Posted by: glenswatman | September 11, 2012

20120901-10 NORWAY & ENGLAND

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SATURDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2012 – Today is a sea day with plenty of activities although we opt to spend most time in the cabin watching movies, first one about the young Queen Victoria then later Charlotte Grey. We even have room service deliver lunch to our cabin. We get dressed up for the formal evening and think it the best meal so far as the Chateaubriand is superb and I cannot resist trying each of the 3 puddings. The evening show is called The Composers featuring music by artists such as Irving Berlin and Gershwin and is quite entertaining. We now seem to have formed a quiz team with Doctor Nigel and another couple Mike and Linda but in true form for us we consistently come second.

SUNDAY 2 SEPTEMBER – It’s been a bumpy night with gale force 8 winds but seems calmer as we approach the FAROE ISLANDS capital of Torshavn. Appearances are obviously deceptive as Captain announces it is too windy for us to dock and taking into account the safety of the passengers we are abandoning the stop and heading for NORWAY. This is quite disappointing as Torshavn sounded to be a lovely place to walk around with black tarred houses topped with turf roofs. We watch a movie in the room whilst Steve’s rests his ankle as much as possible as the swelling seems to keep coming back. Doctor Nigel again gives us a private consultation at the quiz and feels sure it is some of Steve’s medication and nothing to worry about. Manage our usual 2nd in the quizzes.

MONDAY 3 SEPTEMBER – After missing yesterdays’ port we get a bonus of extra time in NORWAY at The pretty town of Floro at the head of a fjord. We sail in during breakfast and it looks quite attractive. Back in 1998 we drove our motorhome up to Nordkapp then all the way back down this coast but of course didn’t get to see everything. Floro is a small town and at the tourist office we learn about a local bus that does a circuit taking 1-hour. It costs NOK20 (£2.25) each, makes a figure of eight around the peninsula and we get to see housing estates, schools, coast, airport, lakes and much more. Steve is still having a problem with swollen ankles and gets very tired so we return to the ship in time for lunch. We finally break our duck and win the afternoon quiz, it helps that many people are still on shore. I sit out on the back deck in the hot tub soaking up the view whilst Steve has a nap. We opt for the Secret Garden restaurant as they are having an Indian night; Steve really enjoys the lamb curry. In the card room Mark and Kath join us for a couple of games of Canasta which we really enjoy. Our team (mainly Mike and Nigel) win the evening history quiz jointly If we’d known at school that history would be useful in quizzes we may have paid more attention! However we lose on the tie breaker with great debate as to how many countries border Russia We watch the 10.30pm show with Barnaby the comedian and when he gets to an Antique Roadshow joke we learn that Arthur Negus’s son is in the audience which gives Barnaby plenty to ad lib about.

TUESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER – Flam is at the top of the longest fjord in the world, Sognefjord. Also in port are the sister ship Braemar and the floating palace of MSC Magnifica. We are lucky to get off on the first tender and make the short walk to the station to buy tickets for the 8.35am train to Myrdal. Although only an hour each way it is such a tourist attraction that they can command NOK 360 (£40) return. It is a magnificent journey taking us through 20 tunnels as we climb 863m over 20km. We see stunning valleys, loads of waterfalls and beautiful scenery. Myrdal is just a connection for trains to Oslo and Bergen so we stay on for the return journey. When we get back Flam is heaving with cruise ship passengers, it’s raining and the only things in sight are shops selling tourist stuff so we head back on the next tender. We watch a movie about Elizabeth 1st (should have watched it before the quiz) and have room service lunch. After my afternoon spa we do the quiz. Doctor Nigel has brought Steve some diuretic tablets to help get the foot swelling under control. The weather closes in before we leave but we do benefit from a beautiful rainbow crossing the fjord. Captain announces most of our journey to Bergen will be down the inside passage but when he moves outside it is going to be rough seas. First we head into the fjord arm leading to Gudvangen but the predicted 12 knot winds soon whip up to 50 knots and Captain has to turn around but not before seeing what he claims is the most beautiful waterfall in Norway. Tonight is nautical theme and the show has appropriate songs, we can hear them as we sit above the theatre playing Canasta with Kath & Mark. We get a pretty rough night with winds up to 70 knots; feel sorry for first time cruisers.

