On August 15th 2014, 22 of our members left Ballinasloe bright and early for the first leg of our journey to the much anticipated Norwegian Fjords Cruise. We joined our ship “The Infinity” in Harwich. Having located our staterooms, we familiarised ourselves with this huge vessel which was to be our home for the next 10 days.
Our first port of call was Oslo, the capital of Norway. Unfortunately, we awoke to torrential rain. Determined to make the most of it, however, we all went out different ways to explore this lovely city. We donned raincoats and armed with big umbrellas (courtesy of Celebrity Cruises) we took the hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the city. We visited the Ice Bar where everything- walls, bar counter, furniture and decorations were all made from 60 tons of ice. It was a fantastic experience. During a break in the weather, we went on to visit the famous Vigeland Sculpture Park. This was a fascinating park containing 150 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland.
Our next port of call was Geiranger. One of the highlights of our trip was the excursion up the winding road with its 11 hairpin bends to view the Geiranger Glaciers. From the summit of Mount Dalsnibba, 1500 meters above sea level, we had a spectacular view of Geirangerfjord, majestic mountains, the “seven sisters” waterfall, deep lakes and our ship far down below.
Next came our visit to Flam. Here, we took a train ride through woodland and lush farmland while admiring more magnificent waterfalls cascading down the mountain sides. Passing schools, churches ,farmyards and hen houses, we got a peep into the everyday life of farming life in Norway. The lovely but expensive gift shops in this beautiful village of Flam were irresistible to most of us.
The scenic city of Bergen was our last port of call. Our visit to the famous fish and flower market was a sight to behold. Every possible type of fish, including whale meat was on display. It was a very popular place with locals and tourists alike. You could buy or have your fish cooked on the spot if you were feeling peckish.!
Even though we were unlucky with the weather, our trip to Norway, with its most spectacular scenery, was a wonderful experience and will be added to our list of nice memories. The food and the entertainment on the ship was 1st class and so also was the company of our fellow passengers. However, it was nice to get home safely. We were tired but happy.