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10-06-2019, 09:27 AM
31

Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

Norway is on it's way Surfermom....
But First......

After boarding the Azura around 2:00pm we found our way to the cafe' for lunch while the captain studied his charts and decided which way to sail to find Norway and the Fjords.

We cast off on Saturday evening and after a brief visit to the sail away party and a glass of bubbly, I staggered back to the cabin to get changed for an early dinner. Champagne always goes straight to my head....

Turning left the ship proceeded down the English Channel passing Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings (and by the time I was tucked up like a baby) the Straights of Dover and into the North sea.

We were cabined on the Starboard side of the ship, facing east, and were surprised to wake up in the early morning to bright warm sunshine streaming in through the balcony window. I wasted no time absorbing the UVB rays before breakfast...



We sailed through the day and into the next night unpacking, eating and exploring the ship......



Nothing else to do but chill out and relax while the captain figures out which way the Fjords are...

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10-06-2019, 02:25 PM
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Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

Ah, yes, that first photo at the top was what I was looking for. It's just as Realspeed described, exceptional verdant peaks framed by a cool body of water, but....

Hold on!

Why are those mountains denuded of foliage? Where are the trees? Am I the only one who think that looks more like and open ocean than a fjord?

Some trickery is definitely afoot.



Looks thoroughly relaxing, OGF! I really like the idea of the pool being located on the stern. The problem is that once I settled into one of those deck chairs, I am not sure I'd ever get up.
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10-06-2019, 04:02 PM
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Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

Above the tree line ???
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10-06-2019, 04:13 PM
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Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

Originally Posted by OldGreyFox ->


Thanks for all the messages everyone, and thanks Realspeed for the wonderful photos, it seems you managed to get to far more places than we did although we only went for a week and I think you said that you did a fortnight. We also went with friends and seemed to always be doing stuff (everyone made me the organiser of the day's events) Hence the lack of reports on this one....Sorry!..

No problem with the breakfast Pyxell even though that was probably the best thing at that hotel (rooms could do with a refurb) Thank God the ships cabins were perfect, as usual... I'm a good sailor and the North sea was like a millpond for the most part. The only rough weather we had was as we sailed through the Straights of Dover on the way home and I slept through most of it.....

No running Mags I'm afraid.....
It wasn't until we were sailing home that Mrs Fox and I got up early and did a couple of laps of the deck, walking I hasten to add and It wasn't possible to go all the way round as the front bit (The Bows for the sailors reading this) were closed off, so we just went back and forth for twenty minutes, still very enjoyable in the brisk sea air and the good weather...

We did manage three trips ashore and photos and reports will follow so don't despair... Don't expect Realspeed standards on the photos though...
So it's back home now and the gentle hum of the washing machine and a quick tour of Tesco for supplies....

PS:- Trolls Realspeed, Mrs Fox fell in love with the Trolls, not the gnomes.... I think she married one.....
Good photo of you on deck Bob! I notice you made sure you were near a lifebelt ..... just in case?
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10-06-2019, 04:51 PM
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Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

so jealous
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10-06-2019, 10:50 PM
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Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

OGF is that photo of you on the ship from thirty years ago?
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11-06-2019, 03:54 PM
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Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

Glad you enjoyed the ship OGF. I've sailed with Azura a few times and she is a fine vessel and a better experience than her sister ship Ventura imho.
Turns out we are sailing at the same time as I am on the return leg on another P&O ship as I write.

The Fjords are spectacular but somewhat "samey" after a few days. Too many hills and waterfalls I guess. It's a trip I'm very glad to have done. but wouldn't rush back for a second helping for some time.

Things I fear will get worse there because P&O is now launching their new ship IONA with 5000 passengers and it will be stationed in the Fjords for most of its initial season.

I am very worried at the impact of so many passengers suddenly descending on small Norwegian towns and I am struggling to see how they will cope, especially if there are other ships in at the same time.

Azura is approx 3000 pax so you will have experienced some of the impending impacts I suspect. There's not a lot at the actual end of a Fjord as you are invariably at the bottom of a huge hunk of rock so an excursion of some sort becomes necessary. I figure that if a coach holds approx 50 people, then that's 100 coaches needed to shift 5000 pax from Iona to various places. Can you imagine 100 coaches operating from any of the Fjords you visited? I imagine the locals, much like the Venetians, will start protesting as their idyllic world becomes a commercial landscape for marauding Brits who come to pillage for a day. Where will it all end?!

