Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Perigrinations 3


May 24th

Today's the day. We embark in about three hours for the cruise to Norway (and back). WiFi will be limited on board ship, so I will be in touch when and if I can. Oh joy!

 

May 25th

(Using very slow Satellite Internet) We are on the MV Discovery somewhere between Scotland and Ireland on the Irish Sea. Weather OK, not too sunny, but no stormy waves. We are all well

May 26th

1.  Oh joy! My birthday celebrations started with card and gift opening at breakfast with family members, and ended at dinner with a special birthday edition of the menu and a hearty singing of happy birthday by dining room staff. Super!

We travelled most of yesterday north of Scotland and south of the Orkneys in a slightly rolling sea, and with misty horizons, which had their own beauty. The... sun broke through later and we were followed for many many miles by eight snow geese, and passe through a small forest of oil wells. Sunset last night was 11:oo a.m., sunrise this morning has been at 4:20 a.,m. (we are on Norwegian time). My frtiend  in Fairbanks Alaska knows all aboit this!The coast of Norway is now in sight. We will have an inland day trip later this morning. Great staff on the boat (300 of them for 640 passengers). I saw one young man washing the rubberised stair treads on his hands and knees. Our lounge/bar steward is a 35 year old from Serbia. He is very funny, and keeps us well supplied with tea, coffee and other adult beverages. My sister Maureen and her husbands Bern, togther with my sister in law Wendy are sailing on a cruise for the first time - they are more than enjoying every mThe... sun broke through later and we were followed for many many miles by eight snow geese, and passe through a small forest of oil wells. Sunset last night was 11:oo a.m., sunrise this morning has been at 4:20 a.,m. (we are on Norwegian time). My friend Don Morton in Fairbanks Alaska knows all about this!The coast of Norway is now in sight.

 We will have an inland day trip later this morning.

Great staff on the boat (300 of them for 640 passengers). I saw one young man washing the rubberised stair treads on his hands and knees.

Our lounge/bar steward is a 35 year old from Serbia. He is very funny, and keeps us well supplied with tea, coffee and other adult beverages.

My sister Maureen and her husbands Bern, together with my sister in law Wendy are sailing on a cruise for the first time - they are more than enjoying every minute (As are brother Martyn Povey and I who have sailed before.

The sun broke through later and we were followed for many many miles by eight snow geese, and passed through a small forest of oil wells. Sunset last night was 11:oo a.m., sunrise this morning has been at 4:20 a.m. (we are on Norwegian time). My friend Don Morton in Fairbanks Alaska knows all about this! The coast of Norway is now in sight.

We will have an inland day trip later this morning. Great staff on the boat (300 of them for 640 passengers). I saw one young man washing the rubberised stair treads on his hands and knees. Our lounge/bar steward is a 35 year old from Serbia. He is very funny, and keeps us well supplied with tea, coffee and other adult beverages.

My sister Maureen and her husband Bern, together with my sister in law Wendy are sailing on a cruise for the first time - they are more than enjoying every minute (As are brother Martyn Povey and I who have sailed before.)

May 27th

In the Episcopal Church Prayer Book we pray that we may have the gift of "joy and wonder in all God's works".  I felt that joy and wonder yesterday, but not only in the beauty of nature/creation, but also in the many ways by which human activity can enhance that beauty.  A wee cabin on a mountainside, a bit of land cleared for cultivation, and a boat made by humans for Fjord exploration all add to a sense of joy and wonder.  Such was the case for me yesterday. 

We entered Hargdanger Fjord at 4:30 a.m. at sunrise.  The beauty of the Fjord was all that I had imagined and hoped for  -  and more!  Hargdanger Fjord is 75 miles long. 

My family members and I alighted at the pretty little village of Ulvick, there to take a bus/coach tour alongside the fjord, across the 1380m Hargdanger Suspension bridge, and then up through the mountains |(still snow capped) to the gorgeous Voringfoss waterfalls.  Such rugged beauty! 

We had a superb lunch (te best salmon you could imagine)  at the 1890's Fissli Hotel  (built then for intrepid British skiers and hunters) - the Hotel retains its original charm (and hosts a piano which was played by Edvard Greig). 

Then it was down into the town of Eidfjord and into a very modern nature centre where we viewed a spectacular 20 minute wide-screen movie of the flora and fauna of the area.  It was breathtaking. 

Back in the centre of Eidfjord we waited in line to take the tenders back to MV Discovery.  We encountered a funny group of local teenagers who were "people watching" at we exotic tourists.  One young man was offering "free hugs".  There were no takers until I (egged on by brother Martyn) got my hug.  Such fun.

May 28th

We (the family) are enjoying what for us is a perfect visit to parts of Norway :- blessed also yesterday by sunny skies and 70'2 f temperatures.   Today we are on Norway's longest fjord - the 110 mile long Sognafjord.  We are keenly anticipating a ride on the 12.4 mile long Flam railway (built by Germans in WWII) which will take us up to 2845 feet in 40 minutes  (and then will take 53 minutes to descend) 

Joy!

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