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4:35pm on Wednesday, 5th July, 2017:

Olden Days


I've revised my view of how old the passengers on this ship are, and now place myself in the youngest 10%.

That doesn't mean the other 90% are confined to their cabins, er, staterooms all day, however. Some of them are quite spry, which they needed to be for the trip we went on today to some glacier with a name beginning with B.

The coach trip to the glacier took about and hour nd a quarter. It might have taken less time had the road not been single-track, but there were splendid views along the way which I might have appreciated more had I not been sitting in the middle back seat. 30 seconds later coming out and I'd have had my choice of where to sit on the next coach instead.

We pulled up at the stopping point, where there was a café and a cafeteria. We were instructed that when we got back from walking to the glacier beginning with B, there would be free tea and cakes awaiting us at the cafeteria, and tht under no circumstances should we go to the café because those teas and cakes had been paid for and we would be wasting our money if we didn't eat and drink the lot between us. That was fine by me, and indeed when we got back I did have two cups of tea, two cakes, two mousses and two jellies. I needed it, too, because the walk to the glacier was 45 minutes across undulating scree in each direction.

The 45 minutes was a constant, by the way. We were told to walk at our own pace, but no matter how quickly or slowly we went, no matter how many stops for photo opportunities or breath, it was always going to take exactly 45 minutes. I don't know how that works, but suspect it's to do with time dilation effects caused by the mass of the surrounding mountains.

We'd also been told to dress up warm, in waterproof clothes with multiple layers. I merely put on a thicker jacket. This transpired to be a sensible move, as the coldest part of the trip was the 50-metre walk from the ship to the bus. Once up in the mountains, with no wind and being so much closer to the sun, it was actually quite agreeable weather. The people in the full hiking gear with sticks and backpacks and boots and trouser-covering socks were paying for their professionalism in profuse quantities of sweat.

The glacier beginning with B was pretty good. We couldn't get to touch it because it's retreating, but if we'd come any time before about 1950 we could have done. We should have booked our trip earlier. Here's a picture:

We spent about ten minutes there then walked back.

The views were great, but I'd seen many of them before. The tumbling waterfalls were out of The Witcher 3, the sheer rock faces were out of Skyrim, the woods of silver birch were definitely from Black Desert Online and I'm pretty sure I used to fish in one of the lakes in World of Warcraft.

We got back to the ship at about 2:30pm. It's docked at the end of some fjord with a name beginning with N alongside a town called Olden. The population of Olden is 800. There are 2,000 passengers on our ship and another 2,000 on the ship we beat to the one and only quay, so those 800 Norwegians had a taste of what it was like for us when fleets of Vikings pillaged England a thousand years ago.

Right, I'd better stop and upload this before we cast off and I lose my mobile phone connection...

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Copyright © 2017 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).