us for a week in the Basque Country, which we are super excited about. Can’t wait for that, hopefully we have some good weather.
Watch out Portugal, here we come!!!!! Yay & bring on summer!!!!
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