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13th December, 2013

Mystery Cruise. Port No. 6

By 4:00am the pilot had boarded and wasn’t particularly enthusiastic when I suggested it was a lovely morning. ‘Fog’ he said, ‘Within the hour’. Charming, I thought and offered him a cup of coffee. The murk arrived of course, but made little difference to our progress. In fact, as the ship approached the berth we had the wonderful spectacle of the illuminated Akershus Castle emerging out of the fog and darkness ahead of us. With a covering of snow it looked almost spooky and certainly mysterious.


The grey was unfortunate as I had suggested reading the forecast, that sun was expected. It never came, but those who took the tour rose above it all, emerging into bright sunshine when they went to see the Ski Jump high above the city of Oslo. 

My wife and I took a stroll into the centre of town, for the locals it was just a normal working day and it was bustling. We found a small Christmas market, complete with ice rink to one side where young toddlers in colourful snow suits were attempting to stay upright. A large heated tent had all sorts of Norwegian handicrafts for sale, but of course at Norwegian prices. There was the delightful smell of hot Gluhwein and fast food came in the form of Elgburger (Elk burger, not necessarily to my taste).

On our way back we took a look inside a shop called Fenaknoken, one selling an amazing variety of cured hung meats and sausages. Across the road there was another selling all the clothing a gentleman would need should he be going on a hunting party, very Downton Abbey.

By the time it came for our departure the night had returned and the castle was again illuminated. I took the ship carefully astern off the berth and behind us lay the Norwegian Royal yacht at its winter mooring. A gift from Parliament to the Royal Family after the War and originally belonging to Tommy Sopwith. I would have definitely made a name for myself if I had inadvertently used it as a fender. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.