We awoke to find ourselves in a rather overcast Stavanger, with Fred Olsen’s Balmoral backing in opposite us. After breakfast it was time to brave the elements and take a wander around the town which is right by the terminal. Despite the weather, the town appeared quite pretty with many white wooden houses and other brightly fronted traditional buildings dotted around. We wandered through the winding cobbled streets, taking shelter from the heavier showers in shops and doorways.
Following the coastal promenade, we stumbled across the Oil Museum, part of which resembles an oil platform. The museum itself was quite expensive, about £20 per person, so instead we had a bit of fun taking silly pictures in the bizarre play park outside made from brightly painted and sculptured chunks of old oil rigs! This included a swing made from a bosun’s chair, a trampoline surrounded by bright red bouncy buoys, various pipes and some sort of shelter/hut with extravagant graffiti adorning every square inch of the inside. It was a very odd place, but made for a fun way to kill an hour. With the rain now getting heavier and more constant it was time to head back to the ship, via the main shopping precinct.
After a late lunch and another brief afternoon nap, it was time for my one to one appointment with George the ship’s photographer. The lesson turned out to be very interesting and useful; with George sharing lots of good advice and helping me understand my relatively new DSLR camera. Despite the fact that the lesson should only have been 30 minutes, we chatted for what was nearer an hour, making the £25 spent much better value for money.
After a rather grey and wet sail-away, we took dinner in Beach House restaurant. Most items on the menu are at no extra cost, but there is a charge for a few things, such as fillet steak which you can cook yourself on a lava stone! We didn’t fancy poisoning ourselves, at our own extra expense and opted for fish and chips instead it was very nice, but as it was a relatively small chunk of haddock with a grand total of seven chips, if you had a big appetite you’d definitely be trying the late night buffet too. Pudding was a slightly larger, but still slightly frozen in places, wedge of New York style raspberry cheesecake which was quite pleasant once it defrosted! Service was similar to the main restaurant and wasn’t very attentive or delivered with a smile.
The evening’s entertainment was a production show based on the music of the big West End shows, a cabaret singer or one of the house bands. We opted to join the pub Olympics in The Exchange English pub. This was really just a fairly typical team pub quiz, port side v starboard and had nothing to do with the Olympics after all! We were on the port side team and lost. Setting the theme for every quiz we entered! Later we did another general knowledge quiz in the same venue, which was more fun and varied and made good use of the many large video screens dotted around for clips etc. But we lost that too!
Retiring for the night we couldn’t help but be excited about the prospect of waking to find ourselves cruising down the beautiful Sognefjord on our way to Skjolden and our excursion to the Briksdalbreen Glacier……..