Oriana 12

As we had a late breakfast we watched the ship sail in to Bergen and dock. The weather was overcast with the cloud level being just a few hundred metres up the mountain. Fortunately we had been given a berth right next to the town, so there wasn’t going to be much walking to reach it.

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As soon as disembarkation had begun we left the ship only for me to discover I had left my wallet in the cabin so I quickly did an about turn. On the second dearture from the ship I noticed that despite the predicted 18 degrees in temperature it felt quite chilly. We had been planning to take the funicular railway up the mountain, but as the cloud level was so low there was little point, we opted to wander in and out of the pretty shops along the harbour front and then visited the fish market. With the clouds still being unco-operative we decided to follow a trail around the promontory. On route we stopped to visit a large church, as we poked our noses through the closed doorway, expecting it to be closed to the public we were pounced on by an old lady who spoke excellent English. She asked where we had come from and then took us prisoner. Explaining that there was an organ recital going on she thrust an information leaflet in Sue’s hands and conducted us to our seats. We lisrtened politely to two tunes (they were very nice, if you like organ music) before quietly leaving our seats and heading for the exit. We were intercepted by the old lady who vigortously gripped my hand and shook it saying how gratefuil she was that we had stayed. On departing the church we noted that two other misfortunate cruisers were sneaking out.
Continuing our trek, we reached the end of the promontory which turned out to be a little park and quay, from which we took some photos. We chatted first to a Danish couple who took a photo Of Sue and I, so I reciprocated, then a young couple who turned out to be dancers from the Aida Cruise ship docked next to the Oriana came and talked to us, wanting to knw where we had come from. The sun came aout and the louds began to lift off the mountain as we continued along the track on the far side of the promontory.

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Arriving back into the centre of the town we found the base station of the funicular railway and joined quite a long queue for tickets. The line moved frequently, so within 20 minutes we were up on top of the mountain enjoying the sun and quite breathtaking views. After many poses and photos we had a wander through the forest. We discovered a little house where the Trolls lived and went in search of the wicked witch, but failed to find her! It was lovely and refreshing to walk through the pine scented trees and out of the now rather fierce heat of the sun. Eventually, we reluctantly decided to join the much shorter queue and return to the town. We would like to have stayed there all day and perhaps have a picnic, but that is the downside of cruising.

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Back on the pavements of Bergen we visited a few more shops before returning to the ship.

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First stop was Al Fresco for a spot of grub and then onto the decks to sit, read and enjoy the sunshine and views of Bergen. We watched the Sail-away party at the stern. Union Jack flags were issued to the passengers and lots of patriotic songs were sung and danced to. I think everybody particularly enjoyed when flags were fervantly waved and voices strained to the tune of Rule Britannia as we sailed by within a few metres of the Cruise Ship Aida ( a Danish ship, full of our German friends) with her decks awash with passengers watching our departure, some did wave back (quislings!).

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Sue remained on deck while I retired to the sanctuary of Al Fresco for coffee and pasty and sat watching the little islands of the Norwegian coast pass by in a perfect picture.
First entertainment of the evening was a comedy and magic act. The star of the act came from Cuba and was awesome. His comedy was very risky and quite insulting to some members of the audience, he took no prisoners and very amusing for those fortunate enough to avoid the flack. Sue came close on a couple of accasions but managed to hide successfully by nearly hiding under the seat. At times I was nearly in tears with laughter. The magic was quite good too.
We had a full compliment at dinner, chatting mostly about our days activities but all agreeing that we gave the Aida a good British broadside!
The Four Tunes were our late night entertainment. They were four singers from West End shows that had come to gether to form a boys band. They were very good and managed to be given a standing ovation by the majority of the audience. Sue again came close to being chosen when the singers asked if there was anyone in the audience called Sue, believe it or not there was one other Sue, who sat two rows in front of us and raised her hand, she had to endure four guys singing a love song to her (Sue sat quietly and silently throughout).

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