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Host Grandma Cruising

Live from Journey Norway Cruise

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thought I’s start a ‘Live From’ topic about the Journey Norway and Land of the Midnight Sun cruise, and invite anyone else who is on the cruise to contribute!

 

We left home on Friday 28 June, taking the train to Manchester airport and staying overnight at the Manchester Airport Premier Inn, which was great - nice room with a lovely comfy bed!

Saturday morning saw us getting a taxi at 6am to the airport. We were first in the queue for the SAS check-in which had just opened, then we spent a pleasant couple of hours in the Escape lounge before getting on the flight, which was uneventful. At the airport we found our way to the airport train station and caught the local train into Oslo’s Central Station - I’d recommend it as a very easy way to get into the centre from the airport - no need to pay the extra for the Flytoget express train - the local train was fast and easy. From the station we trundled our luggage to our hotel, the Best Western Plus City Hotel. 

Once we were able to get in our room, we had a short rest then set out to see the city. We had bought 2 lots of 24 hour travel passes at the 711 store just next to the train station in the airport, (only 54NOK per day for seniors) so we walked down the hill from our hotel in Kirkegata to Prinsens Gate to catch the number 12 tram to the harbour front. We wanted to see the City Hall which is where the Nobel Peace prize is presented every year. To see the Hall you need to join a free guided tour and these are offered in English every 15 minutes up to 3:45pm. We had to queue for about 20 minutes before our tour started. When you first enter the City Hall you go into the Grand Hall which is beautifully decorated with friezes representing various aspects of Norway. The one I found particularly moving was the wall depicting the occupation of Norway during World War 2.

After the guided tour of the Great Hall was finished we were free to walk through the first floor rooms. As it was a Saturday we saw several bridal parties as the City Hall is used for civil wedding ceremonies.

 

 

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The outside of the City Hall.

324558B2-692F-4734-9740-AEEB3AF64F01.jpegThe frieze depicting the occupation of Norway

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D67B0AA4-98D7-42F3-8684-D5A80B7407AC.jpegOther friezes

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FE283303-5F7C-49C3-AB62-E32AE1FE20CD.jpegOther rooms on the first floor

AD5AFB50-0BB3-44C8-94E2-47E9DE12E15B.jpegGifts given to the King of Norway that were on display.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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So looking forward to this 'Live from'

Hadn't realised you were a Northern Lass?!   

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Have a great journey. Looking forward to seeing your updates live here on CC. 🛳

Maybe I will see you in Ålesund. 😁

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We were pretty tired so went back to the hotel and had a rest before venturing out to eat. We had intended to find a food market called Mathallen, but were too tired to find the bus to take us there, so we just wandered around the corner to Mammas Pizzas  on Dronningens Gate. It was excellent , but there is something you need to know about Norway in general and Oslo on particular - everything is very expensive! The pizzas were from 150-200 NOK - that’s £14-£19 ($18-$24) for pizzas that would have been £7-£9 at home. I had a glass of wine at 99NOK and my DH had a half litre of beer that cost about the same - that’s £18/$23 for both drinks.

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Norway is indeed very expensive for us Brits but I believe the basic wage there is also much higher than our's. 

I well remember paying the eqivalent of £40 for two cod and chips and two cokes in Alesund a few years ago. Mind you, it was the best cod and chips I have ever eaten! 

Hope you have a wonderful cruise HGC. 

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Yes get ready to dig deep in Norway for any refreshments. It’s not a country you can do on the UK cheap.  But the scenery and friendly locals knocks back home right out of the park. 

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3 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I had a glass of wine at 99NOK and my DH had a half litre of beer that cost about the same - that’s £18/$23 for both drinks.

My Yorkshire bred husband would have had a fit. London prices are too much for him!😱

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4 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

We wanted to see the City Hall which is where the Nobel Peace prize is presented every year. To see the Hall you need to join a free guided tour and these are offered in English every 15 minutes up to 3:45pm.

 

HGC,

Thank you for posting photos of the interiors of City Hall. We were in Oslo a year ago prior to the Midnight Sun voyage on the Viking Star, but missed taking the tour of City Hall (in fact, we embarked from Bergen a year ago today).   The friezes are splendid.

 

Enjoy your adventure to the north.

We had a great time. I hope Azamara has a "Kiss the Fish" ceremony.

Edited by screen-gem

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On our way to Oslo. Waves are giving us quite the ride. Those "bags" are out on the railings. We're in for a fun night!

IMG_20190630_224644.jpg

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Heather,

I was wondering how you guys were going. Those waves & swell must look really impressive from your balcony!

Karyn

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6 hours ago, KazLoudspeaker said:

Heather,

I was wondering how you guys were going. Those waves & swell must look really impressive from your balcony!

Karyn

I tried to go out to take photos but it was too windy and the sliding door was sliding back and forth. Decided to lock the door and call it a night.

Heather

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Have a wonderful time — we did Norway last year on Pursuit’s Maiden, just gorgeous. Please keep Journey nice and spiffy for us as we are on her next cruise! Counting down the days...

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All calm as we approach Oslo. Was a bit of rocking & rolling last night, especially as we entered the North sea. We will be there soon.

Karyn

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Sunday 30 June

This morning we took the 12 tram down to the harbour at Aker Brygge, then bought tickets for the ‘Ferry to the Museums’ which goes across to the Bygdøg peninsular where the Fram, Viking and Kontiki museums are. The ferry tickets are not included in the public transport tickets. 

We has decided that we wanted to see the Fram Museum which has the original Fram ship that was used by both Nansen and Amundsen in their polar expeditions. The ship is described as being the strongest ship in the world and was built to withstand the polar ice.

We loved the museum. Of course the ship is the main exhibit and you can go onboard and see the living quarters, the hold and the decks.

74553C87-659C-405C-8B80-5BA515CD132E.jpeg

The Fram

B35F50D2-1DFD-415D-830D-5C5F1A149A8D.jpeg

27A18724-1101-43F7-B162-E036DC6BF82F.jpeg

3692EEC8-D058-457C-8FFB-37E8F34737BE.jpegInside the Fram

 

Around the ship are displays giving information about the Polar expeditions - and there’s even a ‘Polar Simulator’ that you can walk through to get a very brief feel of the conditions the explorers endured. 

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Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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Sunday afternoon

From the Fram museum we got the ferry back, then the 12 tram to go to the Vigeland Sculpture Gardens. We were very lucky because the heavens opened and it poured while we were on the tram, but stopped as we got off!

The park is lovely, and the statues, all by the same sculptor, Gustav Vigeland. We walked around the park marvelling at his wonderful, life affirming statues.

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From Vigeland Park we got back on the 12 tram for 2 stops - it then became tram 19 which took us through the city centre, past the Royal Palace and right down the coast to Labrj, a suburb of Oslo. It was a lovely ride and we saw lots of typically Norwegian wooden houses. 

We came back and got off the tram at the central station and walked to see the beautiful new Oslo Opera House. It has a sloping roof that you can walk up right to the top to get great views over Oslo

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Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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12 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

You all have a fab time on Journey!  Such a nice itinerary. 

 

Phil

 

 It's certainly on our wish list, have a great time Grandma and everyone.

 

 

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We loved this cruise.  Azamara does it really well.  The Captain will warn you to watch out for the 'bump' when the ship crosses the Arctic Circle! :classic_biggrin:

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