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“The Starry Neighbor (Neighbour?) Chronicles: Pining for the Fjords” – Anthem of the Seas, July 8th-15th, 2022

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7 hours ago, Ampurp85 said:

@Lovetocruise2002Wow........your daughters are almost/probably taller than you now. 😬

One is. The younger one is not, just perspective lol. We always joke that we’ll be thankful if she makes 5 feet when she stops growing.


13 minutes ago, GregD said:


A couple more, totally worth getting up super early for! This is the final approach into Flam.



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Today was BUSY! As we all know I got up early to watch the sunrise, and ended up staying topside all morning until we arrived in flam which was around 8. Leroy then had me in the North Star again for my early morning ride. I made it back to the room for our Starbucks and breakfast delivery. 

We then had our first excursion of the day which was the Flam railway. This is a short 20km section of railway that goes from Flam to Myrdal where you can connect to the Bergren-Oslo Line. This section is the steepest railway in Europe and a great way to see some scenery. Along the journey you pass picturesque villages with a church from 1667, amazing waterfalls and steep escarpments. You climb 864 meters with an average gradient of 1:18, passing through 20 tunnels including one that turns 180 degrees. 

View of Flam from the North Star. Flam has a full time population of about 400 people, and it’s main industry is tourism.


Our own little Vikings we’re ready to go.


On the way up, here is the church from 1667


So many sights.E9684CE1-57BA-4A3C-80CC-7B88D334120C.thumb.jpeg.0879929243b0a97eb8545d048f6cf81d.jpeg


We even spotted an elusive Lulubot outside of her natural habitat! 


The train does make a stop for pictures at the Kjofossen Waterfall. These falls have a free fall of 305 feet. While there you must try not to become under the spell of the Huldra who will try to lure you into the mountains for good. She can be seen here…..I was tempted to stay, but a stern look from The Boss set me straight and I quickly returned to the train. 


Once at Myrdal Station, the train stops briefly before heading back down the mountain. 


The ride was fun and a good way to see a lot of things quickly, but we all remarked, that you do see them quickly before you pass them by. The total journey is about two hours.

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After we got off the train we had lunch in one of the port restaurants. We were pressed for time and ended up in the buffet restaurant. While the food was good, it was expensive for what it was, but hey, I was able to get a flight of local beers. They were okay. If we had more time there were better options for food. I guess that means we have to come back! Next up was the Panoramic Stegastein excursion.

The beers


Do you think Johnny can pass for a Viking?


Our next excursion brought us to the Stegastein Viewpoint. This is an observation platform that projects of the side of the mountain. The viewpoint is 650 meters above the Aurlandsfjord. To get there we boarded a large tour bus and headed off. What we weren’t expecting is that the road to the view point is a one lane road that handles traffic in both directions. This made for some tight obstacles and our driver had nerves of steel. There were multiple switch backs and many times I thought we would go tumbling off the side of the mountain. This car like many others had to back up to small areas to pull off to let larger vehicles go by.


Headed up one of the switch backs.


Once there, the views were amazing!




the platform 


some had more fun than others🤣


Unfortunately, while at the top it was a bit of chaos. There were so many people pushing and shoving to get to the end of the platform and nobody was patient, or used any logic to make this process smoother. Oh well, we still had fun. We had about 30 minutes up there so, plenty of time. 

once back on the bus we headed back down the same road to Aurlands Village for a little bit of wandering. We stopped in a small bakery and got some cookies. 

This church here in the village was over 300 years old


The docks in Aurlands


We had about 20 minutes here as well and headed back to the ship. All aboard was 4:30. We got there at 4:35, as well as a few hundred other passengers. There were multiple tours that arrived back in port all at the same time.

What a day!

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Per the usual, snacks were waiting for us in the room. Coma status is setting in nicely.


Dinner brought us to Jamie’s Italian. While tasty I think I prefer Giovanni’s. I mean, who thinks tartar sauce goes with Calamari??? Oh, that’s right a Brit cooking Italian food. (Sorry, not sorry)


The rest of our food was pretty good.





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Flåm is gorgeous. The more I look at the view, the more it reminds me of Lake Louise on steroids and train ride is like a super version of the drive down the Icefields Parkway or across the Trans-Canada Highway from Alberta to BC. 

