Norway Fjords – Bergen

Our final stop, which is quite sad for us, is Bergen, Norway.  We have enjoyed Norway so much. We pulled into port on a rainy, foggy day.  I believe that Bergen gets a lot of rain, so we were prepared with umbrella and Eric even donned a plastic poncho for part of the morning.  First thing we did once we left the Norwegian Jade is hop on our favorite tour bus – the Hop On/Hop Off Double Decker bus.   Lucky for us, one of their stops was right next to the port we had just docked in.  That makes for a much easier tour time in the rain.

Our first Hop Off spot was the Funicular to ride up to the top of Mount Fløyen.  Too bad it was raining, because up at the top there is tons of fun things to do in a nice weather environment.  Hikes to lake, a troll trail, and park fun for kiddos.  It was raining pretty good at that point, so we snapped off a few photos from the top to the city down below, made a bathroom break, and hopped back on the Funicular for our fast ride back down to our Hop On bus tour of the city of Bergen.

We rode around the city listening to the tour for a while, then we hopped off to visit the museum in Bergen. Det Hanseatiske Museum og Schoetstuene (Hanseatic Museum) was pretty spectacular.  The history of that old fishing merchant building was very interesting and you felt for those apprentices of long ago.  The building is quite old and climbing up to the third floor on those squeaky boards gave me quite a fright.  After the museum tour, we walked over to the fish market and had a reindeer hot dog and pastry.  It was quite delicious.   Still raining pretty good, so we got back on the bus, and road around the city for a few turns.   Once we tired of the bus, we decided to head back to the ship and take up in our favorite spot –  our balcony.

Bergen, even though the weather was rough for pictures, was very nice. It was the biggest City we visited of Norway on our trip.  There were several cruise ships in port along with ours, so it was more crowded in town, than any other port.  Of course, as we began to sail away, the sun came out in force.  We were sorry to not get great sunny photos of the Harbor area in Bergen.  Nonetheless, we had a great time and even enjoyed the rain!

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Bergen down below, in the fog!
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Eric trying to get a good view and shot
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Didn’t bring his camera out in the rain, so not great photos 😦
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Fog cleared up a little on top of Mount Floyen
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Everyone enjoying the view through the raindrops
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Our ship down in the rain
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Det Hanseatiske Museum og Schoetstuene
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Hanseatic Museum photos
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Merchants dining room in Hanseatic Museum
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Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf in the rain
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We are enjoying the rainy day 🙂
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Bergen, Norway
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Bergen, Norway shot 2
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Hanseatic Museum
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Our lunch to share – Reindeer Hot Dog and a pastry
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Rain comes down in Bergen
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Back on ship and rain is clearing a little
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Ship ready to Sail – Rain is clearing a lot
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Back at sea, rain clears completely

Norway Fjords-Olden Nordfjord

Today’s port was Olden, Norway.   Once we left the ship (Norwegian Jade), we made our way over to the tours that were selling tours right off the boat.  We decided on the two-decker bus and as soon as the bus filled up, we were on our way.  The village of Olden was quite small, but had a beautiful landscaping, as we past by many farms on the route to see the Briksdal glacier.   Really pretty farmland was passed on the one lane road we traveled through the valley towards the glacier.  Sometimes the drive was scary.  Fast drivers, buses meeting at a curve, and squeezing by or back up on the lane.  The view of the lake, river and then the glacier coming into our view was just breathtaking.  We don’t know how people could ever get bored of those views.

As we headed back to the ship, we again took up our spot on the balcony to sit and watch the NordFjord go by.  It was magnificent!  So many picturesque farms and beautiful waters.  We were even treated to a wonderful rainbow as we were sailing in the Nordfjord.  Eric and I loved the Fjords.

Olden Port
Norwegian Jade
Rushing river through Olden Valley
Our Tour Bus
Briksdal Glacier
Beautiful farm land
Grass roof in the beautiful Olden
House in Olden
Nordfjord in its glory
Double rainbows as we leave the Fjord
So beautiful, can’t stop gazing at the fjord
Rainbow
So pretty
Fred Olsen ship mooring out in the Fjord
Selfie (Usie) time
On the way to Briksdal Glacier
View from our bus
Mountains surround Olden
Farm
First view of the Glacier
View from Bus of Glacier
Bus view
Another shot from the bus
That water color!
Another bus shot of the glacier view
Shot from Bus of the Glacier
Getting back on the bus
Eric getting a shot of the Glacier
Briksdal Glacier, Norway
Another shot at Briksdal
Us with the glacier backgroud
On our way back to Olden
Olden
The mirror of that water!
Scary ride on a one lane curvy road
Which one is the troll?
Olden port as we leave
Nordfjord
Nordfjord farms
Eric in his comfy clothes enjoying the fjord
Love Norway!
Susan’s shot of rainbow
Could not get enough

Norway Fjords cruise – Geirangerfjord

If you are following our trip in the Norway Fjords, this would be our second day on our ship as we travel along in Norway.

