Sunday, 16 August 2009
My favourite stop! I was up bright and early, running on the jogging track and gawping at the stunning scenery with every circuit!
Breakfast started with a healthy (if calorific) bowl of Bircher muesli topped with seeds, dried fruit, and accompanies with more fruit as well as some delicious morning bread and OJ
The weather was bright and sunny, and the trip we had planned was nice and active - a 7 mile hike (down hill). We disembarked at 9:15 and boarded a little train. It looked a bit like a toy - very clean, wooden, no graffiti or nasty smells - but was actually a real train that carried locals up and down the fjords as well as tourists.
The train carried us up into the mountains, with a stop along the way to photograph an incredible waterfall (the picture doesn't nearly do it justice)
We de-boarded the train near the top of the mountain, and after collecting a rather sad sandwich and bottle of water, started hiking back down again to a lower station where we would board the train again to return to the ship. The first hour or so was quite taxing as it was not only steep, but also slippery and a bit gravelly - we really had to watch our footing, and it was definitely necessary to stop walking whenever I wanted to take a photograph! After that stretch the road levelled out a lot and also became more stable underfoot. There was another tough bit where it suddenly started going up hill (not too steep, but it was hot and we were tired by then) and I was desperate to find a bathroom for the last hour or so, but apart from that it was great!
We walked through a goat farm and a very dark, unlit tunnel , alongside a river and past more waterfalls than I could count! Finally we reached the train station (and the bathroom - a very large queue formed, so I clearly wasn't the only one with a problem! Luckily we were very near the front of the group and I didn't have to queue for long).
It took a while for the train to arrive (photo) and then we headed back to the ship, and to a 'proper' lunch of pizza and fries! (Both fantastic on the ship - especially the vegetable pizza!)
In the evening, we met for drinks in Cellar Masters, a wine bar, and shared a bottle of Murphy Goode Fume Blanc - very nice! Then it was off to the Tuscan Grille for dinner - another cover charge restaurant that calls itself an Italian Steakhouse. I had a New York Strip followed by a selection of gelato (strawberry, mango and chocolate - OMG the mango was amazing!!!)- yummy!