Monday, 17 August 2015

First Stop - Oslo

Moored by the Ramparts
Yes, I've been cruising with P&O again. This time on the Arcadia. Last year I did a Baltic cruise in June (on the Oriana) and the weather let me down. St. Petersburg was wet and Tallin was freezing. So this year I went in July and the weather was fantastic - blue skies and sunshine! I also chose a cruise calling at some different ports, the first stop being Oslo, the capital of Norway.

Coach drivers everywhere are excellent especially those who have to manoeuvre their buses around some very tight corners, but guides come with various qualifications. Especially problematical are the ones with heavy accents which get emphasised through the sound system. Fortunately all of our guides - at least, on the tours I took - were very clearly spoken and interesting to listen to.

In Oslo we were driven around the city being shown the sights such as the Nobel Peace Centre and City Hall where the annual Peace Prize is presented on 10th December each year. The recipients are selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee made up of five people chosen by the Norwegian Parliament. Other sights we passed were the National Theatre, the Ibsen Museum, the Royal Palace and, in Market Square, the Cathedral.

Nowadays instead of through-traffic clogging up the centre of the city there is a tunnel and Main Street is pedestrianised. With the sun shining it looks fabulous as the restaurants have tables set out in what was the road - and doing fantastic business. It reminded me of the ramblas in Spain with shops and restaurants along one side and a tree-lined 'rambla' on the other.

Out of the city and we were taken to Holmenkollen to see the famous Olympic Ski Jump, the first in the world. Remember Eddie the Eagle? No, we didn't go to the top but to the viewing platform part the way up, from where we watched daring young people whizz down on a zipline wire. Rather them than me.

The view down across the fjord is glorious - blue water, islets and every imaginable foliage green of nature's palette.

Back down into the city again to finish our tour and have a couple of statues pointed out to us. Two of their 'war' heroes - Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and Sir Winston Churchill.

Inevitably it was time to return to the ship to sail on to our next port of call - Copenhagen. As I visited this city last year you can read the blog about it and the ports of call during that cruise on

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