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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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! 🙂
When the summer hits our Central Valley in California, one of the best places to travel to, is the Central Coast. Temperatures drop from the high 90’s to the high 50’s in just a few short hours as you travel to the Coast.
Eric and I decided to jump in the car and travel to Morro Bay, California to spend some time at the Beach. The foggy beach day is just what we needed to escape the heat during the summer months in Fresno. Our first stop was the Morro Rock. It is iconic for the coastline in California. The beach is really nice and nothing beats the sound of crashing waves on the shore as you walk along picking up shells and sand-dollars. We enjoyed it very much and worked up an appetite.
Lunch was seafood, of course. We had a glass of Pinot Noir (I’m sure Grigio is more appropriate with seafood, but we like red!) with our cups of Clam Chowder and shared a dinner of Fish, Shrimp and Calamari, while sitting next to the glass window and looking out at the Morro Bay. It was a delightful time and the sea otters in the bay seem to be enjoying their dinner also, as they floated by the window. The only down side is you start thinking about moving to the coast so you can enjoy this daily, which would be expensive and who likes moving? Not me. 🙂
After lunch we did a little shopping in the near by shops and then decided to drive south towards Avila Beach to see if we could find some sunshine to watch the sunset over the coast. This is one of our favorite pastimes whenever we are near the beach. It is just too beautiful to take in and luck was on our side that day. We found a great spot a few hours later as we ate some delicious ice cream and snapped pictures of the golden sunset. Retirement is on the horizon for us, and these moments make us beyond excited for the traveling and sights to come. We feel very blessed to live in a State that offers so much beauty and nature for us to soak up. Where will we end up next? Can’t wait to find out!
AS we enter the summer months here in the Central Valley, the heat is reminding me of the cold weather we have left behind. My mind is wondering to the trip Eric and I took last December to New York. It was for my birthday, and we had never been to the Big Apple. Eric said I could pick wherever I wanted to go for a cruise and I knew the two places I wanted, a Bahama Cruise out of New York!
WE flew in and didn’t have much time for site-seeing that first day, since we were getting on a cruise ship in several hours. We decided to jump on the Staten Island Ferry and cruise around the bay. It was super chilly that day, but didn’t keep us from enjoying the sites of the city. It really is a fabulous place to go, as Manhattan has so much to see and do. We had purchased the City Pass but we saved those for the days after the cruise, when we would have more time to enjoy the several places the City Pass would take us to.
AS we were settled in our cabin on the Norwegian Breakaway that afternoon, we sat on our cold balcony leaving port, staring at the Statue of Liberty as we sailed by. It was a very surreal moment as we had seen this emblem of pride of our Country on so many medias, but never in person. She is quite a magnificent site to behold. As soon as she was out of site, we left the balcony to warm up. No better way to warm up in December than to travel to the Bahamas!
AFTER the 7 day cruise, we returned into the Manhattan Port early on a Sunday morning. We jumped in a town-car and traveled through the busy streets to our hotel room at the New York Marriott Marquis in Time Square. The sites and sounds were amazing. So many people crammed in the area. Our room looked right out on the Times Square Ball that would be dropping in just a few weeks on New Year’s Eve. We hurried down to the lobby and out the door into the maze of people. We walked a few steps and jumped on the Big Bus Tour and spent several hours traveling around the city and hearing all the tour guide shared about the places we were now seeing in person. It was amazing.
USING our city passes to tour Rockefeller Center’s TOP OF THE ROCK, traveled to the Statue of Liberty island, and Ellis Island, and spend time at the 9/11 Memorial, was a busy day. We walked around the city too, taking in the Christmas decorations and lights. The evenings in New York City were better than we could of even imagined, but the cold air took away our breath. The food we had was great too. We tried the pizza of course, had a sushi dinner, and had lunch at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, even getting a piece of birthday cake which I have to admit was amazingly good. It’s quite extraordinary how much is crammed in that city and the iconic buildings and places to visit are not to be missed.
THE magnificent history of the New York City seen in film was even more memorable now that we have seen it with our own eyes. I can’t wait to return someday, to see all the things we missed. You can never tire of that beautiful City! NEW YORK….