Monday July 2, 2012

The North Sea has a wild, stormy reputation – but we Kiwis struck it lucky once again as we sailed north-west yesterday from Holland. Our destination? One of the most environmentally untouched, scenically stunning regions on the planet – the famous Norwegian Fjords – promising serene waterways, plunging cliffs, cascading waterfalls, mist-shrouded peaks and colourful villages.

We woke up this morning, excited and ready to go, in stopover #1. Beautiful Bergen was founded in 1070 by a pleasant chap with a catchy name: Olav the Peace Loving – one-time King of the fearsome Vikings (or ‘Wickings’ according to the locals, who have trouble sounding their v’s). It’s a magnificent natural seaport, surrounded by steep, forested mountains – its shores lined with handsome medieval buildings, its hillsides dotted with brightly-painted gabled cottages, and smack in the middle: an impressive stave church.

We noisy Kiwis spent an enjoyable few hours in this UNESCO World Heritage Site: grabbing a funicular ride up Mount Florien for a magnificent overview of the town (where some of us introduced ourselves to a local troll) … watching a parade of marching boys hold up traffic … strolling around the bustling flower-&-fish market, where seafood straight-off-the-boats swim in brine-filled tanks … and savouring the atmosphere of ages past in the ancient Bryggen Quarter with its unique wooden warehouses and homes (established by Hanseatic traders during the Middle Ages).

If you’re a favoured friend or family member, your Mad Midlifer might even have bought you a reindeer pelt for your bedroom floor!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


We’re in Geirangerfjord, one of Norway’s most impressive sights, especially when seen from 1200 metres up a dizzy-making hairpin-bendy mountain-road! So, put on your snow-shoes, fasten your seatbelts, and stand by …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you want to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on the little speech bubble at the top of this page, and add your ‘COMMENTS’! Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and keep it brief.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by John Cooney. Bookmark the permalink.

About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!


  1. Hi Joan
    The best is still to come. We loved Bergen. Werent those buildings so cute. When we were there it was torrential rain and we had to walk in it back to the boat. The market is something isnt it. You will love Geiranger. Watch which side of the bus you sit on. Try those yellow berries that only grow there. Yummmmmm
    Throw a snowball at John for us.
    Love Clare and Bev

  2. For Joan
    Hi Mum – all the photos look amazing, I liked the St Petersburg photos best so far! You must be having an amazing time, look forward to seeing you next week, can’t believe the time has gone so fast! All well here – raining today 😦 but not so cold for a change.

    Love Nicola and boys

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s