(3) NORWAY - The post boat


THE POST BOAT


If you have read the two earlier articles in this series you’ll know I’m on my way to see the Northern Lights (hopefully).

After our very wet day in Bergen yesterday, it’s now the following morning and we’re peering out of our hotel restaurant window at the Bergen rain. It’s vertical and trying to bend a poor sapling of a tree in half. Surely it must stop raining here sometimes?

"It’s very quiet in this restaurant,”my husband said. This was an understatement for we were the only occupants of the gigantic room.

“Why are you whispering,” I replied, but somehow I understood, because the room was so enormous it felt as though we were sat in the middle of the nave of a huge Cathedral.

The buffet was also gigantic, there was enough food to feed the ten thousand, and we were soon to discover why. Having just filled our plates with pieces of lovely fresh fruit, hundreds of people suddenly descended, and I mean hundreds! There must have been nearly two hundred of them and the room instantly turned into a hullabaloo of noise. We were astonished … where on earth had they all come from? The hotel only had twelve bedrooms.

FRIENDLY NORWEGIANS

Tables and chairs were at a premium and a lovely lady sat next to me and immediately said something in what I presumed was Norwegian. A smile and a nod didn’t suffice; she was obviously waiting for an answer. 

Ahh I’m ashamed to say that she did get a reply, but it had to be in English. No fear, she switched to my language instantly, and in due course solved the ‘twelve-bedroom mystery’. It seems the hotel had several large conference rooms, and with this gigantic restaurant it was the perfect place for a day conference.

TIME TO BOARD THE ‘POST’ BOAT

Right, problem solved. Time to head out in the rain again and find our boat. We had booked a return passage on the ‘post’ boat. All the marketing information had told us that our boat carried passengers, mail and supplies to over thirty ports along the Norwegian Coastline. Most of these ports were inaccessible to large commercial cruise liners, so there would be no heaving crowds departing from other boats as we docked.

Had we wanted, we could have hopped on and off the boat, and slept in hotels along the way. There would have been no need to book a cabin on the ship had we done this. However being our first visit to Norway we thought we’d take the easy option. We could always plan a more detailed itinerary for ourselves at a later date if we liked what we saw.

Our home for the next twelve days

Anyway I digress. We found the boat (in the pouring Bergen rain of course) and we liked our little cabin. 

It had everything we needed for our twelve-day journey, now the icing on the cake would be to see those wonderful Northern Lights in a few days time. 

Let’s hope the pouring rain stays in Bergen!

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD

For now, as we begin to sail towards the Norwegian fiords, I’ll leave you with mouthwatering thoughts … dinner on board the boat that first night. Wow! Was I impressed!

It was a help-yourself buffet affair … and some buffet I must say! I choose half a lobster as a starter! and my dear other half added half a crab to his half a lobster starter … get the idea? I hoped that this sort of food offering would be repeated the whole twelve days. However, little was I to know that ‘after something great happens, everything falls apart’, and this holiday was going to be one in which I lost weight, not gained it.

STAY TUNED — next time we’ll be docking at the little town of Alesund.

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