Thursday, 28 February 2013

Leisurely morning

A leisurely morning after breakfast and re-packing. I'm not quite sure

what we're going to do with our numerous 'hand-luggage' cases on the bus

but I'm sure we'll work it out.



Our 3-night stay in Bristol has been at the Ibis Temple Meads Hotel.

We've been impressed by the standards of cleanliness in both the

bedrooms and the public areas. The staff are friendly and very helpful

with a lot of local knowledge too.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sailing time

We've just had a telephone call from our travel agent. We'd already

suspected and then worked out that MV Discovery was not going to arrive

in Bristol on time. This has now been confirmed.



Our instructions are to check in as normal and then we'll be taken to

Portland in Dorset. If only we'd known before we took the train from

Portsmouth! Not to worry, these things happen and we'll get a bus tour

of an area of the country we don't know very well.

Bristol graffiti

With another full day before sailing for Norway, we had coffee in

Brunel's Old Station while waiting on the airport bus to arrive at

Temple Meads Railway Station. We have now successfully been joined by

our third family member.



Other photos are from Nelson Street with its graffiti and, finally,

the statue of John Cabot who sailed from Bristol in 1497 and discovered

North America.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Bristol floating harbour

Late to set out this morning, we decided to spend the day visiting SS

Great Britain, the floating harbour and the MShed museums.



We stepped onboard the 'Matthew' before she took children out for short

sails on the river. Balmoral was moored further along the river.



.. only some pics, much more about our visit to bristol once we return

home. The writer has fallen asleep!



Oh, and how far is it to Mars? it kept changing as I watched.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Portsmouth and Bristol

After our late departure from Bergen, we had a calm and pleasant North

sea crossing and were already docked in Portsmouth when I ventured out

on deck. Disembarkation was organised and speedy after breakfast.



Now we're in Bristol, somehow it feels much colder than the Arctic was,

it must be the moist atmosphere. We've had a quick visit to Cabot

Circus for some necessary shopping and are gong to hibernate for the

rest of the day.



(and we found the RBS building, now we know what they spend our money on)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Bergen evening

Last evening, we met up with friends in Bergen and spent some time

exploring 'new' places before going for dinner.



.. a few photographs although I'm not sure that I'll get a connection to

upload them before returning to the UK. The coastline of Norway was

just visible as we finished breakfast and continued to sail south.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Another beautiful morning

Can you believe it? another beautiful morning as we arrive in Bergen,

our last Norwegian port of call with Boudicca. I received a text

message to say there was a troll taking photographs of Boudicca just

after we sailed under the bridge. We'll meet that Troll later this

evening at Bryggen and see some of the pictures.



Excursion buses were lined up on the pier waiting on passengers.



Only the inside fish market was open, it looked rather strange to see

an empty space where we're used to see all the stalls. A quick visit to

the tourist office to buy Funicular tickets for the next Bergen trip and

we returned to the ship.



Bergen brass band are playing in the ship before dinner and we're having

a late departure at 23:00.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Kristiansund and friends

Arrival in Kristiansund was in darkness this morning and there was no

real hurry to go ashore as we weren't going on any excursions. we took

a round-trip on the Sundbåten then had some time to explore the town.



The afternoon was spent looking round the boat yard and ships' chandlers

before returning to Boudicca, unusually moored at the Hurtigruten terminal.



Time to meet up with friends, 2 of the local tour guides and, as we

discovered, the security officer. Chats and photographs before Captain

let us know it was time to leave... there will be lots of memories

from this visit to Kristiansund!



Now we sail towards Bergen with an ETA of 10:00.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Southbound inner route

Boudicca's Captain has excelled again today, giving us regular

commentaries on his chosen route south towards tomorrow's port of call,

Kristiansund.



Following last night's sunset, we woke this morning to a lovely sunrise

over mainland Norway. We sailed past ferries and fishing boats and

viewed Torghatten.



