Written by Safarigal
June 19, 2018

June 19th



Isn’t it good, Norwegian Wood


We were awoken at about 4 this morning because the wind was making quite a racket whistling through our balcony door, and the ship had definitely developed a definite rocking motion.


However, by the time we had reached the fjord at about 6:00 things had calmed down considerably. It was, however, raining. Now Brian and I are known internationally for bringing rain with us – indeed only a few months ago drought stricken Cape Town had floods 2 days after our arrival in that city. However, I cannot claim responsibility for today’s weather, apparently Bergen is the European city that gets the most rainfall annually, so it was to be expected.


We docked at about 9:30 and we headed ashore. We are docked at Jekteviken, where there is no cruise terminal, and so armed with Ruth’s handy dandy universal translator, we took the shuttle bus to the port gate. They had a supply of maps at the gate, which was very helpful.


From there it was a 10-minute walk into the center of town, and we found a functioning ATM along the way. We decided that we should do the funicular ride first before the crowds got there too, and in case the weather deteriorated. There was a short wait for the train, and we were soon whisked up to a wonderful viewpoint where we could see the city of Bergen from above, and look at the route we would be taking for the rest of the day.


You can take the funicular back down to town again, but we decided to embark on the 45 minute walk down the hill back to town. It was only raining lightly, and we were dressed for the weather, so we headed to the path. Walking along the winding path down to the town was a wonderful experience, my favorite part of the day. You walk through woods and cross little streams, and see waterfalls along the way. Both of us had the Beatles song “Norwegian Wood” stuck in our heads, so I sang it as we wended our way into town.


Once in town we walked though the older part of town with its little white wooden houses with flowers growing out front. We took a brief look at the fort, and then went to the oldest part of town which has been preserved very well, and had a great time shopping there.


Then it was time for lunch, and we had been told that the fish market was the place to go. Finally we get to experience Norwegian cuisine. Ruth had actually tried some herring for breakfast, but declared that it was nothing like what her grandmother used to make, and discarded it after one bite. I think she must have been put off by this culinary experience because she flatly refused to partake of any of the wide variety of fishy foodstuffs on offer at the market. I did sample some raw salmon and smoked whale meat (I can’t believe I did that), but I settled on 2 fish cakes which looked nice, and had an interesting taste, but their texture was very gelatinous, and I only finished them because I was extremely hungry. Still, I do recommend having lunch here. There are many stalls, with a large array of seafoods, and plenty of places to sit and it. It really was fun.

We then finished our sight seeing and walked back to the port, and took the shuttle bus back to the ship. Ruth headed off to find some lunch, and I went to the Commodore Club to try to catch up with emails and have a coke. Alas, the bar didn’t open until 4:00. I was not happy at all.


It continued to rain on and off for the rest of the afternoon, but by the time sail away came, although it was still very cold and windy, and they held the sail away celebration at the Pavilion Pool, the sun had come out and Bergen looked so beautiful. It is a great city, and worth another visit, but I won’t have fish cakes next time.


Although I had initially been very upset with the addition of the new cabins on deck 13 resulting in an alteration to QM2’s beautiful profile and decreasing the amount of usable deck space on deck 13, the area on deck 14 above the cabins is a great place from which to watch sail aways. There are no glass partitions obscuring your view, and you have a great view from there. It is my new favorite place for sail aways if they are going to continue to have substandard sail away parties.


We met up with Bill, Helen, and Martin for drinks at the Commodore Club before dinner. It was nice to see the Commodore Club was full, but not nice that we couldn’t get a seat. We ended up in the Board Room next door, which actually turned out to be quieter and I think a better place to chat. There has been much discussion on Facebook about the disappearance of canapés with pre dinner drinks in the Commodore Club. I had posted that they had not disappeared as we had had excellent canapés on Queen Elizabeth as recently as the end of April.


Well they have disappeared on QM2. We were presented with bowls of caramel popcorn and olives. I find this to be a strange combination, and certainly not one that goes with a glass of Prosecco. Couldn’t they at least have ripple chips and nuts?


We were alone at our table again for dinner, so I expect that it is unlikely that we will ever be joined by other passengers. We noticed that the officer and her parents whom we had met at the cocktail party last night were sitting at an empty table near to us, so we went to chat with them after dinner. I thought the officer might be interested in reading a passengers experience of the world cruises, so I offered to give her a copy of my book. I wanted to ensure that I had her surname correct, and it turned out that her father’s family had started my favorite chain of South African department stores. I was very excited about this connection. I have bought many dresses there that have traveled the world with me, so it was nice to have this connection.


The entertainment tonight was a pianist/comedian, Jon Courtney. He was excellent – the best comedian I have seen in a long while.


The ship had started to roll a bit during dinner, but by the time we headed off to our cabin it was really wobbling. It looks like we may be in for a bumpy night. Yay!!!!!

Post Discussion


  1. Karen Hill

    The fish cakes sound kind of strange. I found that I often ordered them on the QE and have since made some at home (but not with gelatin – that would be odd). I can’t really believe you tried the whale but it’s a conversation piece if nothing else. I think the fish market in Bergen is really fun. It’s a fun little city.

    • Safarigal

      I rather surprised myself when I tried the whale meat – I’m trying to be more adventurous, but not sure it’s the right thing to do when it comes to whales! Still, I agree, the fish market was wonderful in terms of sights and smells.

      No Alesund today alas, we are heading out again as it is too windy for us to dock unfortunately 🙁

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I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.