Swimming in the aft pool on Deck 8, it was difficult to believe that we had reached the Arctic Circle with an air temperature of 27c and the water a pleasantly warm 24. For the entire cruise, the weather remained the same - how I regretted wasting space with gloves and base layers!
This 12-day cruise offers plenty of opportunities to discover Norway and my overriding memory will be of the stunning scenery: deep Fjords, snow-capped peaks, green meadows, wild flowers, tumbling river waters and the purest air you will ever breathe. There had been some late changes to our itinerary and I’m glad because our first port of call, Skjolden, was one of the most beautiful I have visited, such a peaceful village with waterside walks and perfect reflections of clapboard houses in calm black waters.
In fact there was only one dud and that was our final stop. Haugesund would probably have been okay, had we not been spoilt by Skjolden, Måløy, Andalsnes and Trondheim, but I’ll leave you to make up your own mind once you’ve visited. The furthest north we reached was Leknes and it was here that I learnt something that might prove useful in a pub quiz. Where in Europe do cows wear bras? The Lofoten Islands! Because the sun hardly sets in the summer, cattle graze high in the mountains and eat grass for much longer hours. As a result, their udders weigh heavy and they need bras for comfort and to help contain dripping.