Sunday, July 30, 2023

Trondheim, Norway

Hello again from Trondheim, Norway! Today marks the second and final visit of the summer in this port for me. The day started out a little bleak looking…
so after breakfast I came back to the cabin and took a little rest. Not much later the sun was in my eyes and it wound up ruling most of the day.
Trondheim, Norway
When I was here last month I spent the day taking standard touristy pictures. Of the famous waterfront houses, Trondheim Square, the Nidaros Cathedral, and the colorful umbrellas covering the street. You can read the blog post about the day here. 

Today I knew I wanted to do something different but wasn't sure what. On the ride down in the ship's elevator I ran into a family with their mother in a wheelchair who were concerned about getting her up the steep ramp over the railroad tracks. Well, Deb to the rescue because I knew where Trondheim was hiding their elevator. In turn from them I learned this week was the St. Olav Festival. It's Norway's largest cultural celebration for the Norwegian patron saint Olav Haraldsson. Guess I'll be heading to the cathedral again, then!
stairs at train station in Trondheim, Norway
Remember last month I said if you didn't take the elevator
down you'd have to deal with lots and lots of stairs? Yup.
On the way to the Cathedral I found new things I somehow missed last time. Back then I think I was so overwhelmed with everything being so new and the cobblestones being so rough I didn't really, really pay attention. But today I did.

I saw the yellow sculpture based on the Beatles Yellow Submarine.
yellow submarine sculpture near cruise ship in Trondheim, Norway
I saw cobblestones in a shape of a flower. I crossed over these twice last time. How did I miss it before?
flower cobblestone in Trondheim, Norway
I found two F word signs here last time but somehow missed this one. I caught it today, though. Can you see it below the closed sign?
While I was all proud I knew where the elevators were this time, how did I not know you don't have to push the button to get out the door of the building? I could have been just waving my hand in front of it? Duh.
And the art museum was right behind the Cathedral? Again, missed it last time.
Today streets were closed and Trondheim Square was full of white tents, and even though the festival runs through August 3 some of them were being taken down. They must have had some party last night.
When I arrived at the Cathedral they were setting up chairs and a stage in the area I was in before. I waited until after noon to see what was happening but alas, nothing.
There was one thing going on, however.
entrance to St Olav Festival at cathedral in Trondheim, Norway
A craft fair! Booths full of food and drink and about every kind of item made out of every kind of material you could imagine. I didn't take individual photos of the booths (you can see how busy it was) but if you were a shopper looking for beautiful unique handmade items, this would be the place to get them.
St Olav Festival craft fair in Trondheim, Norway
I spent time perusing the area before heading back in plenty of time for our 3:00 all aboard. Except when I got to the ship I found out all aboard wasn't until 7 tonight. While I've officially been in the land of not knowing what day of the week it is for quite a while now, it looks like I've made my way into the land of not knowing where I am or where I'm going or when I have to be there. It's kind of a nice feeling, though.

It gave me extra time to get up to a sunny and packed pool deck and have another vegetarian pizza. It's not one of the pizzas listed for the day - and they always try and steer me to something already made - but if I ask them to make one for me they will. The alternative is I order it from room service and they'll have to not only make a larger pizza but box it up as well. See, I save them a step! This one is only the size of a plate but is still too much for me. 
Probably a good thing I came back to the ship early because it's long before the real all aboard time as I'm typing this and it looks like we have some thunderstorms on the way. Update: They missed us.
I know tomorrow is a sea day and the Most Traveled Guest Luncheon, but surprise - I was wrong about where I thought I was going to be on Tuesday. Where we'll really be (and not where I think we'll be) is the Lofoten Islands. See you then!

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Åndalsnes, Norway

Hello from Åndalsnes, Norway! Today was simply spectacular. 

Åndalsnes, Norway

You know those summer days when the temperature is perfect and you find yourself spending the entire day outside? Those days where you wish the day would never end because you just want more of the same? Today was one of those days.

It started early as we made our way up the Romsdalsfjord to get to Åndalsnes. If anyone tells you Norwegian fjords are stunning, believe them.

Fishing pots I think

fjords in Åndalsnes, Norwayfjords in Åndalsnes, Norwayfjords in Åndalsnes, Norwayfjords in Åndalsnes, Norwaywaterfall reflection in fjords near Åndalsnes, Norway

Once we arrived in port I was excited to find my cabin facing the town. In the sun. It gave me the opportunity to watch the going ons around the town. And in the water. Sailboats, jet skis, and kayaks made trips back and forth. I even watched kids doing backflips into the chilly water.

yellow kayaks in green water

I had plenty of time to watch everything because I was waiting for the clouds to clear up on Mt. Nesaksla. I visited there last month (you can read about it here) and I was determined to make another trip today.

clouds at top of mountain Nesaksla at Åndalsnes, Norway
Not going yet

After some time the clouds still hadn't cleared out so I decided to head to the grocery store to find some kind of something for me to be able to taste. 

