Saturday! Finally, the day (8.29.15) had arrived for our Norway cruise to begin. We checked out of the Sheraton Skyline at Heathrow and caught a bus to Heathrow Terminal 3, where we met up with the Holland America bus that would transfer us to Harwich (pronounced Hare-itch for our American friends), the port city from which our 7-day cruise to Norway was scheduled to depart. Tim had made arrangements to meet with another buddy from RLBC days, and after we checked into our stateroom, we were able to return to the cruise terminal and spend an hour or so with Andrew Bentley, who drove about an hour from Bury St. Edmond’s to see us. It was awesome to catch up with him (he didn’t realize he was going to buy us lunch!)…thanks Andrew! We’ll get you back. The last time either of us had seen him was at my apartment in Owatonna in December of 1994. Hard to believe that Tim and I had just begun dating at that point! We all agreed that we shouldn’t wait another 20 years to hang out again.
We also met two lovely couples while waiting for our turn to embark, Tom & Deb from the Toledo area in Ohio, and Rose & Eddy Hughes from Essex, UK. We’ve bumped into them a few times onboard and on shore, which has been fun.
We returned to the ship (the Ryndam) and set sail for Norway around 4pm. We were at sea that afternoon and evening (gorgeous sunset over the North Sea), and all of the next day (Sunday the 30th) as well. The seas were really smooth and it was great fun to be on a small ship, even if it may be showing its age. We all are, right? 🙂 Sunday night was one of two formal dress nights for guests eating in the Ryndam dining room, and since our packing for this 2-month trip included a variety of climates and locations, we chose not to pack really formal clothing. So we pulled together two passable outfits and enjoyed the four-course meal.
Monday (8.31.15) we woke up to the city of Bergen, and we were in port for about 7 hours. Our sightseeing consisted of riding a hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus (we were super-excited about the free wifi onboard!!!), and we got to see the main sights while taking a few moments to get online. We actually stayed on the bus a little longer than we might otherwise have just so we could surf without paying the exorbitant by-the-minute fees charged by the cruise line. Tim had grading to do, of course (no rest for the weary), and pulled a late night.
The photo captions will tell you more about what we saw.