Cruising Day 8..Bergen
2022-06-17 Today we are in Bergen, once the capital of Norway (Oslo is now), and the largest city we have been in as yet. We got to the port fairly early, but I was sleeping, since I had not gone to bed till 4:00 a.m. I am so messed up on time! I was talking to Kelly at 3:00 this morning! When I woke up at about 8:00, Kay had gone downstairs and got a bite to eat and brought me back some chocolate muffins, so I ate those and we killed a little more time in the room, until we went to get a hot breakfast around 10:00. We had to be at the meeting place for the excursion at 12:15, so we got there early and waited... and waited ...since they were running a little late apparently.
In the meantime the rain was coming down. When it was time to go get on the bus, we ran in the rain, and got on the bus fairly damp. This was an omen for the whole day, and all day, every stop we were running from rain puddle to rain puddle, trying to stay as dry as possible. Our first stop was the funicular, a tram-like contraption, very modern and sleek looking, that ran up the side of the mountain. It was really neat and we had fun riding it. It was very fast and on a slope that held one large train with steps, and sections of cars that held about 8 people sitting, and about that many more standing.
We got to the top of the mountain, and of course the first thing I did was take a few pictures! The cover picture is one of them, as you can see all around from up at the top of the mountain, including looking down and seeing our ship. While we were there, I bought a few souvenirs that were of a little nicer quality, and then we got a cinnamon bun and something to drink at the restaurant. We were up at the top of the mountain for about 45 minutes, and then we got to ride back down. It is interesting, as a teacher, to watch adults follow directions. It's extremely obvious why teachers have the problems they have with children nowadays. The adults can't follow directions or mind either! Our guide clearly told us to meet her in the departure station, but don't get on the tram. Of course, when we got in there, several had already disobeyed and were boarding the train. I don't know if it was because they wanted the better seats, or if they just didn't listen and follow directions, but it really messed her up because she had to get a headcount of everyone before we could go through to make sure everyone was accounted for. She called them back, but they didn't come back. This leads me to believe they really just wanted the best seats and decided not to follow directions! Well guess what, everyone got to the bottom of the mountain at the same time, so I don't know why they thought they had to disobey.
As we ran out in the rain to get on the bus, the rest of the afternoon was riding around looking at the town. Bergen is a fairly large city, about 25 to 50,000. She told us, but I honestly forgot, but it was definitely in that range. We saw fish markets, old houses built 400 or 500 years ago, nice restaurants, old churches, seats of government, statues, a very different looking McDonald's, and all of the things that Bergen is proud of! Our guide seemed to be quite proud of all of these things, and we made several stops to take pictures. Is it terrible of me to say that I was so over it by that point? Kay made a valiant effort and got out at the first stop, but it was pouring down rain and I'm not stupid. It was drier on the bus, even in my wet shoes and wet jeans, than it was outside. She got some nice pictures, and she quickly got back on the bus. The first stop about half the people got off. By the third stop, only one or two people were getting off each time to take pictures. We were quickly discovering Darwin's theory of who was smart and who still couldn't learn lessons based on previous learning. These people that continued to get off came back in dripping wet. We passed by the ship, and I'm sure my blood pressure went up 10° or 15° at the thought that we were about to be back at the ship, but no! They kept going! They had told us we had a 4-hour trip, and she made sure we had a 4-hour trip, even though half the bus was asleep by the time 3 hours had rolled by. I know I dozed a little bit, and I know for a fact that Kay dozed a little bit too. The town was beautiful and if it had been sunshine, I know we would have enjoyed it a lot more. Can I say how thankful we were to get back to the ship when we did :-) The first thing we did was change out of our wet clothes and wet shoes, quiet our starving stomachs, and wait another hour or so for dinner!
Oh, guess what! Bergenfest was going on, which is a big music concert event, very very big! Let me tell you how big, big enough that I was almost sick at my stomach when I heard this! This afternoon, Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp were performing at Bergenfest! This is not the first time that I have been close enough to a concert and not known about it. When our whole family was in New York in September 2019 for our cruise, we were staying right across the street from Madison Square Garden, and all these people were piling in for a concert. We literally could have walked across the street to Madison Square Garden without even parking a car. That's how close we were to..... Billy Joel! Now I am only blocks away from Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp, and there's nothing I can do about it! The ship is leaving before the concert! Can you believe that! Oh well. It wasn't meant to be obviously but I certainly would have loved to have seen Jeff and Johnny together!
When we got to dinner, our tablemate Megan was so sweet, on her excursion she had bought a pack of waffle mix, make that vaffel mix, for us, and each of us got a wooden spoon with the waffle pattern stamp on it. I'm so excited! Now I have to actually get the vaffel iron and I will be able to make some of those delicious vaffels! Megan is so sweet and we are going to really miss her when she goes home Sunday. She's going home with a lot to deal with, so I'm glad that she got to enjoy herself just a little on the trip. Again please keep her in your prayers, as I know the coming weeks won't be easy for her.
Guess what! It's 10:57 and we're actually seeing a semi sort of sunset that is quite beautiful, for the first time since the first night (although it's not getting dark, but the sun did set). I guess that means that we're heading south at a pretty quick pace, and soon we'll be back in Dover, ready for our Baltic adventure next week. Norway has been beautiful, everything I expected it to be and more. The one day, the day of Alaska's Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm Fjord, still far surpasses anything that I've seen on this trip. However as a whole, the whole of Norway has been equal to my Alaska trip as a whole, and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I've learned a lot about some things that we could have done, and if I come back (Alston wants to!), I'll have some more ideas of some things to see. And I would love to come back, it's beautiful and it's worth it! I hope that the Baltic next week is just as enjoyable, but it's going to be hard to surpass what I've seen this week. Pictures don't do it justice, and although I've submitted some good ones to you to look at, I can't put what I've seen into a picture!
Tomorrow is a sea day and we'll probably be boring, so I'll just try to take some pictures of ship life, although our ship life has been pretty boring! I hope you've enjoyed seeing and hearing about Norway! After my Bergen pictures, I included some pictures from yesterday that I thought uploaded and didn't. Keep scrolling to the very bottom to see the pictures from Olden yesterday.
I also wanted to include some pictures from Olden yesterday that I thought uploaded and didn't.