Friday, July 14, 2023

Haugesund, Norway

Hello from Haugesund, Norway for the second time this summer!

Haugesund, Norway
View from the ship
When we were here exactly a month ago I took the Hop On Hop Off bus for a tour of the area. Today I actually scootered around on some of the same streets I took pictures of from the bus last time.

But it almost wasn't to be. Every morning at breakfast I slowly sip my water and cranberry juice, not letting one glass get more than a quarter of an inch lower than the other. Slowing things down and focusing on the glasses allow me to practice being still, silent, and calm. If it's a sea day it works great. When it's a port day, I find it much more difficult to quiet my mind. 
Slow and steady
There was a time when I was adventurous and spontaneous and was up for anything. Now my mind starts playing out scenarios beforehand. 
Will the shuttle bus take the scooter? 
Will there be hills? 
Will there be cobblestones?
Do I have the stamina to make it?

But then I catch myself and remember whatever I do it'll be enough. Then when I come back to the cabin and get ready to head out, I second guess myself again. Tell myself I don't have to go out if I don't want to. Then I second guess myself again (can you third guess yourself?) and know I need to tell a story for the day. Thank goodness the blog keeps me accountable or I'd be fourth guessing myself. 

So yes, I did go out today. And for the first time saw the shore side power I've heard about for years. The ship taps into this when in port so they can turn off their non-environmentally friendly engines.
cruise ship plugged in shore side power
Plug her in!
Yes, the shuttle bus took the scooter. For 70 NOK ($7 USD) I was able to take the shuttle to town. I thought last time the shuttle bus dropped off at the waterfront, but this time it dropped off at the top of the hill near the Vår Frelsers Church.
Var Frelsers Church in Haugesund, Norway
Yes, there were hills. 
cobblestone incline to waterfront in Haugesund, Norway
I have to go down this to get to the waterfront???
Getting closer
Once at the bottom of the hill I was rewarded with beautiful views of the marina area.
waterfront in Haugesund, Norway
waterfront in Haugesund, Norway
sailboat on water in Haugesund, Norway
Unfortunately for me, what goes down must go back up.
incline from waterfront to Var Frelsers Church
It's a long steep climb
incline to Var Frelsers Church
After dragging Scooter all the way up the hill and
multiple sit down breaks, we're almost there!
Yes, there were cobblestones. And square blocks and wavy blocks.
At the top of the hill I strolled/rolled down the side streets where all the shops were and just looked around. It was early so it wasn't too busy yet. 
shopping area in Haugesund, Norwayshopping area in Haugesund, Norway
colorful flowers for sale in Haugesund, Norway
The local florist
These were so pretty I didn't think they were real. But they were!
stuffed llamas in shop in Haugesund, Norway
A llama mama
stuffed llamas for sale in Haugesund, Norway
I contemplated picking one up for even more bling for Scooter
reindeer hides in Haugesund, Norway
Reindeer hides
Yes, I did have the stamina to make it back. After my outing I took the shuttle bus back to the ship, sat outside in the sun on a lounge chair for a while, and then almost couldn't get up because I hurt so much. 
Soaking up the rays in Norway
The benefit of not being able to get up? The workers were varnishing the floor near my lounger and I was sitting downwind and...I caught a whiff of it. Add varnish to my smell list!
See the darker brown? That's a newly varnished floor - and a new smell for me.
My health app tells me I took more steps today than I have in the past two years. Being those were uphill and on cobblestones and while pulling a scooter and on feet that aren't supposed to be walking I think those should count as quadruple the steps. While I did have the stamina to make it back, it's going to have to be another arthritis strength ibuprofen/extra strength acetaminophen/scalding hot shower/in bed before 8 PM kind of day if I have any hopes of salvaging tomorrow. Ålesund, Norway I'm coming your way!

Return of tastes and smells post-Covid: 
Tastes - Maple fudge
Smells - Rosemary, lavender, brief whiff of sunscreen on my face, strawberry body spray, pine body spray, varnish being applied