The Norwegian Fjords (and Scandinavia in general) have been a "bucket list" destination for us since moving back to Europe in 2019. The yearning to visit Norway could perhaps be because we spent 20 years living in the Rocky Mountains, or perhaps maybe because we loved touring New Zealand in 2007 & 2009. Norway certainly has mountains like the Rockies and New Zealand, and also shares stunning Fjords with New Zealand too, but there is so much more to explore also. (Click on any image for the best viewing experience).
|The Cunard Queen Mary 2 leaving Southampton|
The first night and 2nd day were both "Sea days", so we had plenty of time to explore the ship (and get lost). The "Cruise card" is literally your key to everything whilst onboard (key to your cabin, payment method for drinks and dining, and even your passport for shore excursions).
|Lighthouse on the approach to Bergen|
|View looking over World Heritage Site of Bryggen|
|View looking over the Fish Market to P&O Britannia|
|Mirador Skansen Bataljon|
Day 4: Flam, Sognefjord and Aurlandsfjord
|The ships wake along Aurlandsfjord|
|A small French cruise ship and perfect reflection|
Day 4 port of call was Flam, a very small town that gets most of its visitors from Cruise ships, and most of those board the Flam Railway (one of the most scenic lines in the world). The railway was all booked up, so we opted instead for an excursion to Tvinde Waterfall and Gudvangen Viking village, which was decent (although a little expensive maybe for what it was). Flam is a nice little village, and the local brewery was a added bonus (even if it is purely aimed at tourists).
|Viking village, we had a guided tour|
|Viking style Architecture|
|Britannia docked in Flam|
|Misty approach to Olden|
|Beautiful waterfalls on the 3.5 mile hike to Briksdal|
|Beautiful scenery around Briksdal|
|View to Briksdal glacier|
|Briksdal glacier which has retreated considerably|
Whilst Olden did not have much to occupy tourists, it did have a few photo worthy buildings. The Old Church dates back to the 1700's, and is very rustic inside. The old barn was on the walk back to the cruise port, and is a good example of roofing techniques that date back to the Viking era (Birch bark with turf on top).
|Olden Old Church|
|Skudeneshavn harbour houses|
|Skudeneshavn's quant streets|