One of our favorite days aboard the Norwegian Jade was sailing down the Geirangerfjord.   It was spectacular!  Eric and I spent the whole day sitting on our balcony just immersing ourselves with the sights and sounds of the fjord.   Our photography doesn’t do justice to this magnificent nature experience, but we share them anyway.   Eric was in heaven as he stood on the balcony and snapped photo after photo of the Norway landscapes.  I just watched and enjoyed the experience of his happiness.   We even had our dinner delivered to our room and ate out on the balcony.   This day was worth every penny of the cruise!   Our room steward even popped in and told us she would clean as we stayed on the balcony.  I’m sure she was use to people not wanting to leave their views.

These mountains that surround the Geirangerfjord were sharing so many different sights as we passed by.  Waterfalls, trees, farms, villages and single homes sitting high on the mountains.  All beautiful and mysterious too.   We wondered aloud how people could live on the side of a mountain, where no roads were visible from our viewpoint. Even more spectacular, we wondered how any of these structures were built.  It was an experience neither of us will ever forget.

The water of the Fjord was such a marvelous blue/green or green/blue solely dependent on your viewpoint.   We learned later that the color is caused by the particles that come from the ice melting from the glaciers.   Just amazing!

 

Beautiful view of the Fjord
Water falling off the mountain
Awe struck
Norwegian Farmland
Village of Hellesylt
Passing by a village
Geirangerfjord
Waterfall uphead
Storm clouds above the Fjord
Waterfall
Geiranger
Eric having the time of his life
Geiranger port
Turning the ship around
Look at that road
One of the excursions you can take from this ship
Shiny fjord
Friaren Waterfall – The Suitor
Friaren – See the bottle in the waterfall
Up close – Friaren
Dinner on the balcony
House up the mountain
Balcony view
Norway
Sunset
Eric and the Fjord
So pretty
Those colors!
Our view from the balcony
Our Fjord selfie
Waterfall in Hellesylt
The Seven Sisters
Norwegian Jade
Farm on the hill
Geiranger at its finest
Sun shining down on Fjord

Norway Fjords cruise – first stop Alesund, Norway

Eric and I are cruising the Norwegian Fjords! This is Eric’s dream trip. He has wanted to see the Fjords for many years. I think I would of wanted to for all these years, if I had any idea how breathtakingly majestic they would be.  Every turn was more beauty, more awe!  Our cameras did not catch the magic of the Fjords in any way.  Seeing them in person was something I will never forget.  It was like seeing a movie where you can’t believe the scenery.  Below we share a few of our experiences through photography as we made our stops along the way of our cruise on the Norwegian Jade from our favorite spot on the ship, our balcony.  Also, the port stops were fun and quaint.  How I would love to live in Norway if it wasn’t so cold half the year! I’m usually not at a lost for words to describe places, but for Norway I am.  Just beautiful!

Our first port stop is Alesund, Norway. Alesund is at the beginning of the Fjord, and is also named Norway’s most beautiful town. We toured the stunning town and Art Nouveau architecture  on board the City Train Tour.  It was both fun and informative of the town history and culture. It took us to all the spots we wanted to see, and told of spots we wish we could of traveled to.  As we traveled through our first Fjord, we both were stunned by how picturesque and gorgeous Norway is!  As I said above, the photos just don’t do it justice, and since we were there during a rainy week, I’m sure sunny photos might help with sharing how just magnificent this country really is.  How green the mountains, and how blue the water was.

CityTrain Tour
A drop in guest as we enjoy the Fjords from our Balcony
So Stunning!
The shoreline of Alesund
Words fail me!

 

The streets of Alesund and the many Art Nouveau buildings
Alesund, Norway
Eric takes my photo by the waterways of Alesund
Sailing through the Fjord
Sun breaks through the clouds, as we approach Alesund
Norwegian Jade
Sitting in the train, waiting for our tour of Alesund
View from the top of the Troll Mountain or Fjellstua
Our first glance at the city below – Alesund
City Train Tour!
Down on the street in Alesund
Everyone walking around the city on a rainy day
Us pinching ourselves, that we made it to Norway
Alesund coastline
Clouds are here to stay I think
My husband really enjoying his trip!
Sailing in the Fjord

Hamburg Here We Come!

