Thursday, 15 June 2017

Bergen, Buses, and 'The Great British Sailaway'

Bergen was our final port of call in Norway. It is Norway’s second largest city, and offers a good variety of activities for tourists from shopping, boat trips, museums and a mountain cable car. The city has an average of 231 days of rainfall in anyone year, so we were not surprised to see grey skies on arrival. Nevertheless, the ship provided good views of the river and old town.



We decided not to attempt the cable car, as the queues opposite the fish market for non-ticket holders were long. And yes, you probably guessed, we caught the Hop on Hop off tourist bus instead. At £25 each it provided good views and comfortable shelter from the murky skies and occasional drizzle.


We did actually have a choice of vehicle, as there was also a ‘Noddy’ bus!


The Ho Ho Bus gave us a good feel for the city. As well as shops, there were a number of parks, and we caught a glimpse of Ibsen, as we drove past the theatre.




My favourite part of Bergen is still the old wooden quarter with its hidden alleyways, cafes and shops.

It was an ideal place to spend my last few Kroners on some Norwegian Christmas decorations.



Then it was time to return to the ship for the final time, before heading home to Southampton. Which brings me to the subject of ‘TheGreat British Sailaway’. This is a tradition on many ships, but especially P&O.
At this point I need to confess that I normally avoid sailaways on the public decks, preferring to enjoy the views from the quieter atmosphere of our balcony. But my daughter had asked me to come…..and I did have two vouchers for free glasses of champagne! So I left Chris sleeping and climbed the stairs to deck 15. I couldn’t believe how I had missed this onboard event on so many previous cruises! It was pouring with rain, but in true Brit style, the crew and passengers had gathered to entertain the port of Bergen with a loud rendering of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.




We clutched our free flags, I drank my free champagne, and the swimming pool was filled with brave flag wavers.



It only goes to prove that the Brits do rain in just as much style as the Norwegians!!!



             Sailaway Video (featuring my grandson)

And that was it! After a completely bizarre, but thoroughly enjoyable and very wet hour on deck, we set sail for our final sea day before returning to Southampton.
My next blog post will be full of photos of Azura and any random shipboard tips I wish to share. See you again soon!   


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