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tonybro

Norway anyone?

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tonybro    371
tonybro

Well back from the hols now and as usual it felt too short. :wink:

Norway (3rd time), this time on Cunard's wonderful flagship, Queen Mary 2.

Stateroom (cabin to everyone else!) was the usual high standard.

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Set sail from Southampton in good weather on a Thursday afternoon. You head out to the Isle of Wight and then pass Portsmouth as you head down the Solent before turning to Port and heading up the French side of the Channel overnight into the southern North Sea.

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On the Friday it was a Sea Day (no port, just steaming on through) in the North Sea en-route to Stavangar...

You pass all sorts such as the Gas rigs in the southern North Sea.

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As you can see, the North Sea was benign (not always the case, I can assure you!). In the evening it was the formal Black and White Ball so dinner was the old Monkey Suit!

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Food is exquisite on-board - Five+ stars The galley serves 15,000 meals a day and has over 300 chefs! (see below for Dining Room and some of the chefs' creations...)

So Saturday saw us arrive in Stavangar. Really nice town but as with all of Norway, expensive, especially alcohol (good job I am tea total then).

I always enjoy a walk around Stavangar but you can head off to Pulpit Rock up the fjord (look it up - Daron would not go near the place!)

The old part of town is where the ship docks and you look down on it from the berth. Now a protected heritage area.

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Left Stavangar in the evening to steam up to Nordfjord and head inland (86 miles) into the first proper fjord and berth at Olden late afternoon with an overnight stop. Weather started to tail off as we entered Nordflord in the early hours.

After berthing we took a quick trip up the Skylift at Loen for a truly dramatic view of the head of the fjord. Sea level to 1100m in a about six minutes and it's almost vertical. Wide angle shot from the top which doesn't truly give you a sense of the dramatic even though it is.

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The white speck in the centre of the shot is the QM2 berthed up, the long distance zoomed shot is below: -

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As I said, overnight in Olden so time to have a wander the following day, Monday. We've been before and up the valley is the Briksdal Glacier coming off Europe's largest permanent ice field and as the waether was poor we opted for the walk around rather than the trip back up there. This shot is from last time I was at the glacier.

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Back in Olden, they have a lovely wooden church dating back a few centuries, really small and cosy. This shot is from the entrance looking across the graveyard.

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So we set sail from a very wet Olden to a new port for us, Flaam. This was even further inland, 105 miles! The weather improved thankfully as we had the train booked to go up to Myrdal (866m) and then cycle all the way back down to the ship (22Km). Beautiful place. A quick stop at Kjosfossen waterfall near the top for piccies before completing the journey and collecting our bikes.

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Back down to the ship/town for a wander around after the bikes. It's a BIG ship...

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Left Flaam for the city of Bergen, our final port.

Nice place but after our third visit, we felt it had become a little dirty with graffiti in a few areas which is unusual for Norway.

Wierdest thing though is getting the ship UNDER the suspension bridge on the way in/out. There is only 2m clearance!

After leaving Bergen it was another sea day heading back for Southamption. Time to show some pics of the inside of the Queen Mary 2 and what some of the chef's create.

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The Grand Lobby

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The main Britannia Dining Room from the upper level looking down.

Now for some serious shots for chocoholics! The Chef's did themselves proud on leaving Bergen with a chocolate festival and some ice sculptures. All free to eat too! :-)

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Dessert anyone? :wink:

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...and all too quickly it is over. :-(

Time to book another! :-)

 

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The Guru    1,458
The Guru

That is top Tony, something I've always fancied doing but the monkey suit side of things does not appeal, I'd be wanting to be relaxed not dressing up :) Each to his own I guess. Good to know you can get on such cruises without flying out to a starting point though! Great pictures as always!

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tonybro    371
tonybro

Formal nights are infrequent otherwise it is jacket and shirt, tie optional in the main restaurant. It is optional to eat in the main restaurant anyway - there is always the buffet/self-service restaurants but you are missing out if you just eat there. Cunard is more formal than others which I like, keeps the riff-raff out! :wink:

The chocolate sculptures and dessert pictures were all taken in the Buffet, so hardly slumming it! :-)

 

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neilm    851
neilm

Absolutely fantastic Tony! It's hard to beat Norway for stunning scenery! 

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The Guru    1,458
The Guru

You're are possibly right there Tony, tis the other half rather than me to be honest :) I have done the formal route on a cruise when much much younger. If the job situation was not so dire we might be considering one in the future.

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Michael_Mcr    69
Michael_Mcr

Looks fabulous Tony and the pics are great - all except the fifth one of the waiter...:D

Never done a cruise, but we do fancy it.

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