Bergen - Our last night

Community Highlights Europe Bergen - Our last night

We sailed all night. The captain hooned the boat at night when everyone but the hardcore are in bed and slowed down in the morning when people are up to breakfast. Passed some of the same rugged coast and we were met by the tugboat which guided us to dock. For once, it was a decent terminal and the Norwegians are still building it and it will be great when it's finished.

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These windmills are actually near Stavenger but I missed including them in that entry. In fact, most of Norway's electricity is from hydro, so they are pretty green. Moralistic bastards!

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This is an offshore supply ship supplying the North Sea Oil rigs

We set off to explore the town after lunch. Deb and I had decided that the ship's excursion was not going to be worth it and we were going to do it all ourselves. Armed with the map, we found the Floibanen funicular (Floibanen probably means funicular which then mean that I have just said funicular funicular, silly) station and $16 AUD each for a return trip, we were off. The ride itself was so so but the view at the top was spectacular. It was even better when the sun came out for about 10 minutes, just long enough for great photos.

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Our welcoming tug

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They really mean water front around here

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The Norwegians are also towing boats back

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Original houses which are falling over

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Original woodwork

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I am pretty sure that France won the soccer world cup

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One of the few original laneways

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Dogs are allowed on buses. Very civilised but they need to be very well trained

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Kids taking their toboggans in the funicular. Bet its a great ride down

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Random Tourist

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Random Tourist with a troll

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Random Tourist with a snowman

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Same Random Tourist. I've seen her somewhere before

We then visited the Fish market which was underwhelming. 2 fish stalls and a cheese stall. There was plenty of different fish and shellfish on display. None of ti was cheap. The Norwegians DO like to smoke their fish but I reckon they have a hell of a time trying to light them!

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They do like to cater for visitors

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Lovely wrought iron work

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Only a mother can love that face

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This is the skanky end of town. Drug deals just outside a church. At least salvation is only a door away

Mission accomplished, we walked back to the boat.

We have to pack tonight as we have to have our luggage out in the hallway by 0800 hrs and physically off the ship by 0945 hrs. Then we fly to Oslo and onto London. Deb will be visiting her parents for another 3 weeks and I'll have a 24 hour journey home.

This will be the last entry. All in all a great holiday. Although its sad the trip is coming to an end, I am looking forward to getting home. I’ll pack away all the cold weather gear as it will quite a while before I get to arctic temperatures again.

Below are some personal notes if I ever come back this way. You can stop reading if you are already dead with boredom.

A few thoughts about this cruise:

This is Viking’s inaugural Arctic cruise and they have a bit of ironing out to do.

The ship is fantastic. Small enough to be intimate but not too large to be crowded and stupid. The food is fantastic but caters to the predominant species (Americans). The crew is great and very accommodating. The shows have been great with just a 4 piece Filipino band.

The educational lectures can be missed.

The free included tours which are usually a ride in the bus around the towns with guide commentary are rubbish. I guess that’s why they are free.

The extra tours are expensive and some are definitely not worth paying the money. The problem is the arctic time cycle. Light is at 10 am and ends about 2 pm. So if the activity involves being outside, it will be dark if it is an afternoon tour. Instead of maximizing profits, they should only run on tour a day and provide quality. In fact, it might be a better experience to contract your own private tours.

Getting on the bus can be a problems if you are stuck behind the walking dead. They move slow and think even slower. You will try to sit in front so you can get on and off quick but the 2 front benches are always reserved for the disabled. Foiled there! The best option is to sit in the middle of the bus next to the other exit. Quick exit then.

Coping with arctic temperatures require some change in one’s thinking. Layering is the way to go. A windproof outer most layer is essential. The thermal jumpsuits look goofy but definitely help when it gets below minus 20 and below, especially with the wind chill factor. Good warm hats rather than the beanie from the 2 dollar shop are recommended. Get good quality and well fitting gloves with liners. A neck warmer is also very useful. Loose woolen socks and not lacing up the boots too tightly is also the way to go. This allows circulation to the feet or they will get really cold. Windproof waterproof trousers are also great. By the way, the pajamas socks the airline hand out work great as sock liners to add to the insulation. Finally, there are little warmer packets, which were great to warm your hands. Keep camera batteries warm. Walking sticks really help as the ice on the ground is treacherous. Walk on snow rather than ice!

Duty free booze is the way to go or you can buy the ship’s drink packages. Deb and I are not big drinkers and so this is often not a great deal for us. The house wines have been more than adequate.

This featured blog entry was written by wilson.lim61 from the blog Northern Lights - Viking Cruise.
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By wilson.lim61

Posted Fri, Jan 25, 2019 | Norway | Comments