July 7 was spent in Skjolden-a very Norwegian sounding town! We didn't make much of a plan for this day, mostly because I wasn't sure how my leg and knee would feel after my injury. Thankfully, it was not really an issue and we were able to walk around the small town. There was also sunshine! It felt like a miracle! While we walked, I was warm enough to take off my sweatshirt and wear only a t-shirt with my long pants. It's strange to be so cold in July.
At the end of the fjord, there was a small cottage that we were able to see. It originally belonged to a philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. To see a small house compared to the giant waterfalls near it helped make everything look even more amazing.
We walked back to the ship and boarded easily. While it was warm, I decided to sit on the top deck (still in long pants and with 2 towels covering me!) and read as we left Skjolden. It was so beautiful as we moved past waterfall after waterfall.
Our last port on the cruise was Stavenger on July 8. We spent this day a lot like the day before-walking around, exploring the town, and soaking up sunshine. The most unexpected thing in Stavenger was seeing jellyfish! Right as we got off the ship, I looked into the water and thought I saw trash floating. As I looked more carefully, I realized it was a jellyfish and there were many of them all around the dock! You don't think about jellyfish being in cold water, but it was a fun surprise to see them.
Another surprising thing about Norway was the flowers! I didn't think about the flowers in Norway before this trip, but if you had asked me, I would have assumed they didn't grow much because it is mostly cold. However we saw so many beautiful roses, potted plants, and gardens in front of houses. I loved looking at them and they made me think about my mom who loves flowers so much.
For our final day (July 9), we cruised the North Sea, heading back to Dover. We woke up late and had a long brunch in the dining room. A surprising amount of the day was spent doing laundry. We knew we needed to wash our clothes so we could make it to the next Airbnb. Apparently, everyone on the cruise had the same idea. I found a washer and dryer that were open and used them after hauling our dirty clothes up and down the cruise ship corridors.
We played mini golf on the very top deck, after talking about doing it all week. It was fun and so windy up there!
Brennan wanted to fit in one more steak before we left, so we ate at the steakhouse again that night. The man loves steak! It was good again, but not quite as good as the first time. I think that tends to happen when you are pleasantly surprised by something and try to recreate it. Oh well-it was still a great dinner.
We had to be off the ship early on Sunday morning. They asked for us to leave our room by 6:15, so we stopped to get coffee on the lido deck with everyone else before disembarking. We sat by the pool and drank our final cruise coffee. The process was very simple and we moved quickly through passport check, customs, and found a taxi to take us to the train station.
Overall, I would give our experience on the cruise a 6/10. I'm really glad we were able to do it and see a new area of Norway that would be more difficult to explore by land. The landscape everywhere was beautiful and I enjoyed hiking and walking through all the small towns. Cruising really has its own culture and demographic and I'm not sure it's the type of travel I prefer. It felt a little strange to go from small Norwegian towns to walking back onto a huge cruise ship with mostly Americans and American food. I also hate being cold and was unprepared for how cold I was nearly the entire time we were gone. I don't want to sound like I am complaining-I know how lucky we are to experience everything we saw! But, I do want to be honest and I'm undecided on if I would go on another cruise.
Thankfully, our adventure didn't stop after the cruise! We were on to warmer climates-first the southern coast of England.
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.