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20th February, 2020

Andalsnes, Norway

This morning, I woke up at 5:45am since my daily duty starts at 6:30am. We went to Verendah and Aft area to set up the cushion and chairs. These are the task that we do every morning but this day has brought me in awe because of what I witnessed. When the sky brightened, we saw the mountain filled with ice. I was amazed because I only see that on pictures. I couldn’t believe I finally saw it with my two eyes. Also, the fact that I am now able to go near the mountains left me speechless. Finally, for the first time, in my life! We didn’t waste the chance and we took pictures. After that, we went to the crew mess to have breakfast.

After we finished our breakfast, we set up the water station at the gangway and the blankets at the open deck. We counter checked the area to make sure that the set-up is complete. Even though we were stunned by the beauty of what we saw, we still make sure that we do our tasks in our workplace. We, then, took pictures again because the view there is also breath-taking.

Around 9:30 I took a shore leave to see the beauty of Andalsnes. I roamed around and saw a red train. I’ve heard that this red train is the only church in a rail carriage in the world which has stopped by the platform of the end station of the Rauma Line Andalsnes. I saw the statue of railroad construction worker and I found out that Rauma Line is a railway between the town of Andalsnes, and the village of Dombas. After few walks, I saw the Norsk Tindesenter. If only I have time I’d really spent my time inside because it is a visitor centre focusing on Norwegian Mountaineering history and mountain adventure sports, very interesting! It is accessible for me because it’s just in front of the port.

I entered in a museum, they have a restaurant inside and souvenir shop. I saw a statue of Arne Randers Heen, a Norwegian mountain climber and member of the Norwegian resistance during World War II. I also noticed three stones framed on the floor so I took a picture of it. In the interactive exhibition you can learn about the triumph and tragedies of the Norwegian mountaineering history. There is something for all ages to explore. True stories have been dramatized, the old gear have been dusted off, and you can even test your own climbing skills inside Norway’s highest indoor climbing wall. I asked for a map to be more familiar in the place and to check where I can go next as well. I also wanted to go the scenic walk along the river but its 6km form my location and it will take two hours to reach there. They also have a scenic bike route to Trollveggen but its 10km for one way but unfortunately, I don’t have a bike. There are lots of tourist destinations in this city like Rampestreken, Trollstigen Resort, Trollstigen Café, Rauma Golf Course, hike Romsdalseggen, Andalsnes Camping and many more. Too bad I wasn’t able to go to these places because a service is much needed since it’s too far. But I couldn’t deny, this city has much to offer too, there are lots of areas that are mesmerizing and surely instagrammable.

After visiting the museum, I had leisure walks again to see how the houses look like. The statue of troll caught my attention. I found out that a troll is a class of being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. In old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units, and are rarely helpful to human beings. It is worth coming to see, and the visitor centre provides some good historical information. Like many places in the area, they go a little overboard on the troll merchandise, but it is really the natural beauty makes it worth the walk. The statue looked kinda weird but it brought out the kid in me. He was in front of the Belle Vue Grand Hotel which is famous in Andalsnes. I had few walks again and I saw the beauty of the Saga Ship. It was just a one of the perfect moments for me because the ship’s background was the mountain filled with ice. Can you imagine how fascinating it is? That time there is only one thing in my mind, “I am really here, this is true, I am not dreaming. Before I was just seeing this in pictures now it is already in front of me”.

Before going back to the ship, I saw some ice on the street so I tried to touch it. I didn’t have the chance to go to the mountain itself but at least, I had the opportunity to touch the ice. You may think I look like an ignorant person but yes I am! Because the country I live in is a tropical country. I passed by the city hall of Andalsnes, Rauma Radhus, and as usual, I saw nice buildings, parks and shops.

I decided to go back to the ship but before that I remembered that I shouldn’t forget to buy a fridge magnet! I wouldn’t let a port or country passes away without buying a small souvenir. It will serve just a reminder that I’ve been into a place, that I visited a certain place. I usually buy three pieces but this time I only bought one because I didn’t have enough cash. There are a lot of choices but of course, I chose the best one! I, once again, looked around my surroundings, realizing that I am beyond blessed to witness this kind of beauty. I promised to myself that one day, I will go back here with my loved ones, because they deserve to see the beauty of the world.

Dan Erick M.Abella, Deck Steward

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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