Dag being ‘day’ in Norweigan.
Day one of course started in our hotel and we had until 1pm before we could check in, 4pm before we could board, 6pm before our room on the ship would be ready and 8pm before we sail. It was a bit to get our head around. The upshot was that we had at least 1/2 a day to spend in Bergen still and made our way back over to the Bryggen area.
We had two things we still wanted to do. Replace my lost hat – there’ll be a ‘snippet’ on that saga coming later.
The other thing we wanted to do is visit the Silversmith factory called Arven. It is a factory dating back to the 1860’s and produces commemorative silverware and cutlery. The showroom is set up with a close view of the ‘smiths’ doing their work. There are still 30 smiths employed at the factory.
At the factory we learnt some of the information that we didn’t get at the Kode yesterday. For instance, the crowns would come from a single community. All brides from that village would have worn the crown as part of her wedding outfit. It was the time to be highly decorated and let her hair flow from under the crown, as after the wedding her hair will be covered by a white head scarf signifying that she is a married woman.
We found ourselves a great little cafe run by an Irishman who has worked in Sydney and made us a perfect cappuccino. We sat and enjoyed the atmosphere of this busy cafe. This cafe (as do many) doubles as a wine bar and has the beer taps at the counter also. Seating often involves armchairs, couches, sofas etc as well as regular tables and I also noticed that pot plants are fairly prolific.
We made our way back to the Hotel and started our trek across town to the Hurtigruten Port. Tiny wheels on suitcases are excellent for the polished floors of airports, not so good on the cobblestone streets of Scandinavia!
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that our Cruise had changed. As we checked in we confirmed that the cabin on the new ship would be smaller and with one single bed and one single sofa bed. Whilst the cabin class was considered an upgrade, this news found us feeling a little flat. We wanted to be feeling excited in anticipation of the start of our cruise. However, the change from the newly refurbished Spitzbergen being taken out of action and transfer to the older Nordlys was a disappointment.
Ange (our lovely cousin and travel agent) has been proactive in informing us of the changes and getting things sorted so that we haven’t had to worry too much about logistics and paperwork. This is a time to dig deep and find our inner optimist and turn our minds to what we are going to see rather than what we think we might be missing out on. We are grateful that we haven’t had to navigate the change of itinerary and try and re-book ourselves into accommodation and tours down the track. That has been all taken care of.
As we sat by the water waiting to see our ship enter the quay and enjoying a G&T, we received an email of gratitude from Hurtigruten for our patience with a few further details of the upcoming trip. We are glad we have maintained a positive outlook despite the change and applaud Hurtigruten for their customer service. We look forward to the journey itself, learning from the onboard lecturers and exploring the northern parts of this beautiful country.
At 4pm we made our way back to board the ship. It was all very easy and straightforward – for me anyway, Andy covered all the admin. We met some of our fellow travellers on the Panorama Deck as we waited for our room before settling in and heading to dinner.
Dinner was served at 6pm and was a delicious buffet of local foods including cooked lambs head, halibut, herring, mackerel and chicken frikase. I tried them all! We shared our table with some German travellers and had a mixed language conversation. It’s fun to dust off a few high school words and phrases and test them out. After dinner we went down to our room to settle in. The room is cosy, but we’ll manage and let’s face it, on a cruise the focus is really on the stops and scenery along the way.
The MS Nordlys is not as outdated as we had expected. It’s a clean bright decor with plenty of window space through which to see the passing landscape. Despite being full it doesn’t feel crowded at all. All communications and announcements are delivered in 3 languages, Norweigan, English and German. We attended the ship induction and at about 10pm turned in for the night.
During the night we exited the Fjords out to the Norweigan Sea. The boat rolled on the swell. We docked at Floro at 2am, Maloy at 4:15am for 15minutes to collect locals who use the Hurtigruten services to travel between the local towns and villages. There are about 30 stops over the 6 days of our northbound journey. We can pop out if we wish and take a few pictures as long as we are back on the boat 5 minutes before the scheduled departure time.