May 13 Sailing The Fjords (Page Three)
Time to Cruise Holland America where we met up with Robin’s friend and husband.
Though quite close to the old city, Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA), known as "the wave" for its free-form facade (shaped like a whale), is the part of the Eastern Docklands area where shipping docks have given way to neighborhoods of striking contemporary design that now house more than 20,000 people. Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, a concert hall for jazz and modern music, is adjacent to the terminal, and ongoing construction will bring many more amenities, including hotels.
A city at sea!
A balcony from which to see the world pass by!
Perfect bit where does Bob set up his drums?
Did You Know? - MS Koningsdam is a Dutch cruise ship operated by Holland America Line (HAL), a division of Carnival Corporation. The class leader of HAL's Pinnacle class ships, she is by far the largest ship ever to be constructed for HAL. She is also the first HAL ship to bear the name Koningsdam, which honours Willem-Alexander, the first King of the Netherlands in over a century.
Koningsdam was delivered by her builder, Fincantieri, on March 31, 2016. She departed from Civitavecchia, Italy, on her maiden voyage on April 8, 2016, and was the subject of a gala christening by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in Rotterdam on May 20, 2016.
Goodbye civilization...Hello, open sea!
(See where it is at this very moment!)
The Captain and her first mate!
Bob could fish right from the balcony!
Time to explore the ship!
We did NOT go hungry!
Straight shot to Norway!
Goodbye Sun... See you tomorrow!
Did You Know? - Flåm is a village in southwestern Norway, in an area known for its fjords. It sits at the end of Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the vast Sognefjord. The dramatic Stegastein viewing platform juts out high above the Aurlandsfjord. South of Flåm Harbor, the 17th-century wooden Flåm Church lies in the valley. The Flåm Railway offers valley and waterfall views as it climbs to a station on the Hardangervidda plateau.
The name Flåm is documented as early as 1340 as Flaam. It is derived from the plural dative form of the Old Norse word flá meaning "plain, flat piece of land", and it refers to the flood plains of the Flåm River.
About 600 miles from Amsterdam to Flam
Nice cheery spring day to sail the Aurlandsfjord
Click for a full size view of Aurlandsfjord (Flan in the distance)
Did You Know? - Aurlandsfjord (Norwegian: Aurlandsfjorden) is a fjord in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. The fjord flows through the municipalities of Aurland, Vik, and Lærdal. The 29-kilometre (18 mi) long fjord is a branch off of the main Sognefjorden, Norway's longest fjord. The fjord is deep and narrow, reaching a depth of about 962 metres (3,156 ft) below sea level, and its width is generally less than 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide. About 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) south of the mouth of the fjord, the Nærøyfjord branches off from it to the west. The village of Flåm sits at the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord; other villages along the fjord are Aurlandsvangen and Undredal. Most of the fjord is surrounded by up to 1,800-metre (5,900 ft) tall, steep mountains with little habitation along the fjord except for in a few small valleys.
We have arrived! The harbor of Flåm receives
some 160 cruise ships per year
The city is quite small with homes right on the river... Population of 350!
The ship makes the town look like a set of toys
Flåm harbor and railway station
The town is indeed tiny (Click for full sized photo)
Hotel room anyone?
We took an excursion bus to Stegastein which is 650 meters above the fjordNestled in the mountains and surrounded by water!
Did You Know?
- In 1670 Flåm Church was built, replacing an older stave church.
- In 1923 the construction of the Flåm Line was financed by parliament. (In 1908, the decision to build the line was made.)
- In 1942 ordinary operation of (steam powered) trains started on the Flåm Line.
- "In the 1960s, cruise ships stayed on the fjord" [without reaching the port], according to Dagens Næringsliv.
- In 2000, the "new pier" was referred to in a government document. ("The pier was built at the entrance to the new millennium", according to Dagens Næringsliv.
Famous for dining.... Not!
Waterfalls in every direction
Waterfalls come from the surrounding snow on the hilltops
It was a big bus and a little road...almost a white knuckler!
Peaceful and serene
Time to stretch our legs and get an amazing view of the fjord
We took an excursion bus to Stegastein which is 650 meters above the fjord Walk out and look straight down
We wanted to sing "Peace In The Valley" but forgot the words!
Love those selfies!
This 30m viewing platform sits 650m above the Aurlandsfjord
Hang on... This was an "E-Ticket" ride back down the mountain!
Directions to the two other little villages along the fjord
Marking 200 years of the Norwegian Constitution
Did You Know? - After 400 years under Danish rule, the hasty formation of a Norwegian Constitution must be viewed as a strategic move to liberate the country, perhaps more than a wish to embrace democratic principles. Nevertheless, the 112 men in the Constituent Assembly produced one of the most liberal constitutions in the world at the time. Inspired by the United States Declaration of Independence and the French Constitution, the Norwegian constitution was crafted around three principles: separation of powers, the safeguarding of civil rights and parliamentarian ism.