We traveled for 24 hours to get to Hamburg. Our first trip of probably many to Europe. We landed at 10:30 pm in Hamburg and after collecting our baggage, we hopped in the Hotel Shuttle, that thankfully, was waiting curbside right out the first door we exited. We were just taking a gamble, since we had no idea where we were or what any of the signs in the airport guiding us meant. They were absolutely meaningless at that moment. The shuttle driver was an absolute sweetheart, and within minutes he had whisked us to the lobby of our hotel. Thank goodness I booked a hotel close to the airport! After checking in, we went straight to our rooms and after quick showers (we were sweaty after all those hours on 3 planes)  then jumped into the king sized bed and were fast asleep.

The next morning eager to explore after breakfast in the hotel restaurant, we exchanged some money for Euros, and bought our group ticket for the subway in Germany called the HVV.  Even though everything was in German (both signage and voice announcing next stops) we were able to figure it out pretty well, getting off at KellinghausenstraBe stop, and catching the next train to Baumwall stop close to the harbor. [We only made a few mistakes, that thankfully we figured out before boarding the wrong train].   We found tour buses, and caught one that was a hop on/ hop off bus (we made sure to get on one that had translation into English – not all buses have translation so make sure to find the sticker in the window that lets you know they have the translation headphones!)

We love the Hop On/Hop Off tours in every city we visit.  They give us an instant preview of the city, and then we can decide where we want to spend our time.  Also, we feel like we get the best experience of the city we visit by seeing everything that city has to offer, or the history. Hamburg was a very historic place and you feel it as you ride around and hear the stories that they tell. Lots of history!

Hamburg is a beautiful city, and has so many picturesque areas, and we tried to photograph as much as we could.  Below are pictures from both Eric (Canon shots) and mine are iPhone photos.

After spending a few days in Hamburg, we left on a cruise to Norway.  Next post will be about that trip.  Stay tuned!

When we returned to the Hamburg port after a week at sea and ports in Norway, we spent one day at Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg (a must do in Hamburg) and the next day decided to try traveling on the DB train to Lübeck which is an hour from Hamburg.  Now that was quite an adventure from buying train tickets at Central Station, to finding the tourist spots in the small town of Lübeck.    Lübeck seemed more German to us, since we had a harder time finding English speaking tour, to ordering food. After lunch we walked to The Gate from the Middle Ages, was quite the site! Standing in a spot of such history really gave me the feels.  We jump on a boat tour that was completely in German that traveled around the beautiful sites and buildings in the city.  We didn’t understand more than a few words, but it was a fun tour nonetheless.  We felt like we were world travelers.  🙂

We traveled back on the train to Hamburg that evening, had room service for dinner, and fell into bed early, because the early morning hours were fast approaching, and we had to catch 3 planes (another 24+ hours) to get home.  We really enjoyed the German towns and learned a lot.  Traveling is fun, exhausting, and always an adventure!  – E&S

St. Nikolai Memorial
Clock Tower
Central Station

Hamburg has many Bridges and Waterways
Elbe Philharmonic Hall
Hamburg harbor
Hamburg harbor
Alster Lakes
Alster Lakes
Beautiful day for a tour
Beautiful day for a tour
Amazing Mansions in Hamburg
Amazing Mansions in Hamburg
Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour of Hamburg, Germany
Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour of Hamburg, Germany
Eric listening to the tour guide
Eric listening to the tour guide
Hamburg is built on water
Hamburg is built on water
People walking in Hamburg
People walking in Hamburg
Listening to the tour guide in Hamburg
Listening to the tour guide in Hamburg
Hamburg port
Hamburg port
Spires in Lubeck, Germany on boat tour
Love these buildings! Boat tour
So much history in German 🙂
Lubeck, Germany port
My German in Germany 🙂 ❤
We were so happy to find our way through the city of Lubeck to the Gate! Selfie Time!!!
Lubeck, Germany
River around the city of Lubeck
First site off the DB in Lubeck.
Us on the DB, traveling through Germany like we know what we are doing!
Central Station in Hamburg
Such a busy train station – Central Station
Miniatur Wunderland ticket, waiting for our turn. 🙂
Miniatur Italy – Miniatur Wunderland
This is the Hamburg Airport, we flew in and out of in miniature form.
The detail is amazing! – Miniatur Wunderland
“>
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Route 66 Signage

One of our favorite things during our Route 66 trip last month, was of course, photographing all of the old signs and large statues we found throughout the many states we traveled through!  From California to Illinois, there were numerous photo opportunities, so many in fact it was hard to keep up. It was an epic road trip! We are adding a few to our blog for your viewing pleasure.   We really hope that you are able to do this trip too, and take a few photos yourself.

Paradise Motel Neon Sign
Paradise Motel Neon Sign on Route 66
Barstow California
California Route 66

 

State after state was more opportunities to marvel at the old signage and wish you could have viewed some of them in their glory days.

