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Cruising Northern Europe on the Carnival Legend

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We chose this cruise mainly for it's itinerary. Norway, Germany,Netherlands,Belgium,and France. We included a pre-cruise stay in London and a post- cruise stay in Russia. We like to spend all the time we can so we include land based stays. London and St. Petersburg are two of our favorite cities which we discovered on our Baltic cruise in 2006. We had a good flight on Virgin Atlantic (our first on VA) and the European hospitality and efficiency began in Miami to LHR. We had one flight attendant named Claire I think who was amazing. Check in at our hotel was early and we tried to walk off our flight with a trip to our favorite fish and chips place. After lunch a nap was just what we needed. Dinner in Chinatown was great but too much to finish ! Touring began the next day with a walk to Buckingham Palace.

 

 

 

 

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The weather was warmer than we liked but the locals loved it and the light was good for photos.

 

 

 

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Feeding the animals

 

 

 

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Don't feed this one !

 

 

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Catching our favorite HOHO bus we got caught quite an Eye full.

 

 

 

 

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Continuing on our bus tour we saw some interesting sites

 

 

Topiary on a roof top

 

 

 

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Horse drawn hearse

 

 

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Hopping off at the Borough Market we had a quick lunch of pasties

 

 

 

 

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Outside of the market we heard some strange music. It came from this busker playing music on glasses. He was very good and we bought a DVD.

 

 

 

 

 

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After lunch we walked along the Thames where we saw this reflection of the Shard

 

 

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We continued to walk to the Tower Bridge

 

 

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Our bus tour included a river cruise

 

 

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And a Beatle's walk tour

 

 

 

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Where we saw this dragon on a wall in Chinatown

 

 

 

 

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On our last day in the city we stopped at Trafalgar Square

 

 

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to watch the lions being hand fed

 

 

 

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Our last day in the city was August 31 - The date that Princess Diana had died on. We wanted to pay our respect to her at the fountain named for her in the park. It was a nice day for a walk or a nap.

 

 

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It made us sad that there was only one bouquet of flowers at her fountain. How soon we forget .

 

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We would be boarding the ship on the next day so we were really looked forward to our cruise.

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September 1 had finally arrived and we shared a ride with a small group that we had met on the Cruise Critic Roll Call. Because we have Platinum Cards and had booked a suite we had priority boarding and before I could grab a camera - we were in our cabin with this view.

 

 

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We wanted to explore and take some pictures before the ship got busy

 

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The Golden Fleece Steakhouse

 

 

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The Follies Main Lounge

 

 

 

 

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Stairs to the balcony seating

 

 

 

 

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Our cabin was Vista Suite #6329. It's a corner suite with a large wrap balcony with gave us our favorite view (aft). Here's the small bed room.

 

 

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The bathroom had a Jacuzzi tub and a vanity area outside of the bathroom

 

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What we had really wanted was the large balcony to enjoy the vista sailing through the fjords

 

 

 

 

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The CC group met on the Lido deck aft at The Serenity Bar

 

 

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The sail-away was under a gray sky

 

 

 

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We knew that this Carnival cruise would be unique as you can see by the CC meet and greet. The average passenger was a baby boomer and a large number Europeans. The crew had a larger number of Europeans as well with many from the Eastern bloc. This was Carnival's initial cruise into Norway as well as ours. Here is a video clip of our bed and bath.

 

 

 

 

We made dinner reservations with the Golden Fleece on the first night (Free bottle of wine). The meal, service, company and view was excellent. Surf and turf for me.

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And with apologies to Shari Lewis, lamb chops for my wife.

 

 

 

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They were both cooked to perfection , medium rare and well worth the $30 price tag. We were beginning our cruise ship diet plan where we usually lose 10 pounds by the trips end. After a good nights sleep we were ready to attend John Herald's talk on shore excursions.

 

 

 

 

After a day at sea , our first stop would be Alesund. With sunrise our balcony was beginning to pay dividends with the view.

 

 

 

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I'm enjoying your review and photos. We sailed Legend on one of the Baltic sailings in July. 6329 is a great cabin - we had that cabin on Carnival Pride last year.

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I'm enjoying your review and photos. We sailed Legend on one of the Baltic sailings in July. 6329 is a great cabin - we had that cabin on Carnival Pride last year.

 

Agreed ! Cabin 6229 is a great cabin - the best Carnival cabin we have had in 12 Carnival cruises. Were you able to visit St. Petersburg in the Baltic cruise ? It's one of our favorite ports.

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Agreed ! Cabin 6229 is a great cabin - the best Carnival cabin we have had in 12 Carnival cruises. Were you able to visit St. Petersburg in the Baltic cruise ? It's one of our favorite ports.
Two days in St. Petersburg! We went with Alla Tours' Comfort Tour. Absolutely amazing. Next year we're booked for Carnival Miracle in Alaska. We booked the deck 5 aft wrap - not the best suite (no sitting area), but we figure we're booking for the balcony, not the cabin.

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Two days in St. Petersburg! We went with Alla Tours' Comfort Tour. Absolutely amazing. Next year we're booked for Carnival Miracle in Alaska. We booked the deck 5 aft wrap - not the best suite (no sitting area), but we figure we're booking for the balcony, not the cabin.

 

The larger balcony's are really great for the scenic and/or longer cruises. This was our favorite balcony on the Celebrity Constellation Transatlantic cruise.

 

 

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Our first port was Alesund. We met Diane and Larry on our Roll call on Cruise Critic. They wanted someone to share the cost of a car rental to Trollstigen. It was about 1/2 the price of the ship's excursion. We were some of the first off the ship and had a nice walk to the car rental.

 

 

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We drove East on 136 out of town. The sky looked like it may cloud over so we stopped at the view point at Aksla before the tour buses. The view was amazing !