Steep roofs take care the the snow problems... Bob needed some quiet time
Drying hides of tourists that wonder off into the city (Just kidding)
Lots of noise as the water falls thousands of feet from above
We will be heading down the fjord about 7:00 PM
We need one more vista view of the town
Up up and away!
We are gathered together
We departed Flam and sailed down the fjord at 6:00 PM but remember, it does not get dark until 10:00 PM or so. We had a leisurely cruise to Stavanger, Norway arriving May 16th 09:00 AM the next morning.
It's 139 miles as the crow flies but a 10 hour sail as the ship travels
Did You Know? - Stavanger is a city and municipality in Norway. The city is the third-largest urban zone and metropolitan area in Norway (through conurbation with neighbouring Sandnes) and the administrative center of Rogaland county. The municipality is the fourth most populous in Norway. Located on the Stavanger Peninsula in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year the Stavanger Cathedral was completed. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city's cultural heritage. This has caused the town center and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses, and has contributed significantly to spreading the city's population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger.
Now we are in a metropolis!
Third largest city in Norway
We get to see the sights up close and personal!
We be movin' fast!
Bob gets his hair dry cleaned!
The walls along the fjord reach to the sky!
Solid rock walls make for careful navigators
The day was cool!
We have visitors. The goats greet the tour boats everyday, where the captain throws them waffles to eat. The goats saw the boat coming and heading right to the edge.
Did You Know? - The old local name of the site is Hyvlatonnå (English: Planed Tooth). The name Prekestolen (without the i) was coined around the year 1900 when the local tourist organisation, Stavanger Turistforening (no) wanted to promote the site for trekking. The "i" was added later to concord with Nynorsk, the official local form of Norwegian, and the site is now known both locally and officially as "Preikestolen."
We want to go up there!
Do you see the tiny person on the right hand side?
We stayed safely in our little boat!
Did You Know? - The Pulpit Rock is a massive cliff 604 meters above the Lysefjord and is the most famous attraction in the county of Rogaland.
The flat plateau of the Pulpit Rock, also known as the Preacher's Pulpit, is approximately 25 by 25 meters, and from the top you can see all the way to Lysebotn at the end of the Lysefjord. If you dare you can lie on your stomach at the edge and gaze hundreds of feet down to the fjord below!
Preikestolen or Prekestolen (English: Preacher's Pulpit or Pulpit Rock) is a famous tourist attraction in the municipality of Forsand in Rogaland county, Norway. Preikestolen is a steep cliff which rises 604 meters (1,982 ft) above the Lysefjorden. Atop the cliff, there is an almost flat top of approximately 25 by 25 meters (82 ft × 82 ft). It sits on the north side of the fjord, opposite the Kjerag plateau, located on the south side.
Tourism at the site has been increasing in recent years, with between 150,000 and 200,000 visitors in 2012, making it one of the most visited natural tourist attractions in Norway. BASE jumpers often leap from the cliff. Due to its increased popularity, there is currently a project under way to improve the path to the site, which is only accessible via a 3.8-kilometre (2.4 mi) long hike
The waterway is kept fresh all year long
Back to the hustle and bustle of the city
Time for some grub!
This was a "short stack"
When in Norway do what the Norwegians do!
Wear funny hats!
Off we go!
Did You Know? - Bishop Reinald, who may have come from Winchester, is said to have started construction of the Cathedral around 1100. It was finished around 1150, and the city of Stavanger counts 1125 as its year of foundation. The Cathedral was consecrated to Swithin as its patron saint. Saint Swithun was an early Bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. The church was initially the seat of the Ancient Diocese of Stavanger, a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church until the Protestant Reformation.
Stavanger was ravaged by fire in 1272, and the Cathedral suffered heavy damage. It was rebuilt under bishop Arne, and the Romanesque Cathedral was enlarged in the Gothic style.
In 1682, King Christian V decided to move Stavanger's episcopal seat to Kristiansand, based at the Kristiansand Cathedral. However, on Stavanger's 800th anniversary in 1925, King Haakon VII instated Jacob Christian Petersen as Stavanger's first bishop in nearly 250 years.
During a renovation in the 1860s, the Cathedral's exterior and interior were considerably altered. The stone walls were plastered, and the Cathedral lost much of its medieval looks. A major restoration led by Gerhard Fischer in 1939–1964 partly reversed those changes. The latest major restoration of the Cathedral was conducted in 1999.
Dating back almost 1000 years!
Magnificent stained glass
Rework is on going to keep the building on order
He has his hat on?
Such a short visit (9 hours) ... We have to go now..
But... We can' pass this up!Headed back to the dock where Robin & Bob hit the town before leaving port. Found an “American Diner” so we had to try out the burgers & fries! Back to sea
Now we depart for a short trip to Kristiansand, Norway. It is an overnight cruise arriving there at 9:00 AM in the morning! So, it is another night of fun on board!