The Retirees go Abroad – France Norway UK and Ireland – Bergen to Paris

We have received our disembarkation lecture and guess what the tour director is German – that explains a lot. We call in at Trondheim, and have a lovely walk around the town. Farewell dinner tonight because many people leaving here.

Last day and we really just sit around awaiting to arrive at Bergen. Big hug from Ms Hendrieksen fare welling us (Kerry has a headache so she misses out). Arrive at Bergen and we get a cab to the hotel in the heart of the city. Just down the road is the funicular to the top of the hill behind Bergen CBD and we take the trip to the top. Wow and the wind is just as amazing. A hot chocolate, a visit to the souvenir shop and we head to the 17th century fish market a UNESCO world heritage site. Very interesting and it is bitterly cold. Time for dinner and Pepe’s Pizza is in sight. A couple of pizzas 2 cokes and a bottle of red Krona 1160 about $240.00 – Norway is expensive when it comes to dining out.

Back to the hotel and some real room and a nice shower – boat trip was wonderful but 12 days is enough. Awoken by a severe shake of my leg. Kerry is up and I have slept through the alarm. Ablutions, dress, breakfast and the cab arrives. It is too small for 4 people and 7 pieces of luggage despite being told when booking the cab. In fact, he had a trainee with him so could not even fit 4 passengers. Order a new cab – we learn that there is an excess baggage fee and our cab ride hiked up to almost double the cost to travel in from the airport (krona 714 or $103.00). Kerry is most upset. Still we arrive in time to catch the plane which we do and fly to Oslo where we catch another plane to Paris CDG (Oslo – got off the plane went by bus to the terminal and then walked all the way back to the international terminal to catch our next flight – one way to ensure we get enough exercise).

Arrive in Paris and travel from CDG to 16th arrondissement (it took a considerable time and only cost euro 61 (including baggage fee). The cabbie had no idea where to find the hotel but got us there very directly once he found it in his Referdex – Yes Referdex. The hotel is down a mall (part of Rue de l’Anonciation) and it is just another door off the side walk. The room is small but manageable (we are back to finding which hotel can have the smallest bathroom). Wandered around locating ourselves and the metros. Found “Susan’s Place” a neat little “cafe de the” but no bookings available tonight then find Le Passy a bar and restaurant and had a drink (they had not heard of Kahlua and milk and were quite amused by it). Doug not feeling well, stays home while we trip into Champs Elysee and we walk down to Rue de Rivoli and around to Place Vendome and into Rue Marche du Honore where we find a superb spaghetti restaurant Fuxia and have dinner before going home.

The Retirees go Abroad – France, Norway, UK and Ireland – Bergen and Norway

Its 3.50 am when the wakeup call comes. Arising we find it is dark but not overcast – trust it to fine up as we leave. Down to the shuttle and across to the airport to board a plane for Frankfurt then to Bergen. Frankfurt is enormous. We land and enter the terminal at gate A5. Our flight to Bergen leaves from gate A69. Hmm a bit of a walk ahead but we get there in plenty of time in fact we could have caught a flight to Basel we were that early.

Cooled our heels for an hour and a half before we caught the plane and arrived in Bergen. We caught a cab into town and played a guessing game with the driver about his place of birth. It started when Doug asked him about refugees in Norway and comments were made about Afghans in Australia for 200 years. We went all round the world and he turned out to be Afghani. Checked in our luggage at the terminal (cab was the way to go – door to door) and took a walk through the city – did not see much but what we did see was appealing and cold.

We are sailing on the Hurtigruten line. Hurtigruten (“Express Route”) is a daily passenger and freight shipping service along Norway’s western and northern coast between Bergen and Kirkenes. Sometimes referred to as Norwegian Coastal Express, Hurtigruten ships sail almost the entire length of the country, completing the round-trip journey in 11 days. We boarded the ship and went through the safety ritual and the unpacking and then the evening meal – Doug and Kerry both went to bed while Nerida and I represented the team at the next information presentation. Well at least I did Nerida went to sleep in the presentation. Its now 9.30pm and Nerida and I check out the gym and then retire for the night. The ship sets sail at 10.30 and throughout the night we feel it go bump as it docks at various little villages delivering supplies.