In a surprise turn of events this morning, Hubby actually woke up with @GregDto catch the sunrise sail into the Fjords. Pics from a different perspective though as Hubby wandered all around the upper decks.

Massive photo dump ahead 
📸all Hubby, no real filters here 






























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After Hubby returned from his sunrise photos we were deep into the fjords and by about 7am, I stepped out onto the balcony and was greeted by these sights. Quite breathtaking. We spent about an hour taking photos. This was one of those times that I was actually glad Hubby brought a tripod. We ended up with some really beautiful family shots. As it got closer to 8am, the lighting was perfect!

Another massive photo dump ahead. Photos all by Hubby. 













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This morning we had arranged with Leroy to have breakfast delivered to the room to avoid the fiasco of Hubby and the kids scrambling at the last minute to find something to eat before we headed off. This turned out really well as it gave everyone a chance to watch the sail into Flåm and eat at their leisure. 

Shortly afterwards, we were off to meet Leroy and @GregD and the gang to ride the Flåmsbana train. Not going to bother to describe it as Greg already did in an above post. The train ride was a good way to see many sights but agreed that it goes by quite fast. There is only one opportunity to get out and take pics (at the waterfall). These pics were taken from inside the train.











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Dinner brought us back to Jamie’s again tonight. Great food as usual. We saw WWRY tonight and we have plans to see it again tomorrow.


Joff Eaton has been hilarious so we decided to give The Love and Marriage Show a try and it did not disappoint as usual. 

Off to bed now finally! Lots of motion again tonight. While I still love cruising, I am not sure if cruising the North Sea is for me in the future. 

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9 minutes ago, MicDay said:

@GregD and @Lovetocruise2002 such gorgeous pictures, thank you so much for sharing!

I have to ask, does it sometimes feel like you are in Alaska, even the towns remind me of Alaska?  

This is on my list as a must do but I was wondering that as I look at your pictures.

I have never been to Alaska but many have compared the Fjords to Alaska by saying that the Fjords is Alaska on steroids. Hopefully someone who has done both can chime in. 

I can say that there is a lot less snow here than I expected. 

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Another whirlwind of a day, where do I start? Left off this morning with us getting ready to go on the Lysefjord cruise excursion. The weather was not on our side today. Had it been, it would have been even more impressive.

The walk from the ship to the boat (for the Lysefjord cruise) is a quick one. Less than 5 mins. If one ever does this excursion, try to sit on the left side of the boat, that is where most of the sights are. Or go up top.

Because it was wet and raining on and off, The Boss and I sat inside, @GregDand Hubby braved the elements and went up top, and the kids roamed around most of the time.

Some photos from the ride down Lysefjord. Somewhere in the mist/clouds is pulpit rock. 










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The cruise was about 3 hours long with a 30 min stop for waffles right before the boat enters the Lysefjord. The kids were drenched from the boat ride so we headed back to the room after the cruise so they could clean up. This is what we came back to. Leroy has been so thoughtful along the way. D15 almost 16 loved it and she wore the necklace to dinner already! 




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Back to why the kids were drenched after the boat ride…

This ride takes you not only to Pulpit Rock but also takes you right up to some of the rock formations and waterfalls. One waterfall in particular the boat was able to get really close to. So close that a crew member takes a bucket right up to it to fill, then they pass out cups so they you can have a sample drink if you wish.

My kids decided that they would sample the water too, in the form of a shower. They went to the front of the boat and pretty much got right under the water. Had this teacher been on supervision duty, she would have cared. But I am on vacation, so if they wanted to sit in wet clothes, well their problem, not mine lol.

D13 did manage to get some pretty cool pics before the shower though. 




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I think @GregD and the Boss had a way more interesting and entertaining evening than we did. We are now back in the room. I am writing this up and Hubby and D13 are streaming Star Wars again. D15 is once again chatting with her friends back home because like typical teens, they are awake now back in EST lol. 

I was commenting to Greg today over waffles that I have not been able to maintain this blog as I normally do due to the itinerary. I realized last night that I have barely been around the ship, and I have barely discussed anything star class related.

