Friday, June 30, 2017

Alesund, Norway - One of the Prettiest Cities I've Ever Seen!

Our next stop in Norway, Alesund, was so pretty that we decided to just explore the city instead of going on an excursion. In the morning, we took the free water taxi over to the outlet shopping area.

It was interesting, but everything was way too expensive. We did enjoy the glass blowing.

We were back on the ship for lunch.

Then walked around town a little. The rhododendrons were in full bloom.

We then climbed up Mt. Aksla.

It's a steep zigzag trail with lots of steps to the top.

From the trail you get a gorgeous view of the town.


Mara and I did not go all the way to the top, so we amused ourselves while the others ran up. Pretty soon she'll be as tall as I am!

After the hike to the top, we walked around town and did a little more shopping. Mara made a couple new friends.

Trolls are really popular here.

And you can easily pick one up in the gift stores. I got one to make into a Christmas ornament.

A few more pictures as our ship is leaving -

Mountains with snow in the distance -

And even a lighthouse!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

First Stop - Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger is known as the Oil Capital of Norway, but we didn't see too much evidence of that. The swans in the city park look pretty happy.

The first thing we did was take a cab to the Three Swords Monument. This marks the spot that a Viking king founded the Kingdom of Norway in the year 872.

In the afternoon, we went on a ship excursion to Lysefjord, the most southern of the major Norwegian fjords. Here we are taking off from our cruise ship.

We had to go under that bridge in the distance, hence the need to go on a smaller boat.

The scenery soon started to look interesting. The fjord was formed over 10,000 years ago during the last ice age.

We went by a cave that had an interesting story that I don't remember...

Then we saw some unique-looking goats that are obviously used to being fed, because they come right up to the boats.

But the thing I wanted to see the most was Pulpit Rock, way up where the arrow is. It's a very popular hike that I will never do, at least not in this lifetime... (The trail is up the back, not climbing up the rock face.)

A close-up of the Pulpit.

And what it looks like from the top, taken from their brochure.

We saw quite a few waterfalls -

Which were beautiful.

I even got to see a lighthouse!

On the way back, we stopped to have Norwegian waffles. Yum!

They had quite a few animals at the waffle place, including these adorable bunnies.

After waffles, we got back on the boat and headed back to our ship.

We then walked around town a bit, stopping at Valberg Tower, an old observation tower.

We climbed up the tower, and I almost got conked on the head!

All too soon, it was time for our cruise ship to leave town. The seagulls gave us a great send-off!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

And We're Off!

Wow, this looks like a zoo!

But Mara and Jonathan seem really happy.

Finally it's our time to go. That's our ship in the front.

Of course, the first thing was the muster drill. You might get a clue here as to what cruise ship we are on...

If not, this will give it away. We are on the Disney Magic for a cruise of the Norwegian Fjords.

Bye, bye, Copenhagen! We'll see you again in a week.

For our first dinner, we got different hats made out of napkins.

I was the queen, of course...

Brian might have trouble eating!

This is for my little granddaughter back in Virginia, who loves Minnie Mouse.

Lots more to come!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Copenhagen Galore!

On our next day in Copenhagen, we first took a train to Frederiksborg Castle. Built at the time of Christian IV (1588-1648), it was restored after a fire in 1859. It now houses Denmark's Museum of National History.

Mara and Jonathan posing in front of the big fountain.

Whoever made these fountains had quite a sense of humor!

Inside, the bedrooms were magnificent -

As was the Great Hall.

And once again, the ceilings were very interesting.


We then took another train to go to Kronborg Castle. On our walk from the train station, we saw this fish made out of refuse.

Kronborg Castle is located on the narrowest passage between Sweden and Denmark. It looks more like a fort, surrounded by a moat.

In the moat were lots of "Ugly Ducklings," although they looked awfully cute to me.

The inside of the Castle was not as spectacular as Frederiksborg Castle, but still interesting.

The castle is also known as "Hamlet's Castle," and we got to see actors in authentic costumes.

One last shot of the wall around the castle.

We then took another train back towards the center of town to see The Little Mermaid statue. It's a very popular tourist attraction.

But Mara and Jonathan managed to get their photo taken with her.

From there we walked over to Kastellet Fort.

It's built in a large star shape.

And if that wasn't enough, we walked over to see the Palace, sometimes still used for royal functions.

One last look at the colorful buildings along the waterfront. Tomorrow, we are off on a new adventure!