Shaz and Trav

Postcards byShaz

Shaz and Trav

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Honningsvag February 27th 2020

Day 6 of our cruise of the Arctic Circle with MS Kong Harald, and we sailed through Oksfjord and Hammerfest during the night. After breakfast, there's a Point of Interest talk on Deck 7, as we sail through Mageroysundet, about the Sami people and reindeers. It was really interesting but don't ask me to quote any fun facts, unfortunately I don't retain information unless I write it down. We arrrive in Honningsvag at 11.15am and have another shore excursion booked - The North Cape. This is one of the northernmost points on the European continent and during our 45minutes bus trip we marvelled at the spectacular sub-Arctic landscape. The latitude is North 71.10.21 degrees and the plateau itself soars 307 metres, almost vertically, above the Arctic Ocean. The North Cape is the point where the Norwegian ... read more
North Cape
The iconic 'globe' sculpture
'Children of the Earth' monument

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Tromsø February 26th 2020

During the night we sailed through Stokmarknes, Sortland and Risoyhamm but was sound asleep so didn't notice the short 15minute stops. We arrived at Harstad at 6.45am and stopped at port for an hour, but was it was too early to get up plus we had a shore excursion booked later in the day. Sailing further north, the temperature has been getting colder and there's also been a lot more snow. In fact, there's been so much that one of the crew goes out onto Deck 7 with a hand held plough, scooping up the snow and throwing it into the ocean. We watch him work and take lots of photo's as I find it fascinating (is this wrong???). It's nice seeing all the snow on the deck, and I love going out into the fresh ... read more
Clearing the snow from the deck - MS Kong Harald
Finnsnes - covered in snow
All kitted out for dog sledding

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Brønnøysund February 25th 2020

During the night we sailed through Bronnoysund, Sandnessjoen, and Nesna and at 7.45am this morning there is an announcement that we would be crossing the Arctic Circle. Not wanting to miss it, we head to Deck 7 and carefully make our way outside to get a glimpse of the famous globe shaped marker located on a small island which marks 66 degrees 33 minutes north, between Nesna and Ornes. This marks the southernmost point in the Northern Hemisphere where the sun stays above or below the horizon during the respective solstices. As we pass, the ship's horn is sounded and we are now officially above the circle. There is so much ice on the deck, you have to really be careful not to slip over and with so many people all clamouring for photo's it was ... read more
Baptism ceremony - crossing the Arctic Circle
Enjoying a Cloudeberry Schnappes
Up close with a Viking

Europe » Norway » Trøndelag » Trondheim February 24th 2020

Last night we sailed to Kristiansund and were in port from 10.30pm-1.30am, but no one disembarked (assume most passengers were fast asleep). Today was Trav's birthday and I'd booked an excursion - kayaking on the River Nidelva (known as River Nid), and we were both super excited. After another huge breakfast, we layered up in preparation for the -1 degrees we'd been advised to expect at Trondheim. Disembarking the ship, it was snowing quite heavily and there were various excursions on offer and people were being directed to buses or taxi's. There was only 5 of us doing the kayaking and after a mix up with the taxi, it eventually arrived and off we went. Along with Trav and I, there was a guy called Lars from Germany and a father and daughter, Kevin and Vanessa ... read more
Trondheim - a winter wonderland
Ready for our kayak adventure
What a view

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Ålesund February 23rd 2020

Our ship left Bergen last night at 9.30pm and we sailed through the night, stopping at several small ports along the way including Floro, Maloy and Torvik (these were just 10minute stops to drop off/pick up supplies).Waking up this morning, there was a fair bit of motion and we didn't rush getting out of bed. We hadn't been on a ship since our cruise of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in 2018, so I'd forgotten the feeling and needed to get my sea legs. Our package included all meals in the Torget Norway Coastal Kitchen, and there was so much to choose from at the buffet. I'm not ashamed to say I had three breakfasts (and will probably eat as much for lunch and dinner too if the breakfast selection is anything to go by). Feel free ... read more
Trying to get that perfect photo
What a view - Mount Aksla
Feeling on top of the world - Mount Aksla

