Day 5 Andalsnes
Trip Start Mar 11, 2014
16Trip End Mar 28, 2014
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Well it has been an eventful night ! As we left Bergen the weather deteriorated quite considerably and the Captain announced that as we were expecting very high winds the Fjord pilot did not feel it would be safe for us to pass through the Fjord which meant we had to return to sea and take the longer route to our next destination Andalsnes.
As we were getting ready for dinner the Captain announced that we were in for a bumpy night and we should take care when moving around the ship. We were enjoying our usual pre-dinner drink and watched as quite a few cabin-service meals were being carried high above their heads on trays by the waiters, no doubt for those passengers who perhaps were a little unsteady on their feet.
We had booked for the East to West Asian style restaurant this evening and as we entered the restaurant the ship was certainly moving around as were we! With motion sickness bands and a dose of Kwells I was set for the evening ahead but as we started our exquisitely prepared meal, beautifully served in the lovely restaurant all that preparation hadn't quite kicked in and sadly we had to abandon our meal half way through, but not before listening to the Captains announcement that for safety reasons he would ask that all passengers retire to their cabins at 11.00pm as the adverse weather was going to peak with 65 knot winds and over 8 metres swell.
It wasn't long before the rocking and rolling started and that wasn't on the dance floor, actually it didn't take long for us to get to sleep despite some weird banging and crashing noises we heard outside which hopefully were not passengers falling over.
As we woke we looked out of the window and was pleased to see we were now inside the Fjord with much calmer waters and the mountain tops covered in snow. We ventured out onto the deck, yes it was chilly but with such a beautiful landscape we had a very warm inside.
The adverse weather and re-routing had obviously delayed our arrival into Andalsnes situated on the Romsdal Fjord at the mouth of the Rauma River. Our arrival was 4 hours late in fact, and we were unsure if our morning tour on the scenic Rauma Railway would be cancelled or not
Thankfully it was still on, just rescheduled for 3pm this afternoon. I have to say the Shores Excursion Department have done a fantastic job of re-scheduling everything, with only one tour having to be cancelled with an alternative being offered free of charge - Well done Saga a great service for a problem created by Mother Nature but solved in a very efficient way.
On this trip Saga provide each and every passenger with an arctic jacket and snow grips for their shoes, most of these jackets are red colour (except for David and I who have been issued with navy blue !) As we disembarked the ship for our Rauma Railway excursion I couldn't resist taking a photograph of the army of redcoats as they made their way down the stairs to the gangway.
We had a short walk to board the train, it was snowing, there was a chill wind and we wondered why on earth had we booked this "cold cruise". Well as soon as we boarded the train we knew exactly why, it was like being in a fairy tale.
The Rauma Railway is one of Norway's spectacular train rides, it took 12 years to build, opened in 1924 and is 114km long. It took us 1 hour to reach Bjorli (our stop) but you could travel a further 1 hour 40 minutes to Dombas.As we travelled in the warm carriages we saw sheer mountain precipices, feats of civil engineering and of course snow laden trees.
The hour journey seemed to pass so quickly and it wasn't long before we pulled into Bjorli Station where we all disembarked, by now the snow was quite heavy as we boarded our coach for the return journey back to Andalsnes.
The road had several bends but we had a good driver with winter tyres so felt quite safe as we meandered our way back through the valley.
We felt as if we were in a black and white movie with so much snow around and it was only the sight periodically of coloured wooden houses or barns that added colour to our journey.
Many of the streams were frozen but where they flowed the water was crystal clear giving some wonderful reflections of the landscape. We finally arrived back to the small port and our ship, and still with heavy snow falling the intrepid redcoats + 2 navy seals slowly made their way up the gangway after a great afternoon out in the Romsdal Valley.