Bacon Gull? I think they're pork rinds

I picked up a "Tex-Mex Taco" (well, Norway's interpretation of it), some cheese doodles, and a chocolate-coconut thingy and headed back to the marina to munch on it across from the ship. I'm not sure what was in the taco but it wasn't what I expected. I couldn't taste it but from the textures it appeared to be some meat with a couple beans, shredded cheese, lettuce, and a big chunk of coleslaw (or lots of mayonnaise or sour cream) inside a flour tortilla. I only made it through part of it and had to give up.

picnic tables near cruise ship dock in Åndalsnes, Norway

But the chocolate-coconut thing? Oh, my. It had the texture of a cake pop - with cake and frosting mixed together maybe? - and then rolled in coconut. It was small and I ate the whole darn thing. 

I then moseyed through the town and got some pictures of a statue and street sign of course, but also of cool cars and just-as-cool flowers.

By the time I was finishing up a mountain made a bold appearance.

Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norwaypurple flowers by Romsdalen Gondola in Åndalsnes, Norway

Off to the cable car/gondola! Last time I wound up in the clouds and fog and couldn't hardly see a thing but not today. Simply spectacular.

Gondola car in Åndalsnes, Norwayview from top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norwayview from top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norwayview from top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norwayview from top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norwayview from top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norwayview from top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norway

Even though I had to help him a lot, Scooter and I took every single ramp and made it all the way until they ended. Just look at all those steep ramps. We ROCK.

ramp at top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norwayramp at top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norwayview from the top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norway

view from the top of Nesaksla mountain in Åndalsnes, Norway
As far as we can go
View from the gondola on the way back down
I came back to the ship and (lucky me!) the sun was still shining on my balcony. I only stepped inside long enough to get this written up and then I'm heading back out there. I'm going to stretch out this day as long as I possibly can. But I’ll try really hard not to take any more pictures of it!

Tomorrow we're back in Trondheim, Norway. See you then!

Friday, July 28, 2023

Haugesund, Norway

Hello from Haugesund, Norway for my third and final visit of the summer!

Not knowing what my plan was going to be today I snapped a couple photos as we were sailing in, just in case I had nothing else to show for the day.

Haugesund, Norway ferry
We're sailing in while the ferry is sailing out
I knew I didn't want to do the Hop On Hop Off Bus again like I did when I was here last month. Been there, done that and you can read about it here. I knew I didn't want to take the shuttle to town again like I did a couple weeks ago. Been there, done that and you can read about that adventure here. I also knew I didn't want to do anything requiring me to scooter up and over the steep Risøy bridge.
Risøy bridge at Haugesund, Norway
So what was left? Since we're docked on an island - and my ship is the Island Princess - I decided to spend the morning riding my Royal Carriage scooter around the island.
I wandered here and there, trying to sneak a peek at the water as much as possible.
Even though the bulk of the area is residential I was able to find some spots where I could see across the water to the places I covered last cruise.
Var Frelsers Church in Haugesund, Norway
Haugesund shopping mall and waterfront  in Haugesund, Norway
I even found the mall across the water
It did get a little tricky trying to avoid hills so sometimes I had to get off and pull Scooter alongside me.
The pavement was mostly smooth so it wasn't as much of a workout as when I'm dragging him over cobblestones. Although, there were places where the pavement was just...gone.
I saw all kinds of interesting sights and a variety of colors.
Risoy, Island homes
A sea of white. Almost.
Combining the yellow paint in the first picture and the orange roof in the second almost reminded me of the Skagen houses from earlier this month in Denmark
Risoy, Island homesRisoy, Island homes
I found the bluest of skies made for a nice background.
Risoy, Island homes
Risøy Aktivitetshus Cafe in Haugesund, Norway
I also had to get the obligatory street sign and statue pictures, of course.
Olaf Lytt statue in Haugesund, Norway
Painted on the pavement near the port
I wasn't gone all that long and didn't cover miles and miles of ground but it was just enough to make me feel like a local, especially when the number of people walking their dogs way outnumbered the cruise ship passengers.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the balcony in the sun watching boat traffic.
And since it's my wedding anniversary (39 years) I broke my no carb/no cheese streak and ordered a vegetarian pizza for lunch. With the time difference back home, my husband is still sleeping so he won't be none the wiser!
5:36 AM in Boise, but not here
Tomorrow we're back in Åndalsnes, Norway for our second visit of the summer. See you then!