WEDNESDAY 5 SEPTEMBER – With the help of the diuretic tablets Steve’s legs are a little better and he is happy to attempt a walk around Bergen. We were here in 1998 with our motorhome but can only remember the area of old houses and fish market so enjoy exploring the rest, in spite of the rain which pours down for about 5 minutes every 15 minutes. There’s a lovely park area in the centre and attractive buildings and down the back street some amazing antique shops stuffed full of memorabilia. We’re back onboard by 11.30am. At the Captain’s farewell party he assures us the weather has been against us this cruise but should not be too bad tonight, interesting as our cabin steward asked if she could put everything on the floor for overnight and the people on Deck 3 have all had their portholes locked shut! The variety crew show is pretty good with an amazing singer who turns out to be the plumber. The evening quiz is an amusing one about body parts, questions such as “you would worship this” the answer being temple.

THURSDAY 6 SEPTEMBER – The night turned out not to be too rough. Steve is struggling as the swelling is now in his knees but Dr Nigel is not overly concerned knowing we will be back at hospital tomorrow. In the afternoon and evening quiz we tie but again lose on the tie breaker. The afternoon tie breaker is a bit embarrassing as the question is “how many seconds does it take blood to circulate your body”. Dr Nigel assures us it is 4 minutes so we put 240 seconds whilst the other team say 1 second. We lose as they are closest to the correct 23 seconds! Steve’s been weary today so we watched a movie and had room service lunch and we take the dessert from the evening meal back to the cabin. In hindsight a 7 night cruise would have been better. Barnaby hosts the evening show with a joke about the ships’ Doctors drink of Strawberry Daiquiri at the bar. One night the barman had no strawberries so substitutes hickory nuts. Doc says what’s this drink tonight and bar man replies a “hickory daiquiri Doc”. Steve spends the evening in the cabin resting whilst I do the final quiz then pack our bags.

FRIDAY 7 SEPTEMBER – After breakfast we are almost the first off as we only have carryon luggage. After picking up the car we head off with Steve driving. After a brief stop to stretch his legs we arrive at the Bradford Royal Infirmary at 11am. First thing is to get his bloods checked including an extra test for kidney function. A few hours later all his blood counts are good so we are given a prescription to get him back on the maintenance chemo and a Doc has looked at his legs and says to walk as normal through the day then rest them in the evening and at night and stop the diuretic tablets. No real explanation as to why it has happened but with luck it will all settle down now. Back home Claire has surprised us by getting in some basic groceries plus a chocolate cake and cream and some flowers, what a lovely welcome. Steve picks her up after work as she jogged there this morning in training for her 10km race in Leeds in November. She comes back for tea before Steve drives her home. Doesn’t take long for us to be unpacked and settled back in and we both manage to fall asleep before 10pm whilst watching Mrs Browns boys.

SATURDAY 8 SEPTEMBER – It’s a nice sunny day so I get the washing out and we also spend a little time sat out in the sun between clouds. I also do a bit of weeding but need to wait for my check up next week before getting back into the full swing of things.

SUNDAY 9 SEPTEMBER – Claire phones and asks if we would like to join her and some friends for a trip to Burnsall by the river. It sounds like a great idea so I nip to ASDA to pick up some food and drinks. Claire arrives in her new car and it is really nice and comfy with lots of gadgets, unfortunately she is frustrated that the blue tooth isn’t working properly. Most of the traffic turns off at Bolton Abbey and at Burnsall we find Sally and Tony area set up by the bridge with windbreak, rugs and changing tent. Richard finishes blowing up the dinghy and once Wendy, Andy and girls arrive it is time to head into the river. Claire is the only adult brave enough to go in and she shows the girls the best places for the boat. The field is packed with people and walking around we cannot help but feel hungry smelling all the barbeques. Tony gets ours underway and feeding about 17 of us it takes quite some time but we have plenty of other food to nibble on even if it does mean mixing cakes with burgers. We’re the first to leave around 5pm but Steve is whacked although we have really enjoyed the time out. We can’t seem to get into a decent sleep pattern and both fall asleep around 8pm, Steve heads to bed whilst I make myself stay up to watch the Paralympics Closing Ceremony.

MONDAY 10 SEPTEMBER – With appointments all this week it’s not that surprising that I stuff up and have Steve visiting the physio at 9 instead of 10am. We call in to In Communities to report that someone is coming to strip the wallpaper and re plaster the damp bathroom but the ridge tiles still haven’t been fixed. The girl is annoyed at how long it is taking and arranges for someone to call round this morning so Steve drops me home and returns to his appointment. He visits Mom after and she has a swollen leg that the Doctor says is an infection and has prescribed antibiotics. Steve shoulder is not improving and the exercises hurt, the physio thinks it may be turning into a frozen shoulder but says to exercise as much as possible early morning and he books him in for a course of ultra sound treatment. The damp inspector calls and says he will speed up the roof work and get a private company on the job. We’re not tempted out walking as it is raining but have to wait in any way for the gas inspection which happens late afternoon. We’re already feeling a bit flat after the cruise and with the bad weather back.


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