The change in temperature was noticeable as we headed south and distanced ourselves from the Arctic. After a day at sea our next port was Olden. The sail into Olden is the main reason why many people choose to holiday on this cruise.
I woke early and the view from the port hole as we sailed through the Nordfjords was breathtaking. A stunning warm day, blue skies and not a breath of wind made for a very special occasion. We were treated to a perfect vista of snow capped mountains with a lush base of green farm land, traditional large wooden homes dotted to the shore line and all reflected perfectly in the still water. I could feel the serenity.
I escorted on the glacier safari tour, which began with a drive along the shore of Floen Lake, an opportunity for some (more) great photos. Then a hike up to Briksdal Glacier, with giant waterfalls, wild flowers and birds flittering around; it all felt some-what like a scene from the Sound of Music. Summer had arrived in this part of Norway! Once we reached the glacier lake we donned life jackets, helmets and gumboots and jumped aboard a rubber raft where we paddled within metres of the base of the mighty (6 million year old) glacier. This was very impressive, but I was glad for the sun on my back as we paddled amongst chunks of ice.
Our last port was Bergen. The day was chilly and drizzly but it was nice to jump off with Hel for a brisk walk through the cute sea side town. We explored through the harbour-side markets and admired the 11th century wooden buildings located along the harbour front (World Heritage site). A very picturesque city.
As the Artemis headed back to South Hampton I cannot believe how fast the two weeks flew by. Not only have I loved the sites of Norway, but it has given me a great insight into what has been Hel’s life for the past few years. I have been completely pampered in the spa and incredibly well looked after by my big sister (thanks F!). Very spoilt indeed. I can see why people choose to cruise for their holidays, it is a great way to see a number of places in a short period of time.