 

 

 

Our New Home Away from Home

Eric and I purchased a mini travel trailer, the 2018 NuCamp T@g Outback, for our road trips this year and beyond. WE are super excited to begin cross country trips, and feel this little beauty will help us not only carry supplies but give us a night or two rest, if the need arises on those long roads.

We have already spent a couple nights in it to get the hang of it, and its been really fun. Like having a slumber party for 2 and our doggie! 🙂

Trying a camp out

Our dog having a rest

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Bed & Breakfast in Pacific Grove

Let me set the scene, my husband and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, we have always dreamed of staying in one of the B&B’s in Monterey or Pacific Grove, California. Many years ago, when we were in our early 20’s we lived in the area and would drive around gawking at the beautiful places around the Bay. We made reservations to stay back in the late 90’s or early 2000’s for our December birthdays, but had to cancel due to a conflict with a church program that needed us to be there. I have always regretted that!

Fast forward to 2017! Eric and I planned this over 6 months ago. In April, we made our reservation, paid, and knew we were not going to cancel no matter what! When November 27th, rolled around, we were packed and ready to hit the road.

Monterey Bay is a little under 3 hours away from our home. So a small road trip was delightful and the weather was perfect. We arrived at the Seven Gables Inn in Pacific Grove and checked into our Ocean Mist room. Just opening that door and seeing that perfect view was breathtaking and made us so happy. We were given a tour of the facilities and then made our way back to unpack and just sit in those two chairs looking out the window for a few hours. We were drawn away from the crazing waves by the promise of cheese and wine in the drawing room. We both tried a glass of the Pinot Noir, and made a plate of cheese, crudites,  fruit, dips and even a chocolate candy. So far this Anniversary was headed in the right direction.

Ocean Mist window view

We were supposed to dress and go to dinner that night, but after our snack in the main house, we retired to our room for the night.  We turned on the fireplace, made ourselves a glass of wine, and continued to enjoy the view from the Ocean Mist room.  We didn’t even make it over to the main house for cookies that night.  A perfected evening just enjoying our fabulous and spacious room. We might of gotten a little hungry around 11 pm, but The Seven Gables staff had left us a snack and drinks in our room, so we made due.  We also were going to be so ready for the big breakfast in the morning.  The sunrise was at 6:30 to 7 a.m. so we didn’t want to miss it and set the alarm before climbing into our big king sized bed.

In the morning we had a fabulous view of the rising sun and then showered, dressed and made our way to breakfast.  This inn is spectacular!  Fully decorated for Christmas in every room, including the breakfast house.  Our breakfast was amazing and didn’t disappoint our hungry tummies.  We were even surprised with mimosas. The hot breakfast, pastries and fruit, along with all the drinks, were very satisfying.  This inn really knows how to treat its guests.

After eating, we were headed out to enjoy the area and all it has to offer.  Since today was our anniversary, we spent the morning and afternoon driving the famous 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.  Lunch was had on the 18th hole at one of the many restaurants in the Lodge.  It was a beautiful view of the ocean and the Carmel beaches.  We had a seafood lunch of course.

That night we were given tickets by The Seven Gables Inn to attend the Christmas at the Inns celebration.  Two nights of touring the Victorian Inns in Pacific Grove, and enjoying the old 1880’s architecture and beautiful Christmas decorations, not to mention cookies, cookies and more cookies.  How delightful to be staying in one of those inns, and also get to view the rooms in other inns.  Eric and I have always delighted in touring old homes and viewing the history of them.  We thoroughly enjoyed our evening.  If you are ever in that area, during this time of the year, be sure to get tickets.

Christmas Tree

On the following morning, after another fabulous breakfast we set out to walk down to Cannery Row.  We had quite the adventure and lunch.  On our way back to the Inn, we met a woman on the trail that pointed out  Sea Lions sunbathing on the beach.  We took photographs and enjoying learning about the Monterey Bay sea life.  After we jump in our car and took another drive down the coast towards Big Sur.  It is such a beautiful area and so iconic.  We stopped a lot for photographs and loved the Highway 1 drive.  We are already making plans for another trip down the coast or up, depending on where we start!  We also made it back to Pacific Grove just in time for a sunset by the ocean.

We really can’t believe how lucky we are to have such a fabulous life.  We are very blessed and look forward to many more adventures.  We will for sure, be checking in again at The Seven Gables Inn.  Pacific Grove was a delightful way to spend our 30th Anniversary and many of the guests at the Inn (they have 25 rooms/suites) were also celebrating their anniversaries.  It is a very romantic place.

Until our next trip!

Eric and Susan

Celebrating our 30th Anniversary on the beach
Pacific Grove
The Seven Gables Inn
SunRise from our room
Pebble Beach 18th Hole

 

Sunset in PG

 

Ocean Mist room

 

Rest of room!