Our Cruise to Norway on the Aurora Part 2

northern lights at andalsnes

A Christmas Display in Alta Norway
Our Cruise to Norway on the Aurora Part 2 continues

…with arriving in Alta, our next stop!  There wasn’t much to do there really for us as no trips had been booked, again too expensive and no wheelchair access available.  If we had booked the trip a year in advance we would of probably sorted something out for this area as its the most northern destination in the whole of the world! with lots of wonderful scenery and the best place to see the Northern Lights apparently…we had already seen them and taken photo’s but a better picture would have been nice, with a wheelchair trip to see the wonderful scenery but alas not this time.  So with all that in mind! what is a couple supposed to do???

House mushroom Christmas Baubles

Hit the shops!? and boy did we hit the shops! (we always have an excuse to go shopping lol!)  It became a bit of a laugh with our friends; how much stuff we used to find to buy, but the Nordic people are so stylish and we just couldn’t help ourselves lol!  As it was November all their Christmas Decorations had been put out, so it really got us in the mood!

Christmas display in a shop in Alta Norway

Norway is very expensive so we bought wisely…there was a few discounted goods here and there and because everything was to our taste we were spoilt for choice and some items just seemed very reasonable,  so a few more items were purchased, by this time we had found a trolley to wheel our purchases around the shopping center lol! (How common! lol!) and it was really hot in there and of course we were kitted out for minus 20 something!  so all of our coats and jumpers were thrown into the trolley as well…lol! we did look a sight! But we were shopping and having fun…so it was a win win!

The Northern Lights Cathedral - Alta

When we did venture outside, we saw this amazing spectacle…The Northern Lights Cathedral…isn’t it breathtaking! It was quite icy here and I had to be careful where I was walking.  Usually it would have been much colder and covered in thick snow, but global warming and all that has hit everywhere, including the most northern part of the world! which makes you think doesn’t it!

The average day in Alta during November has 6.1 hours of daylight, with sunrise at 9:01 AM and sunset at 3:07 PM.

Inside the cathedral – By Andreas Haldorsen

woman with red hair eating dinner
Back on the Ship again, going through security with all of our shopping bags was quite a saga! I don’t think the ships crew had met anyone like us before…most people got on with one bag of shopping or none at all!…we had quite a few bags of shopping plus snacks plus a few hundred litres of water lol!…they charge for water to take back to your room on the ship! what a cheek!  apparently you can drink the tap water from the bathroom, but with my constitution I didn’t want to try it!

swimming pool on a ship

We were now on board for a few days sailing…we were going all the way back through the Fjords and past Tromso and to arrive at Stavanger which is a city in southwestern Norway and used to be the capital City many moons ago.

the moon shining onto the sea
We had a lovely time again, eating, drinking, being entertained, playing quizzes, going to shows etc…Freddy and I wore our masks as much as we could, obviously we couldn’t when we were eating in the restaurants but we were careful and always used hand sanitizer, most people were not being careful this time…they were when we went to Amsterdam, but not on this trip…I think a lot of people now think that COVID19 is over, but we have to be careful because we are vulnerable.

Rockabilly concert on the Aurora ship

We sailed into Stavanger early evening to a vision of white houses, it was such a cool place and made you feel like you wanted to live in one of them.  The place looked magical and we were excited to see what this town was going to be like the next day!

white houses in stavanger
The morning arrived and it was pouring with rain but when has the rain ever stopped us…we’re British remember!  We were docked in port (picture below) so it was just a stroll into town.  We dived in and out of shops to get dry and the cheapest thing I could find (coz i forgot our brolly!) was a couple of plastic poncho’s…for about £3.00 each! cheap for Norway! I quickly put one on Freddy and the other around his wheelchair, we didn’t want it ‘shortening out’ by getting wet…if his wheels don’t work then we are stuck!

anthony gormley statue in Stavanger
‘Broken Column’ (2003) by Antony Gormley (b. 1950) is Stavanger Art Museum’s largest work of art. It consists of 23 identical rusty steel sculptures mounted outdoors and indoors in public and private places in the city. The 1,95-metre-tall sculptures are based on a cast of the artist’s own body. 

As soon as we walked around to this part of the dock, we instantly wanted our pictures taken with this Antony Gormley Statue.  It was nice that we could be so close to this wonderful piece of art, unlike back at home in the Turner Gallery, Margate!  When we visited there, It’s built in such a way that you can only view the Gormley Statue in the Sea if you are standing! which is pretty Pants! if you are in a wheelchair! still that’s a whole other story!

This town…well I could definitely live here…Its so clean, with lovely helpful people and lots of lovely shops!

christmas decorations in a shop
There was lots of things to tempt us, but everything was soooo expensive…it was nice to look and I took lots of pictures of all the delights…Then we got a bit lost and started to walk back to where we started only to bump into our friends Chris and Mark…Chris informed us that she had found a charity shop in a department store..I don’t know how they found it!  they were trying to get out of the rain apparently! Personally I think they had Top Secret Intelligence! lol!…anyways they told us where to go, and to make sure we got there and find it, they walked with us and pointed across the street to the doorway!

stavanger Christmas Trolls

We walked in and travelled up 3 floors in the lift, at this point I thought…were they joking!? only to arrive on the 3rd floor to find this…It was like all our birthdays had come at once lol!

stavanger charity shop
There was such an array of beautiful homewares and all so stylish, apparently it had only been open a few days so all the best things were still there!  I could of bought so much more, the furniture was beautiful and everything was so cheap.  There was also a separate shop which just sold Christmas decor and decorations…we bought quite a few of those as you probably read about over HERE

stavanger charity shop

charity shop in stavanger
The Childrens section

blue china ornaments

The blue and white china section

man in wheelchair with bags
…And in true Happy House Tradition we bought the whole shop! lol! Well nearly!…You can imagine what the ships crew said about us can’t you!  getting on board with twice as many bags as last time didn’t go down too well!  we were the talk of the town once again…Our friend Chris and Mark was very good and only bought a couple of bits…but us on the other hand! well need I say more!

graffiti in Stravanger
I loved it in Stavanger…this is some of the Graffitti we saw…

Graffiti in Stravanger

Then it was back on board again ready to sail home…

This trip to Norway was amazing and I want to thank my Mum for treating us to it.  I also want to thank the lovely people we met on board, they really helped to make our holiday special…will we go back to Norway?  I don’t know because we always like to go somewhere different, each time we go away.  I would definitely like to go back to Stavanger though…so perhaps one-day, if we win the Lottery! x

Bye for now x

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1 Comment

  1. 21st February 2023 / 3:20 pm

    So glad you have taken a trip wheelchair or not ! It certainly helps seem new things, meeting new people and shopping at new places Bless you both!❤️❤️

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