Oriana 5

Oriana 5

What a night!!!! Laying in bed I had decided to listen to BBC Radio 4 Podcast on the 1st World War that I had loaded onto my Tablet PC and blue-toothed to a pair of headsets so as not to disturb Sue. As the programme progressed I became increasingly aware of the undulating movements of the bed. When the broadcast had finished and the sound of battle should have dissipated into the ether as sleep took hold, it didn’t. Had the next episode loaded automatically? No, and it wasn’t Sue doing her usual tap-dance on the cabin table, sipping brandy while balancing the bottle on her head, it was the sound of the North Atlantic slamming into the bow of the ship just behind our headboard (or so it seemed). At times your body felt as if it was being pressed deep into the mattress and at others as if the only thing to prevent you from leaving the ship was the ceiling. It was around 7am when this poltergeist activity relented. The miracle was that even with Sues delicate ruminatory system, the sick bags weren’t filled or even contemplated in cabin F114.


We rose at 8am for breakfast to find we had arrived in Allesund. It appears we were were not alone in having our sleep deprived by the angry Norse Gods, though we did meet a very large lady in the lift who said, “Storm, what storm? I slept like a log.” I took an instant dislike to the lady.


After a hearty breakfast we departed the ship under rain clouds, unlike ourselves of the previous night, they were releasing the contents of their bowels with gusto onto the hapless passengers daring to venture abroad. First, we climbed the mountain above the town and asdmired the magnificent views down below as their were none above or in the far distance. There was times when the rain and wind relented but you counted those moment in minutes. From the mountain we went insearch of Alesund Museum. We knew we were near it, but could we find it? Yes, only after circumnavigating the whole block and consulting the map in doorways at regular intevals. I had brought along my tablet with maps and navigation software installed, but was prevented from using it as touch sensitive screens don’t work in the rain! After eventually finding the museum, thoroughly digesting its contents we returned to the ship for lunch, passing a rather obvious pavement billboard indicating the way to the museum that only an hour previously we had stood next to scratching our heads consulting an increasingly soggy tourist map.

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We decided to eat in the Peninsular Restaurant finding that it was waiter service rather than a buffet and we were reluctatntly placed on a table for 6. Instead of the usual light salad for lunch we were forced by circumstances into having a 3 course meal.


To work off the excess calories we set off again with rain gear donned down the gangplank in search of the the town church. We quickly found it, sat awhile to avoid the wind and rain before setting off towards the harbour in the teeth of a gale to find the Fishing Museum. We accomplished this task quite quickly (slope assisted) and spent longer than we would normally have in appreciating the history and mechanics of the Norwegian whale and herring fleet.  From there we wandered through the town back to the ship. Apparently, the early wooden town burnt down in the early 1900’s. How? Wet wood burns slowly and there surely couldn’t have been a shortage of water to put the thing out. Something fishy going on there!

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On return to our cabin we changed for drier alternatives and then went for the obligatory coffee at Al Fresco.  During the rest of the afternoon Sue went to see the film ‘Pompei’, while I opted for a stable bed. Prior to Sue returning I went up-top to watch the ship leave a very rainy port, then went for yet another coffee when we next met up.


We changed early for dinner as there was a Queen tribute show in one of the theatres and we managed to get seats near the front. Excellent entertainment, the show contained all their well known songs and the dancing was superb. I could have watched them all night, but we had to depart for the Oriental restaurant and eat. Our table is at the stern next to the panoramic window and we could see the effect that the weather was having on the sea, it didn’t bode well for the overnight sail to Trondheim.


We finished the night off listening to a singer in the theatre singing classical arias. Again, Sue enjoyed his singing, I less so. Fingers crossed for a good nights sleep.


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