Monday, August 24, 2009


I have proof of the exact hour I fell in love.

I saw the west coast of Norway for the first time.

I was the first person up at 5:30 am for early morning coffee and pastries in Palm Court to watch us sail into Molde. I know most of my family will say "docking is docking" but it never gets old to me- picking up the harbor pilot, watching land get closer and closer, looking at the seaside houses, guessing just WHERE we are going to dock, turning around (usually), watching lines being thrown- I love it all. So let the others sleep----I'm happy!!!

We passed the Rica Seilet Hotel

that's shaped like a sail, and Captain Giske turned us around.

After docking and a bite of breakfast, we were off on our excursion--one that had CONSIDERABLE more walking than anticipated...We were driven up to the top of the mountain

and walked down beautiful forest path. Along the way, we found wild blueberries to sample

and wallowed in the glorious colors of nature. One hour later, and almost at the bottom of the mountain, we found the Romsdal Museum, a beautiful collection of buildings throughout the centuries. We were treated to some folkdancing from children dressed in bunad, traditional Norwegian dress, went inside a beautiful old chapel and saw how life would have been in the area in the 18th century. I also got to have my very first "svele og brun ost"

--Norwegian pancakes served with a bit of butter and sugar and "brown cheese"--caramelized cheese that is slightly sweet and delicious. I'm addicted.

Afterwards, we walked through the town, past an old music school that has been restored and houses city administration, and looked around the street fair that was part of the annual Jazz Fest.

We left Molde at 2pm to sail over to Åndalsnes, 30 miles away. It was a quick stop to pick up passengers who had taken a day-long excursion that began in Molde and ended up in Åndalsnes. It was a chance to sail through a glorious fjord and begin a series of amazing photos.

I'll simply post photos and let you decide.....

Ferries are the way most folks get around on the west coast of Norway...

The restaurant at the top of the mountain

World's Cutest 5-year old doing his Troll Impersonation

(yes, the sky really IS this color...)

Woo helps Panda try on stilts...

before giving it a go himself.

Where we started off...

Arriving at Åndalsnes

And to top the whole day off, there was Cherries Jubilee for desssert!!!!!!