Now where was I? Flaam, I think. I may repeat myself-but then I never reread or check these things. Flaam had the bike ride and the little museum which were great. Wednesday our destination was Olden. The activity today was “Hiking Mount Hoven and sky-lift” I took a chance and left my hiking boots at home, brought and old pair of reasonably heavy shoes-that were near done, and i felt i could dump them after the hike. The hike did not start until around 13:30. Olden was another tiny little hamlet with a big souvenir type shop at the dock/harbour. In here I got (yep you guessed it) another fridge magnet. Was impossible finding one without a cruise ship on it. It was another pretty wet start to the day. As I had loads of time I decided to explore, and a bit up the road I found a hiking type shop, and in here I got a bobbly hat.
Eventually it was time for the hike. I glanced at the feet on the bus and noticed everybody had hiking boots-and wondered if i had made a mistake. Some people had waterproof trousers on-but i DID bring my hiking trousers-one or two people were wearing denim jeans. The weather had cleared by now. When we got to the start of the walk via the sky-lift -which was great, stunning views etc, the weather had cleared and things were looking good. At the start of the hike i noticed a few diggers,lorrys and 4×4 cars and a track that was being worked on. Most of the walk was on this track. I asked our guide how long they had been working there and he told me 3 years. Now this track looked very good for a downhill MTB ride. As I said the skies had cleared and the view were breathtaking. This was a good day for me. I could easily come up here with a flask of tea/bottle of water and something to eat and just sit here all day.
But suddenly the weather deteriorated big time. Skies were black, very misty,windy and it started to snow. We could barely see 10 feet in front of us,The guide stoped and told us that we were in charge, he told us were the top was, he told we would see nothing from the top. He said if we wanted to he would take us to the top-but if we wanted to go down early we could. I said the early finish was a good option. So we took the shorter option and we went down to the cafe were the cable car stopped and had coffee and waffles-when i ordered they just had a fresh batch out of oven-so mine was hot and most most welcome.
Back to the boat-once again a most welcome shower and i discretely dumped my worn out shoes in 2 separate wastepaper baskets on different decks. The “entertainment” that night came from the “headliners” crowd again-as i was not a glutton for punishment i gave them a miss, and chilled out in the casino , watching the quizzes and the karaoke. the karaoke was great too. Some people had done this before and were too good for my liking-but the bad ones were super entertainment- they hadn’t a clue and were most times 2 or 3 lines behind the music.
Thursday was another black tie night-so i gave that a miss. The stop was Bergen-which was a pretty big town-city almost. This also was an early start-8:00 am. Now I am good at the early rising, but i like a slow build up. This one was a waste of time/money. I think I could have done this myself-BUT it did include a cable car ride up to a height were we got great views of the city. The entertainment that night was the Madness tribute band Badness again-with a new show. It was very good but not as good as the first one.
The next day was a cruising day so we were homeward bound-this was long and tedious and activities seemed do be winding down. I heard one man in lift complaining that this was the worst cruise he was ever on-i asked him why, he said staff were very rude to him and the floors in the gents toilets were never cleaned and were covered in urine (i was thinking, well sure the boat is rocking-we are bound to miss the target sometimes-and at that rate they would need somebody in there cleaning 24/7-thus no room to do our business). Also something that made me laugh was the pool table-pool table on a boat? I was half expecting to see a jenga game. Entertainment on Friday night was the comedian Mick Miller again-i was not amused but audience was and i wondered if i was at the same show.
At dinner that night one of the women at our table said that her exercise was walking he six dogs. I asked her if they were all in her house-she said not at the same time. I then asked her if they had relevant names. She looked puzzled and asked me what i meant , I said “Well like -John Boy, Jim Bob, Mary Ellen…” And i got a laugh. Like i said the cruising day dragged and disembarking didn’t come soon enough.
the cruise may have been good, but NEVER AGAIN. I am pretty active and like the open air and spaces. OK the weather did not help here. If I WAS talked into doing another cruise I think i would need somebody along with me. As on the shore days we could hire bikes and head off exploring on our own. I lost contact with some people on the last night but after an hour looking for them i gave up and had an early night. No free wi-fi on the boat-in this day and age, the holiday cost enough etc. There wasn’t the camaraderie as there is on one of the Irish Cycling Safari holidays i go on-so i didn’t write down email addresses or get full names for facebook. Next year i think it’ll be at least 2 cycling holidays one in Ireland and maybe one in England.
For those that are interested pics are on flickr-just key in the name crabbit man-you shouls get them. If you can’t send me a message and i’ll send a link. And as I said before-NO! there will not be a sequel-BUT I am off to Scotland on a coach trip in November, there will be a report on that too-and as always said i’m too lazy to spell check etc