We just love Amsterdam...Did our own thing and took a taxi to Dam Square which is a good starting point for exploring or shopping. A canal trip is a must as it gives you great insight to their waterways.
My wife had not been to Hamburg before, so we took a double decker sightseeing bus from just outside the main station. To get to the station we had taken the ship's shuttle bus at 10 euros each which is quite expensive these days when many cruise companies offer free shuttle buses.
A lovely city of surprises ...it has over 2000 bridges...great for shoppers with seven large department stores along one road.
We had a rather "ugly" incident aboard one of the buses as it became very evident that the guide (usually they have earphones for different languages)was anti-British by his remarks about the war. In fact he never even acknowledged us as we boarded the bus upstairs with just a couple of other people. And he certainly did not answer as we said goodbye! It did put a bit of a dampener on our visit to this lovely city.
We just love Copenhagen and again did a hop on hop off double decker bus trip. Having been a couple of times before, we only stayed for about three hours, but to do their canal trip is a real must and so different from Amsterdam canals. Also of course is the famous Tivoli Gardens with its diverse restaurants and cafes beautifully nestled in amongst fabulous gardens, water features, lakes etc.plus amusements for the kids.
I had been before but not my wife...we took another Sightseeing bus but this time our experience was not at all good. Firstly we got ripped off with a charge of 25 euros each (we later learned from some friends aboard that they got the same bus company and only paid 17 euros each after comparing it with an almost identical bus standing next to it and bartering)...Our experience has always been that the charge is clearly shown on the leaflet or a bill-board. To make matters worse we were advised to board the bus which was crammed full with just two seats behind the stairs, as we would have to wait another 30 minutes. She said, no problem as you can swop seats when passengers get off. But they didn't or if they did a large queue was waiting to get on..The driver stupidly let people stand and so our only view was from the one window to our left, nothing to the front or opposite windows. We discussed about getting off but thought we would have to wait anything up to an hour to get another bus. Quite clearly they did not have enough buses to cope. Never again with that company. So we saw very very little of Oslo.
On this occasion we took the ship's excursion which firstly took us to the Royal Yacht Britannia and then on to the City itself. The cost was 89 euros each and on reflection it would have been much much cheaper to have made our own way even after having to pay entrance fees for the Royal Yacht and the Castle.
Rather disappointed with the Royal Yacht, even though extremely interesting. Nowhere near a opulent as my friend had described it...in fact quite utility, even for its time 1956.
Edinburgh itself was a first visit for me and I was most impressed with the very grand and imposing buildings which abounded all over the city. The castle was a wonderful step back in time. However, care if you have mobility problems as I had to leave my wife on the bus for almost three hours as she was not able to climb up the 78 steps to the start of the castle and from then on a long long upward climb.