Anyway, you'll be glad to have experienced such a beautiful country. Doubtless many pennies lighter as a pint of the good stuff is a hefty price is it not?!

So where next? I hope you booked you next cruise whilst on board for that extra OBC and if you are cruising regularly with P&O I hope you have boguth 100 shares in Carnival for even more OBC on every cruise you take. (If not PM me for details)

Anyway, happy sailing. It is the best way to travel imho or as I often say . . .

"Cruising is the only way to fly" !
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11-06-2019, 05:08 PM
38

Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

Thanks Mags, Ah yes, the lifebelt, I'm a good strong swimmer but I wouldn't survive very long in the North Sea, especially when I wouldn't even know which way to swim....

No need to be jealous Summer, I reckon it won't be long before you are sailing somewhere.....

Thanks for the compliment Annie, a bottle of champagne on it's way....

I agree with much of what you say Realist, but we did like the Ventura better than Azura. I believe the Azura is due a refit any time soon and we did think she was looking a little bit tired below decks.

Perhaps we liked the Ventura best because it is more Art Deco than her sister and it was our first cruise with P&O, that made it more special. We visited the Caribbean last year on the Azura and she seems to have aged a little since then.

We flew out to Barbados to meet the ship and I wouldn't mix flying with cruising again, I'd rather pay a bit more and join the ship in Southampton and stay on her for the whole voyage.

We like sailing with P&O and the fact that they deal in in sterling, the shares in Carnival sounds interesting.... I would have prefered to do the Fjords on a smaller ship and maybe for a fortnight, but when you book a cruise with friends you have to compromise.

So to this end Realist, our next cruise on the fifth of July this year for two weeks will be to Ireland and Iceland on the Oriana, with just Mrs Fox and me. It will probably be one of the last voyages of the Oriana as she is been taken out of service in August, but is a ship I have always wanted to sail on....
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11-06-2019, 09:55 PM
39

Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

No Fjords yet as we sailed through the night and arrived at our first port of call, Stavanger. Apart from the snow covered peaks in the distance it could have been a port in the UK except it was very clean and tidy......



The weather was overcast but dry so we had a walk around the town finally settling down in a Starbucks and coppering up a fiver for a cup of coffee before making our way back to the ship for lunch......



There was some very nice architecture hidden away in the backstreets, and some shops for the ladies in the party to peruse. I ended up paying fifty quid for a coat on the way back to the ship, very good quality too...



I hate to be a killjoy, but our ship was about the best thing to photograph in Stavanger!
That's Azura on the left.....



Apparently drilling for oil and gas in the North Sea is not profitable anymore since the arabs can sell it a lot cheaper, so a lot of the oil rigs are being recovered and dismantled. I managed to snap this one being sailed into port....



Still haven't seen a Fjord yet......
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12-06-2019, 09:23 PM
40

Re: Where the Hell Are The Fjords Anyway

We sailed through Monday night and I awoke early on Tuesday morning to the most amazing scenery....I think we just found the Fjords.



There was an eerie silence as I stepped out onto the balcony and the ship seemed to glide over the mirror like surface of the Fjord...



It took perhaps an hour to navigate the 115,000 ton cruise ship down to the bottom of the Fjord and arrive at our destination....Flam.



I stood on the balcony overseeing the securing of the ship.....



We disembarked and made our way to the railway station for our first excursion.
Looking back at the Azura, she seemed strangely out of place tucked in among the hills and trees.....



After about thirty minutes on the train we came to a halt just outside a tunnel, apparently we had to make way for another train in the opposite direction. We were allowed to leave the carriage and take our place on a viewing platform that was situated at the base of a mighty waterfall. I managed to arrive first and get a few shots before the contents of the rest of the carriages spilled out onto the platform....Just one of the benefits of being a runner....



Quite an impressive sight....



After the two hour train ride we remained seated and were returned to Flam. The weather was quite inclement alternating between wet and dry spells, not very good for photography, especially out of rain soaked carriage windows. After a quick browse around Flam we returned to the ship for afternoon tea while the captain set a course for our next destination. A lot of eating gets done on a cruise.....



We returned down the Fjord and back to the North Sea...



Passing through some more spectacular scenery....



The end to a perfect day, and my first sight of the Fjords...



Goodnight everyone......

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