Wednesday, 3 June 2015

70. Final day

Once everything comes to the end, like my long journey All over the World.
I had lot of new experiences, new friends and much much more..........
I know what I'm going to do in the future to help anyone to have such a great experience for an affordable price.......
Look for the TRAVEL MASTER sooooooooon :)

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

DAY 64-69. The Norwegian fjords

The 1st port of call was Olden.
Olden is a village and urban area in the municipality of Stryn in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. Olden is located at the mouth of the Oldeelva river at the northern end of the Oldedalen valley on the southern shore of the Nordfjorden. The 0.57-square-kilometre (140-acre) village has a population of 498, giving the village a population density of 874 inhabitants per square kilometre. Olden is located about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) southwest of the village of Loen, about a 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) drive southeast of the municipal center of Stryn, and about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) east of the village of Innvik.
Olden is a major tourist area. The cruise port in Olden had 61 cruise ship arrivals in 2003. The Briksdalsbreen glacier, a popular hiking destination, is located about 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of Olden, at the end of the Oldedalen valley. It is a small arm off the main Jostedalsbreen glacier.
It was my favourite port of call.

The 2nd port of call was another small place.
Flåm is a village in Flåmsdalen, at the inner end of the Aurlandsfjorden—a branch of Sognefjorden. The village is located in the municipality of Aurland in Sogn og Fjordane county. The name Flåm is documented as early as 1340 as Flaam. It is derived from the plural dative form of the Old Norse word flá meaning "plain, flat piece of land", and it refers to the flood plains of the Flåm River.
The Sognefjord or Sognefjorden is the largest and most well known fjord in Norway and the third longest in the world (behind the Scoresby Sund and Greely Fiord). Because the other two fjords are often ice-covered, the Sognefjorden is the longest open (ice-free) fjord in the world. Located in Sogn og Fjordane county in Western Norway, it stretches 205 kilometres (127 mi) inland from the ocean to the small village of Skjolden in the municipality of Luster. The fjord takes its name from the traditional district of Sogn, which covers the southern part of the county. It was amazing!!!

The next port of call was Alesund.
Ålesund is a town and municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Sunnmøre, and the center of the Ålesund Region. It is a sea port, and is noted for its unique concentration of Art Nouveau architecture.
The town of Ålesund is the administrative centre of Ålesund Municipality, as well as the principal shipping town of the Sunnmøre district. Ålesund Municipality has a population of 45,033 as of 2013, while the greater Ålesund urban area has a population of 48,460.
The port of Ålesund was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. It was completely surrounded by Borgund Municipality. The port of Ålesund received town rights in 1848. On 1 January 1875, part of Borgund Municipality was transferred to the town of Ålesund. In 1922, another part of Borgund Municipality was transferred to the town of Ålesund. On 1 January 1968, most of the neighboring municipality of Borgund was merged into Ålesund. This merger more than doubled the population of Ålesund, the island of Sula and some small surrounding islets were separated from Ålesund to form the new Sula Municipality.

The final port of call was Stavanger.

Stavanger is a city and municipality in Norway. The city is the third-largest urban zone and metropolitan area in Norway and the administrative centre of Rogaland county. The municipality is the fourth most populous in Norway. Located on the Stavanger Peninsula in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year Stavanger cathedral was completed. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city's cultural heritage. This has caused the town centre and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses, and has contributed significantly to spreading the city's population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger.

Stavanger is today considered the center of the oil industry in Norway and is one of Europe's energy capitals and is often called the oil capital. Forus Business Park, located on the municipal boundary between Stavanger, 
The highlight of the day was the Lysefjord cruise.

Lysefjord is a fjord located in Forsand in Ryfylke in south-western Norway. The name means light fjord, and is said to be derived from the lightly coloured granite rocks along its sides.

The fjord was carved by the action of glaciers in the ice ages and was flooded by the sea when the later glaciers retreated. The geology of Lysefjorden was thoroughly investigated and described by Professor Bjørn G. Andersen in his Master's thesis (1954)  End to end, it measures 42 km (26 mi) with rocky walls falling nearly vertically over 1000 m (3,000 ft) into the water. Because of the inhospitable terrain, the fjord is only lightly populated and only has two villages on its length - Forsand and Lysebotn, located at opposite ends of the fjord. The few people who live or lived along the fjord are only able to leave their homes by boat, as the slopes are too steep for roads.

