The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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4:22pm on Sunday, 9th July, 2017:



Today is officially a cruising day, meaning we don't dock anywhere. We will, however, be doing so, at the village of Hellesylt. The fuel there is less expensive, I expect.

Most of the day was spent travelling to then proceeding very slowly down, then conducting a 180-degree pirouette in Gerangerfjord, which is the fjord branch just off the one that leads to Hellesylt. Gerangerfjord is reckoned to be one of the most beautiful in Norway, and it is indeed pretty special: it's narrow, it has imposing sheer rock faces on both sides, and it's packed with waterfalls.

The most famous waterfalls are the ones known as the Seven Sisters.

Sisters always seem to come in either threes or sevens, and there are clearly more than three falls present so that means there must be seven. The sister on the left is further distinguished by being the 39th-tallest in Norway. Every 20 minutes or so, a helicopter buzzes them showing a bunch of tourists richer than we are what the falls look like from the air.

So, what does one do on a cruise day?

Well this morning was spent in the bar/performance space which doubles as a viewing gallery at the front of the ship. It's referred to either as the Crow's Nest or (as it's on deck 10) as Ten Forward. We always call in Ten Forward because Star Trek. I don't have the same dedication to watching land slowly approach through rain as my wife does, so I read some more pages of the PhD thesis I brought with me, which I'm examining next month. It's about an inch and a half thick, mainly because it's printed single-sided. I've been reading a few sections every day since we set off, and as a result am up to page 249 (out of 312, not counting the references and appendices). I should comfortably be able to finish it before we get home. Then, I'll have to go through it trying to figure out what my handwritten comments say so I can write them up in a readable fashion to refer to at the student's viva voce (defence).

Cruise days can be quite boring. The scenery is great, but it doesn't change very often. Pro tip: when pulling faces in the mirrored doors of elevators to entertain yourself, stop before the doors open to a crowd of people.

The game I've been playing in the evenings is Master of Orion 2, which I have on my laptop. The Antarans keep attacking me, which is quite frustrating because if they didn't do so I'd be able to use my fleet to crush my enemies instead of defend my capital. Still, I'm sure it's all character-building.

When the ship sounds its horn, it echoes throughout the fjord for maybe ten seconds. I find it very impressive, but I dare say I'd have a different word for it if I lived nearby.

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Copyright © 2017 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).