Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Peregrinations 4

The penultimate reposting of my Facebook entries from my U.K. and Norway holiday
 
 
God kveld. Friday May 30th

 

 Yesterday morning saw us arrive in Bergen, for an all too brief visit. We were blessed with sunny and bright weather for our three days in Norway, never was this more important than in Bergen which bosts more than 200 rainy days each year.
We (sister Maureen, her husband Bern; brother Martyn, his wife Wendy; and I) took a 9:00 a.m. 'bus tour of Bergen's highligts. It was a public holiday (for Ascension Day) so traffic was non-existent to light.
We drove by what remains of the Hanseatic.Wharf's high gabled buildings; by King Hakon's Hall (12th Century) and also the13th C Rosenkrantz Tower.
Our guide Hannah was great, filling is in with all manner of information about what we were seeing. It was a whistle stop tour, with very little time off the 'bus (better that than nothing!) - yet with the bonus  of ascending the Mount Floien Funicular, where from 1050' summit we had splendid view of the City, and of the many sub-fjords which make up the harbours.
British hearts swelled with pride as the Queen May II was in port (as was the triple masted sailing ship which is used by the Norwegian Navy to train cadets).

 After the tour the others stayed in the city Centre to do a bit of shopping, whilst I took to my bed - with a cold coming on.
 It's in full bloom today - but not to worry - we are at sea for two days (cuurently north of Scotland) So I've had all the time I need to rest. The weather was foggy in the early hours today, but it's now cleared a bit, so we have view from a distance of the highlands and islands.

 
Gala formal dress dinner tonight,

 

31st May On the last leg. We are sailing south on the North Sea in clear and sunny weather, with Scotland on the port (thinking of Gwen Sears), and Northern Ireland to the starboard (thinking of Rachel Evans). This has been a superb cruise. We dock at Avonmouth, Bristol tomorrow morning.

 
I overheard a conversation which could only be from an English person. She, an older woman said "my rhubarb is suffering gravely on account of the dry weather"!

 
There are many West Country people on the boat. It's been great to hear the gentle and pastoral accents of passengers from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and |Gloucestershire.

 
Also to be heard is the Bristol accent/dialect. I heard "summat" for "something", and then, as we crossed a drainage duckboard,  a younger woman said to her older mother (who was using a walking stick) "mind thee stick don't get caught in thee ole".

 
The crew members are fabulous. They are entirely gracious and they smile a lot. We understand that they are treated well by Cruise and Maritime (the cruise line).

Most of the chefs and cooks are from India.

Cabin and Lounge staff are from the Ukraine, Serbia, Bulgaria etc.

Some of the young waiters are from Myanmar (would you believe that?).

Two of the photographers are from Bali (yes from Bali).

'Tis an international community on the ship, and all the better for that.

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We are on the MV Discovery (do a Google image search). She is 44 years old with gracious lines - looking like a ship (and not like a floating hotel). We understand that she is to be taken out of service next year and then converted into an Hotel.

 
But before that when our cruise is past and done she will take British WWII vets to Plymouth, St. Peter Port, Cherbourg and Honfleur for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. That's good work.

 

1 June  early morning.

The Bristol Pilot just boarded our boat. We are sailng up the Bristol Channel to Avonmouth, our home port. A nice ending after a perfect cruise.

No comments:

Post a Comment