Lysefjord is an extremely popular tourist attraction and day trip from nearby Stavanger, from where cruise ships travel the full distance of the fjord. As well as the extraordinary scenery of the fjord itself, two points along its length are popular side trips. The rock of Preikestolen, located above a vertical drop of 604 meters, can be seen from the fjord, but is more impressive from above. At the end of the fjord lies the Kjerag mountain, a popular hiking destination with even more spectacular drops.

Not only is the fjord long and narrow, it is in places as deep as the mountains are high. Only 13 m (43 feet) deep where it meets the sea near Stavanger, the Lysefjord drops to a depth of over 400 m (1300 feet) below the Preikestolen.

DAY 63. Rotterdam

Originally we should go to Kristiansand, but the itinerary has been changed, I do not mind, because I have never ever been to Gouda where I wanted to go from Rotterdam.

The ship arrived as planned, and there were many cabs outside, so it was easy to go to Gouda.
Gouda is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. Gouda, which was granted city rights in 1272, is famous for its Gouda cheese, smoking pipes, and 15th-century city hall.
In the Middle Ages, a settlement was founded at the location of the current city by the Van der Goude family, who built a fortified castle alongside the banks of the Gouwe River, from which the family and the city took its name. The area, originally marshland, developed over the course of two centuries. By 1225, a canal was linked to the Gouwe and its estuary was transformed into a harbour. Gouda's array of historic churches and other buildings makes it a very popular day trip destination.
Here all the major point of interest are in the downtown area. It took a pleasent 3 hours walk to visit everything and have some free time as well.
It is highly recommended to go into any of the big cheese shops where you can try more than 30 different cheeses. I'd not miss it :).

DAY 62. Embarkation to the vessel

The process was quite efficient, all the rooms were ready by 1pm. The Royal Caribbean standard was waiting for us.

MS Explorer of the Seas is a Voyager-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International built in 1999. She can accommodate over 3,000 guests, including scientists making use of a built-in atmospheric and oceanographiclaboratory operated by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. In March and April 2015, Explorer of the Seas was scheduled to receive major upgrades, including the replacement of the inline skating rink with a Flowrider surfing simulator.

Explorer Of The Seas Facts

  • Gross Tonnage:138,000
  • Length: 1,025 ft
  • Max Beam: 157.5 ft
  • Draft: 29 ft
  • Cruising Speed: 22 kno

DAY 61. A journey to Southampton

Ciao Italy, UK is calling!
Here began the last part of my journey a cruise from UK to the Norvegian fjords via Rotterdam.
It was easy to get to London Heathrow airport, and from there by taxi to Southmapton (the taxi fares are quite expensieve between 120-150 GBP depending on the car type).

. Southampton is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England and is situated 75 miles (121 km) south-west of London and 19 miles (31 km) north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the River Test and River Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area.
I have already been several times here, nothing special, if you cruise from here, you have to come otherwisw it is a waste of time and money.

Monday, 25 May 2015

DAY 52-60. La Spezia & Cinque Terre

After Rome MSC DIVINA came in to La Spezia, it was my final day on board.

La Spezia, at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the Liguriaregion of northern Italy, is the capital city of the province of La Spezia. Located between Genoa and Pisa on the Ligurian Sea, it is one of the main Italian military and commercial harbours and hosts the arsenal of the Italian Navy. It is important for its museums, for the Palio del Golfo, and for the railway and boat links with Cinque Terre.

Here we had a great stay, a wonderful 100 sqm flat, and plenty of excursions hereabout.

The No. 1. destination was: The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. "The Five Lands" comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia,Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. The Cinque Terre area is a very popular tourist destination.
The villages of the Cinque Terre were severely affected by torrential rains which caused floods and mudslides on October 25, 2011. Nine people were confirmed killed by the floods, and damage to the villages, particularly Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, was extensive.

Last, but not least Pisa was on the list as well.
Pisa  is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower (the bell tower of the city's cathedral), the city of over 89,373 residents (around 200,000 with the metropolitan area) contains more than 20 other historic churches, several palaces and various bridges across the River Arno. Much of the city's architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian maritime republics.