31 July 2012 – Andalsnes (pronounced Ondulsnes)

No tenders. Told to be on the quayside for 9.40 to catch a train we thought was at 10.15. It turned out it WAS at 10.15. And it was raining. Nowhere to sit and nowhere to shelter. We got SOAKED. Very unkind, P&O, very unkind, and totally unnecessary.

The train, when it came, was very luxurious and clean and we had a wonderful trip through the mountains, up to Bjorli (pronounced like the British motor museum – Bewli), which is Norway’s southernmost ski resort with six months of snow (!). Took loads of photos of amazing scenery.

Andalsnes is slightly messy at the moment, because the International Base Jumping Championships arrive next week. Andalsnes has several mountains just outside town with sheer granite drops of several hundred metres – it breaks in a similar way to slate – so it is the base jumping capital of the world, apparently. It is spectacular stuff, but as there are no motor vehicles allowed in the national park, apparently, they have to climb the mountain before they can throw themselves off of it!

Long queues for the surprisingly pleasant two toilets at the station. A lady asked to buy one of my t-shirts, so I gave her my email address. I was wearing the one that reads: “I might look like I’m doing nothing, but at the cellular level, I’m really quite busy” and she wants one. Clearly a lady with much taste, oh yes. Then a coach back down to town, with several photo/shopping stops, and a commentary conducive to dozing. A really wonderful trip.

We then walked the few hundred yards into town and ate a rather odd restaurant in a marquee on the quayside. I had a homemade burger, which had pieces of yellow and red pepper mixed in, which made it quite sweet and very tasty indeed. I’m not sure the sweetcorn on top was such a good idea, logistically at least. Mum and Dad ordered a small pizza to share. A SMALL one.

We then wandered around the two streets of shops, where I bought a top and some more Norwegian Kitkats. Then we’d run out of shops and stuff to do, so we went back to the ship and I napped til dinner. Dinner was delicious. I had fried loin of haddock in panko breadcrumbs, which I had never heard of, but Sandra said it’s the best bit and has no bones, which was all the recommendation I needed. Turns out she was right, it was superb. Mum’s trout came with almonds sprinkled on, which, bearing in mind she is listed in the kitchen and at the waiters station as having a nut allergy, shows that the lack of attention to detail is spreading, sadly.

After dinner, Yvonne and I went to watch the ballroom dancers and the band with the bad singers until it was time to go to the show, a Queen tribute show, which is so popular they have to do three performances, rather than the usual two. Front row seats. Had a brill time. The Headliners are superb. Must learn the name of the lead girl, as she is OUTSTANDING. Then disco til 2, midnight snack (crackers and butter) in the Al Fresco restaurant and then blog and bed. ANOTHER port day tomorrow. Crumbs.

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