(apologies for the doubled posting of the aurora, there was an error

message saying the email had not been sent- but obviously it had. Just

when the data limit for this trip is running low too)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Unbelievable day's cruise

Arctic Norway as we've never seen it before. Continuing to sail south

with sail-by of Trollfjord (confused the fisherman?), visit into

Raftsundet, close in sail-by visit to Svolvær.



Sunset as we leave Svolvær (more confused fishermen?) and head south. A

good light, I wonder if we might get a repeat of last night's aurora?

Fantastic Aurora

Last night Captain announced that the weather conditions and skies were

going to be right for viewing an aurora although the northern lights'

forecast was not great.



and then it happened and I'll allow the photographs to speak for

themselves ...

Monday, 18 February 2013

Alta Monday

We woke up this morning to another excellent day with bright sunshine

and calm weather. Apparently there had been some snow overnight but I

only saw a few flakes.



Our morning excursions started with a visit to Sami Sidda, we'd missed

out on visiting last year. Great fun; some passengers going on

reindeer sled rides, all of us learning from the talk and guided tour.

The quick coffee and cake prepared us for our bus ride down to the

Alta museum (view of Alta Fjord from the museum) and another guided tour.



Just a reminder that these live posts are only small photographs and

brief messages, we'll write in more detail and post many more photos

and video on our return home.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Alta Sunday

We sailed towards Alta in darkness this morning and docked, unusually

not at the pier beside the airport. The passengers going on excursions

joined the waiting buses and left for a variety of destinations.



After making plans to have some post delivered- ready for our March

visit and meeting with the dog sled team, we chatted with the guides

about the various languages spoken in this part of the world.



Being Sunday, there are no shops open in Alta although several of us

headed towards the town centre on the shuttle buses to have a look

round. I wanted to take photographs to compare with the ones taken

during our 2 visits in 2012.



After a quick lunch, knowing that we're going on an excursion tomorrow,

I wanted to take a few photographs from Boudicca's decks. We had some

surprise visitors- 4 sea otters. Bold Mr Otter decided to come and

investigate us so a few passengers on the aft deck enjoyed his swimming

display.



The light is as good as I've seen it in Alta so we're hoping for a

spectacular sunset and, hopefully, an aurora.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Nordnorge in Tromsø

Especially for our Hurtigruten friends- northbound Nordnorge arriving

in Tromsø this afternoon.

Aurora and friends?

We had a really good evening yesterday when we joined Havcruise for

dinner as we sailed in search of the Northern Lights. This was

pre-booked from home and the weather could not have been better- calm,

dry, cold and clear skies.



Sailing under the Tromsø bridge, we headed out into the dark night as

we ate. A nice friendly group from different parts of the world, most

were staying in Tromsø hotels. (one sleepy toddler, whose plane had

been delayed, just wanted to 'go home to England')



The northern lights appeared, faintly at first and then became brighter

and started dancing. Photographs? sorry, I just enjoyed watching the

display (the camera will come out if/when we see more).



We returned towards Boudicca, expecting to see southbound MS Lofoten

docking next to us. Our plan had been to take our 'Lofoten mugs' over

to the ship for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and visit our friend

who was sailing on Lofoten.



Watching from the aft deck of Boudicca I took these photographs of MS

Lofoten's arrival. Two people stood on the quay looking towards us. I

waved because it was too late to go ashore again. Was this our friend?

I'll not find out until we chat on our return home.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Emergency drills and Tromsø

Boudicca's crew and the emergency services of Tromsø held a major

exercise this morning. On the water were the SAR and Fire Boats while

the ambulances and fire engines attended on the quayside. 'Casualties'

were evacuated from the ship.



Crew were to be found at their emergency stations all round the decks

... and all through this exercise, passengers were still looked after

very well!



After all the excitement was over, we had lunch and then visited

Polaria before returning to Boudicca to prepared for our evening out.



(Northbound MS Nordkapp also arrived)