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Odda

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

7th June, 2014

Odda

After a beautiful night in Eidfjord the all on board time was 3:00am. Shortly after that we left the berth and cruised through the beautiful Hardanger fjord to Odda under a clear and already lightening sky. We arrived at the roads at 7:00am and were soon at anchor and making preparations to transfer the passengers to and from the ship with the two ship’s and one shore tender.

Odda, situated at the very top of the Sorfjord, was, at the beginning of the 20st century, the biggest tourist destination in Norway attracting visitors from the UK and elsewhere to see the Odda Valley with its line of waterfalls strung up like a pearl necklace and the Folgefonna glacier. Now adays the approach to the town is marred by industry, but this cannot take the beauty of the surrounding mountains away.

The tours today were.

Hardanger Folk Museaum. This tour starts with a pleasant drive along the Sorfjord to the village of Utne, where one will visit the open air Hardanger Folk Museum. Items displayed are from the 18th and 19th century. The buildings in this village are fitted out to reflect how they would have looked when in use. The village is in a spectacular setting with a mountainous backdrop rising towards the Folgefonna Plateau. Also visited is a medieval farmstead on the way back to the ship.

Odda

The Barony of Rosendal. This tour visits Scandinavia’s smallest palace in the form of a manor. This was built by a Danish nobleman, who married Karren Mowatt, the heiress of more than 550 farms all over western Norway. This wise decision earned him the only barony of its kind in Norway. The couple were great lovers of art and this is reflected in the interior of the manor. One can also walk in the 300 year old renaissance rose garden and the romantic Victorian landscaped garden.

Through Waterfall Valley to Roldal. During the drive, which follows one of Norway’s seven tourist routes, the coach passes several waterfalls in the space of just a few miles. A photo stop is made at Latefossen, the most famous of the waterfalls, where twin channels of water cascade in twisting courses fall some 300 feet down the mountain side. The tour continues to Roldal, where one visits and hears the history of the Roldal stave church, dating from 1250 and the only stave church in Norway still in regular use.

Powerful Tysssedal. This tour takes you back in history, 1906-1918, when the Tyssedal Power Station was built to supply power to the planned carbide plant. At the time it was the biggest hydropower plant in Europe and is now regarded as an architectural treasure. After visiting the power station the tour takes one to the monumental Ringedal Dam, which at 578 yards long and 108 yards high is the largest of its kind in Norway.

For the passengers who wanted to discover the village and surroundings independently they were dropped off by the ship’s tender near the village centre a very short walk away.

For those passengers on board the cruise staff had organised and hosted different activities and the surroundings offered spectacular views. The last tender left the shore at 1:30 pm and soon we were anchor up and on our way to the pilot station. The difference today was that we had 150 mile to sail through stunning fjords and seaways. The pilot left the ship at 11:00pm, after which we set sail for Dover.

The evening started with cocktail hour in the Cooper’s Bar and early evening music for listening and dancing in the drawing Room, followed by dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted music for dancing followed by a performance by West End Vocalist Mark O’Malley and Comedy and Musical Entertainer Bruce Thompson. This was followed by a Boys Night Out with Cruise Staff Fernando Perez, Andrew Galler, Explosive Vocalists Garreth Evans and Darren Tremble and music for listening and dancing with the “You and Me Duo” in the Drawing Room and Late Night Musical melodies with Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

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.

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