Last month, as a surprise for my Mum's 60th birthday, we went on a family cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. Although my parents and my other half have been on many, this was my first ever cruise! I wasn't sure what to expect, and in the run up to departure, most of the excitement was over how my Mum would react when we popped up on the ship out of nowhere.
Luckily the surprise went down very well, and we set sail from Southampton on P&O's Britannia. We departed the day after the hottest day of the year, when England was enjoying a huge heatwave. Our first day aboard was a sea day, and we made the most of the sun by lounging on the top deck, knowing that we were heading to cooler climates in Norway! After sunning ourselves and watching the miles disappear, our second night was a black tie night. As someone who doesn't have the opportunity to get dressed up very much, I relished getting glammed up in a long gown.
Our first stop in Norway was in Stavanger, which turned out to be my favourite place. The old town was right next to the port, with the houses dwarfed by our huge ship. Full of petite, white wooden homes, cobbled streets and potted plants, this was just my kind of place! We had wanted to hike up Pulpit Rock, but with limited time we certainly didn't want to miss the ship! Next time :)
Day 4 and we were docked at Alesund. At the last minute we decided to hire a car and drove over 100km away from the town to reach the 'Troll Road'.. a steep mountain road with 11 notorious hair pins, and cascading waterfalls. It was fantastic, and the drive down through the valley on the other side was so fun!
Our final port on the cruise was Bergen. As it was raining heavily we had a quick peruse round the town and local fish market, and then ran into a coffee shop for a warming hot chocolate. The town still looked beautiful, even in the rain. Over all I absolutely loved Norway - everything is so quaint, and set against astounding landscapes. I plan on going back and spending more time in the great outdoors there :)