(Part 1 of a two-part blog.)
Last month, my family and I traveled to London and then to Dover, England, where we boarded the Disney Magic and headed to Norway! I have a real love for travel, but I’ll be honest…countries that are not English speaking make me a little nervous. And Norway has never been high on my travel bucket list! However, we thought it might be a once in a lifetime travel experience. Disney Cruise Line is sailing Norway ports due to the tremendous response to the movie Frozen, and we thought, well, why not!
We flew in a few days early to acclimate to the time zone and enjoyed sightseeing in London before headed to Dover and getting on the Magic. We sailed all night and all the next day in the thickest fog I’ve ever seen on a ship! The horn blew frequently all night and much of the next day, too. Instead of sounding fun and festive, it sounded a little creepy and forlorn! Brr…temperatures were in the 50s with overcast and foggy skies. It certainly wasn’t the typical Bahamas or Caribbean Disney cruise!
Finally the fog cleared as we steamed on toward Norway and our first port of Stavanger. Approaching the port, we were out on our verandah anxiously awaiting our first views of Norway!
Stavanger is a charming little town! We got off the ship early and walked the area near the ship which was full of picturesque homes, gardens and quaint little shops.
We then boarded a boat for a scenic tour with Rodne Fjord Cruises. We traveled miles up the Lysefjord and were welcomed with beautiful water and great mountain views. Along the way, we stopped at a waterfall while the crew put out a bucket on a hook and filled it up with water! Then we had the opportunity to taste the fresh clean mountain water which was surprisingly sweet! The trip finished up with a cruise by Pulpit Rock and some stories with local flavor.
When the tour was finished, we walked to the Petroleum Museum and had lunch outside at their highly rated café. After lunch, we toured the Petroleum Museum.
I know…are you laughing? Petroleum Museum? My husband planned this day, and I couldn’t believe this was the plan but it was actually quite interesting! Norway is very rich in oil in offshore oil fields. Who knew? We had the best lunch at that little cafe and the most amazing weather.
The next day we were in the town of Alesund. We rented a car here and started the day at the Sunnmore Museum which was full of Norwegian history—traditional dress, tools and life in Norway. Then we continued outside where a collection of building and boats helped you understand life in Norway—from replica Viking ships to neat little cottages and homes with grass sod roofs! Life in Norway in the winter can be rough!
After a snack of waffles and lignonberry jam, we drove up a rather harrowing drive to Mount Aksla where we were treated to (slightly overcast) panoramic views of the whole city!
Then we headed to the aquarium, Atlanterhavsparken – Alesund Aquarium. My son is rather fascinated with marine life, so it was a win-win here—a chance for him to see something he really enjoyed and we could all see some fish and other marine wildlife native to Norway. They had an outdoor penguin and seal exhibit while we really enjoyed—even if we had to do it in the pouring rain!
So far, our adventure in Norway has been great! A little wet and chilly in Alesund, but we\’re blown away by the scenery and the people and we haven\’t even gotten to my favorite port yet!
Random photos of Norway that I just had to share!
robot-programming, history-studying, space-loving 11 year old!
She and her family love visiting Disney World and taking Disney cruises. With seven Disney cruises under her belt, she is now preparing to embark on a eighth Disney Cruise–this time the Trans-Atlantic–and planning her next Disney World visit, too!