Tomorrow is a sea day, if anyone has anything to ask that we have not covered, or if you want me to find out something for you around the ship, please let me know, this is assuming I can stay upright tomorrow. Sailing in the North Sea is no fun 😕

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What a day! This has been a whirlwind of a cruise. Since we did the same excursion as @Lovetocruise2002i won’t add photos because they will be essentially the same. 

I agree, it’s been tough to keep up with this one because there isn’t much down time, but that’s what this cruise is about. It’s more for the adventure. I feel like if you come to Norway to relax, you are doing it wrong. 

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As was eluded our day was exciting for a few reasons, good and bad. 

Our day started as per the usual, with our early AM North Star appointment. I really like getting the birds eye views of the port. 

We followed this up with breakfast at Cafe270. We lost track of time, and forgot CK breakfast ends at 9:30….lesson learned.

We headed off the ship for some shopping and got a few things before our excursion.

The excursion was really fun. I didn’t mind the not so great weather. I was also glad I didn’t do the hike to pulpit rock because it would have been pretty miserable today. The waffles were delicious today as well. We all sat at a nice big table and enjoyed each other’s company.

Following the excursion we also headed off to explore more of the area around the port. This is where our day went off the rails a bit.

My daughter suddenly realized she lost her seapass card. She was pretty sure she dropped it when taking off her sweatshirt while walking around. With this in mind we hurried back to the ship to get a new one. Thankfully, I’m sure she isn’t the first one to do this. At the first security stop the officer just asked our stateroom number and he called to verify she was a passenger, and to deactivate her current card. We also had her passport with us so he took a brief look at that. Once at the gangway, we told that officer our tale of woes. He was able to look her up on his console, and we were allowed on board. Two minutes later we had a new card at guest services. I had a message to Leroy ready to go in case there were any troubles but didn’t need to send it. Moral of the story, parents, hold onto your pre-teens seapass cards, and if lost, it’s easy to deal with.

With new card in hand we ventured back off the ship to continue exploring but didn’t get too far because we lost some time dealing with the lost card. 

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Once back of board, dinner was in CK. It was lobster night and our server took care of me🤣 five lobster tails later, I was stuffed! 

After dinner we also went to WWRY. I second everything about this show that @Lovetocruise2002 said. If you have not sailed on Anthem and seen this show, stop reading here, go book a cruise on Anthem then return to keep reading this blog, don’t worry, I’ll wait…………

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Now that we have everyone back, here is where the night got really interesting. After the show, the kids headed back to the room. The Boss and I headed down to the music hall to watch “The Perfect Couple” game show. 

The intention was to watch, but we ended up as contestants! This was well outside the normal comfort zone but we went with it. 

The game consists of four challenges that aren’t exactly PG.

The first was The Boss had to move a ping pong ball from the bottom of one pant leg, to the bottom of the other, with just her hands. Sounds easy enough, except the ball was inside the pant legs. As you can imagine, this conger interesting. We had the lowest time! One point in the bag!

Challenge 2, was we stood next to each other with our arms around each other, so my left, and her right arm were free. We then had to blow up a balloon and tie a knot. We were only allowed to use our free arms, and couldn’t talk to each other. Of course, to make it interesting, was the balloon was a prophylactic…..We again had the lowest time! Two points! Things are looking up!

Challenge 3, were the men were seated in a chair blindfolded. Then your arm was stroked by three people, one being your partner, and you had to guess which one was your partner. I managed to guess correctly here too!! 3 points! On a roll!  

Challenge 4……I knew I was doomed on this one. The Ladies were sat in a chair, and the men had to dance for them, and the audience would be the judge. Well this white boy can’t dance, and now was being told to give a lap dance to The Boss that was being judged by the audience. I knew that I would fail miserably here, and even the pity applause was pretty pathetic, but that’s okay because winning the first three challenges was enough and we won!

Our prize was two RC gold medals and a RC aluminum (aluminum?) water bottle, plus the embarrassment of having to give an admittedly horrible lap dance in front of hundreds of people 🤣

Well, I can cross that off the bucket list…..not that I even knew it was on there 🤦🏻‍♂️

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