 

 

 

 

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It was so nice for Diane to drive and being an avid photographer, we could stop when the view moved us.

 

 

 

 

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We were moved a lot to stop and breathe the clean air and the views.

 

 

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One after the other on the way to Trollstigen

 

 

 

 

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Further along highway 63 we stopped at a waterfall with a viewing platform

 

 

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Here is an article about our destination

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trollstigen

 

 

 

As we drew closer to our goal the road became more crowded

 

 

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Another small waterfall that we couldn't resist

 

 

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We could sense an increase in elevation and a decrease in traffic

 

 

 

 

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Alnesreset is the highest elevation in our journey

 

 

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If you are considering driving while in Norway we found this web site after we had arrived. It shows different driving routes for visitors.

 

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=no&u=http://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dwww.nasjonaleturistveger.no%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-US

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I didn't know that your cruise went to Middle Earth :D

 

Norway has so much to offer, one of my best trips back in my folkeskole days (must equal to High School, I was 15/16 years old) was a hiking and camping trip up in the Norwegian mountains.

One of the things I remember besides the lemmings was that the water from the creek and streams was so clean that it was possible to drink directly from it.

 

I have yet to visit the fjords and its mountains but I will hopefully someday see it.

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I didn't know that your cruise went to Middle Earth :D

 

Norway has so much to offer, one of my best trips back in my folkeskole days (must equal to High School, I was 15/16 years old) was a hiking and camping trip up in the Norwegian mountains.

One of the things I remember besides the lemmings was that the water from the creek and streams was so clean that it was possible to drink directly from it.

 

I have yet to visit the fjords and its mountains but I will hopefully someday see it.

 

 

We didn't see any lemmings or hobbits but after too much Akvavit I thought I saw a troll

 

 

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Not sure if we could drink from this lake but it was beautiful

 

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As we approached the viewing area we saw this small house

 

 

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The viewing area next to the waterfall

 

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The waterfall cascades 300 meters. At the top of the picture you can see 4 houses. The viewing platform is a small brown spot at the base of the grey house on the left.

 

 

 

 

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A little further past the waterfall is another viewing platform

 

 

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How many of the 11 hairpin turns can you count ?

 

 

 

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Here are the four houses that we saw in the waterfall picture

 

 

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The clouds seemed to be lifting as we were leaving

 

 

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Here is a video clip of driving the turns and the waterfall

 

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After leaving Trollstigen we continued South on 63 to Valldal . Turning on to 650 we went North and West until we reached 136 West to Alesund. We didn't stop for lunch and time begain to run out for our return. Just outside on Alesund we ran into grid lock at a traffic accident and there was no way to get through. It looked as though we would miss the boat. We finally got through after about 25 minutes. Diane decided to drop us off by the ship and we were going to try to stall the departure. As it turned out one of the ship's buses had not returned. We were in port from 9- 6 P.M. so if you drive , allow extra time for your return.

 

 

 

Leaving The Port of Alesund.

 

 

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As we were sailing away we were greeted by this fire boat. Did they know something that we didn't ?

 

 

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Our next port was Bergen and we were really looking forward to visiting it. We had considered a pre cruise stay here because you need 12 hours to do the Norway in a Nutshell Tour. But we chose to upgrade to the Vista Suite instead. So we were up early with anticipation of the port when we sailed under the Askoy Bridge.

 

 

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We decided that a DIY was the way to go with a trip to the funicular up first to beat the crowds. Walking past The Bryggen , we could see that there was some construction in progress.

 

 

 

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The funicular

 

 

 

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Here is a small clip of the ride up

 

 

 

The view of Bergen

 

 

 

 

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We heard the patter of little foot steps announcing that the crowd had arrived.

 

 

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The troll patrol had arrived ! Seeing that some school children we on a field trip reminded of how much we missed our grandchildren. DW spoke to one of the teachers who shared how the kids were going to play , look for trolls in the woods and make lunch together.

 

 

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Looking in the woods , we found this droll troll

 

 

 

 

 

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Seeing the kids at play reminded us of our own school days so many years ago. No bussing , no security and no lock downs.

 

 

 

It was nearing lunch so we headed for the fish market

 

 

 

 

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It's not just for fish

 

 

 

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We split a large cup of fresh fruit and berries and it was great ! After walking through the fish market , we looked back for this view

 

 

 

 

 

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Across the water is the Bryggen

 

 

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Watching the pigeons feeding made us hungry (After all we are Americans).

 

 

 

 

 

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Returning through the fish market we saw some live King Crab and blue lobsters that we couldn't resist. We talked with one of the fishmongers and he made an amazing plate of fresh lobster, King crab ,shrimp and Stone Crab type of claw. Pricey ? Yes , but a fresh , wonderful meal that we will never forget. He also gave us a couple bites of Whale ! We will stick to crab , shrimp and lobster - from now on.

 

 

 

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The color on some of the buildings is vivid +.

 

 

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Before leaving Bergen , a band played just before we sailed away. It was a short song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we left Bergen we looked foward to Stavanger and the fjords.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Melody hounddog and mycruise2000 for your encouraging and kind words and for "going" on the cruise with us. We looked forward to Stavanger a smaller town before the city of Oslo , our next port. We had a quite day planned of relaxing , strolling and a Fjord cruise. We booked with Ronde online and saved about 1/2 price.

 

 

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We looked at the cute little houses above the port and thought that it would be fun to walk up and visit while we waited for our cruise to Pulpit Rock. We took one more look at the cute little harbor before we went down to leave the ship.

 

 

 

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Suddenly (Cue theme music from Jaws), we felt a massive presence on our left side. The port got much louder. We jumped ship as soon as we could before it got crowded on shore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A nice quite little street

 

 

 

 

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With a view.

 

 

 

 

 

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