Oriana 10

Laying in bed we heard the Oriana dock in our next port of call, Andalsnes. We rose at 8am and breakfasted. Going on deck we were greeted by some of the most breathtaking scenery you have ever seen. Eager to get in among it, we returned to our cabin and changed into our walking gear. We had contemplated booking a train trip along the fjord, I am so glad we didn’t.
Disembarking, we discovered the little tourist information office on the quay and to our surprise met both our dinner parteners there. Together we discussed what we were going to do. We had opted for the mountain, they were doing the town and river walk. We set off.

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Soon arriving at the foot of the mountain we stood a while with other interpid climbers wondering what the Norwegian information board said about the mountain trail. None the wiser we set off, up. After 15 minutes or so following a well marked path, some parts along a metal walkway, we reached a small hut at 340m. We signed the book provided as a safety feature and carried on.
Another 20 minutes of increasingly harder going saw us sign another book and then later on another. We saw many descending Brits who given up stating slippy conditions etc. We wee also passed by ascending Norwegians, some with uncomplaining children, who seem just occuppied in chatting merrily to each other and enjoying the climb. It reminded me that we have yet to see an overweight Norwegian! After just over an hour of climbing, now often along chain ways rivetted into narrow ledges we reached a metal walkway, suspended over the abyss (how did they get this up here?) After taking photos, many of them of the glacier on the mountain across the valley we chatted to another interpid English couple. It was as far as they were going and Sue, who had done brilliantly to get this far decided to return with them while I carried on to the top.

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Around half and hour later I had reached the top. There was a Norwegian couple sat outside a mountain rescue hut and a  few others dotted about the summit.  I stayed around 20 minutes taking photos, investigating the hut and chatting to a lone English woman who had done this climb last year. The descent was quite uneventful other than being asked by a few as to how far it was to go to the top. I resisted the temptation of have some fun and just told the truth, though on parting I would mention that the pub at the top had just shut as it had run out of beer.

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By the time I had reached the bottom I was thoroughly fed-up with the descent, particularly as an old gentleman who must have at least 90 ran past me!  Up until then I was the one smugly passing others. He must have been on drugs.

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It began to drizzle as I reached the dock. Visiting the cabin I found a message from Sue saying she was having lunch in Al Fresco, I found her in the conservatory. We both had lunch before returning to the cabin. After showering I went onto deck to take some more photos while Sue went to the cinema to watch ‘Chef’.
We met on deck as the ship left harbour and watched the scenery slide by, particularly enjoying the many waterfalls silently cascading over 1000m+ cliffs from sources too high to see. There was a brief shower that produced a bizarre rainbow that seemed to stretch over the ship and then arc 270 degrees appearing to touch the hull of the ship (I have the photo). As the ship picked up speed it got rather chilly so we retired to Al Fresco for warming cups of coffee and vital nibbles. From there we went our separate ways, Sue to the ‘Sail-away Party’ at the stren and I to the Lords Tavern where I watched Man Utd draw with Sunderland with Roy one of our fellow diners.
Returning to the cabin to change informally for dinner we proceeded to join Rob and Jan in the rear Theatre for a second performance of the Cliff Richard tribute act. Sue had met him in Al Fresco earlier

and  learnt that he was rather afraid that the recent accusations against Cliff would have a detrimental effect on his act. Time will no doubt tell.
Dinner was conducted in a rather jolly fashion with a variety of joke tellings and lots of light-hearted banter. Afterwards we went with Rob and Jan to the forward theatre for another second performance, this time by the exceptional violinst/comedian of the a couple of nights ago.
We anchor early in Geiranger tomorrow and will be tendering off the ship, so we went to bed before midnight for once zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

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