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen February 21st 2020

Bergen - so much to see and so little time. Today we were on a tight timeframe as we were getting picked up from the hotel at 5pm, and transported to the port to begin our Hurtigruten cruise. In the meantime, we wanted to explore and set off straight after breakfast, walking into town. Last night when we went out to get dinner it was dark so didn't get to see much at all, but in daylight, we are both really impressed. Cobblestone streets, small wooden houses built into the mountainside, and very cute shops. Oslo let me down with its street art (I'm sure they have a lot but we just couldn't find it), but Bergen more than made up for it. Huge colourful murals on building walls were everywhere as well as smaller pieces ... read more
On the Floibanen
Colourful buildings at Bryggen
Best seafood lunch ever

Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Oslo February 21st 2020

Our second day in Oslo, well actually half a day, and I was on a mission to find and photograph some of the city's street art. The Visitors Centre yesterday had referred me to their website, where there was an interactive map with the location of various murals and details of the artist So we set off towards Toyen, where the map showed quite a few murals were located. Along the way, we saw a few sculptures worthy of a photo, but unfortunately the urban art I was in pursuit of was difficult to locate and it didn't help when Google Maps decided not to co-operate either. Rather than wander around aimlessly, we headed back into town and made our way to the Opera House. Our guide from the City Discovery Tour yesterday had recommended ... read more
Opera House
Opera House - unique architecture
Art installation - SWEAT by Mikkal Aaland

Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Oslo February 20th 2020

I don't proclaim to be a 'foodie' but I do enjoy a good buffet breakfast and I've had my share during our many travels. I have to say, the breakfast at our hotel was very impressive and there was so many options to choose from that I ended up going up three times. I had two new experiences during breakfast too - a ginger shot (a blend of ginger and fruit juices served in a shot glass) and brown cheese (a favourite with Norwegians - actually known as Brunost - Gudbrandsdalsost, and has a slight taste of caramel and goes well topped with jam). After breakfast we did a quick walk around the block to test out the air temperature and it 'jumper, 2 pairs of thermal pants, waterproof hiking pants, thick wool socks, waterproof jacket, ... read more
Visit Oslo @ Visitors Centre
Holmenkollen Ski Jump
"Angry Boy" sculpture, Vigeland Sculpture Park

Middle East February 19th 2020

Arriving in Hamad International Airport, Doha after our 14.5hour flight, it was a relief to be able to stretch the legs and walk around. I was shocked to discover I had suddenly developed cankles during the flight, and was relieved I listened to my nurse at Life Blood on the day of our departure who strongly recommended that I DO NOT donate blood as I was more susceptible to blood clots or DVT. Thank you Alyce, I'm so glad I took up your professional opinion otherwise I may have ended up with more than just cankles on this flight!!!! Although it was only 4.30am, I couldn't believe how warm it was already - 20degrees apparently. One of my dilemma's for this trip was trying to work out what to wear for the flight. Given we left ... read more
Enjoying a drink at La Grand Compoir Bistro Bar
One of the eight bronze sculptures which encourage play and interaction
These sculptures are so cool

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne February 18th 2020

I sit writing this blog at the airport, whilst waiting for our first flight from Melbourne to Doha. One of the hardest things about going away is saying goodbye and there were a few tears when Maggie left us at the departure gate for our 23day adventure. With a few hours to kill, we kick back in Bar Pulpo by Movido, enjoying overpriced drinks - Maeloc dry apple cider and Moritz beer, whilst people watching. I don't know about you but there's something about airports that I find fascinating. So many people and everyone has a back story or is about to embark on some kind of adventure. Boarding our Qatar flight at 9.30pm, we were given boarding priority as we were on the Upper Deck. This was a first for us, and given that we'll ... read more

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