In June 2008 DFDS made the decision to close the Newcastle to Bergen ferry. To help populate their last sailings they offered a "three night cruise" to Bergen which meant one night out, one night in port and one night back. The service calls at Stavanger, Haugesund and Bergen and the route north up the Norwegian coast is very scenic, passing inside the islands along the coast.
A favourite shot of dear friends who came to see us off.
The North Sea did not respond appropriately to the fact it was June...
...but early next morning the weather cleared to give us our first view of Norway as we approached Stavanger.
Late that afternoon the ferry arrived in Bergen and the cloud had descended again.
DFDS had laid on a tour with a guide to show us the sights of Bergen. Here she is showing the use of natural joints (where a branch joins the trunk) - a technique which gave Viking ships great strength.
Traditional wooden housing - making Norwegian towns prone to burning down from time to time...
Before leaving us our guide suggested that a ride up the "Floibanen" funicular railway was not to be missed.
Two coaches, connected by a steel cable pass each other at the halfway point.
From the summit of Floyen at 320 metres there are spectacular views of Bergen. We can look down on our ferry, berthed top right.
A wider view of the port area. Railway station bottom left.
The view inland from Floyen.
As the evening advanced we searched for somewhere to eat. This was the only place we found that was within our budget where we spent the equivalent of £30.
A brief glimpse of the sun as we made our way back to the ferry.
Setting off back to Newcastle from Bergen on a still gray morning.
The Floibanen to the Floyet summit can be seen mid left.
Although we did not know it at the time, this Fred Olsen ship, berthed in Stavanger would feature in one of our journeys seven years in the future.